United Nations and European Union restore war-damaged schools in Ukraine

Photo: Leonid Shevchuk / UNDP in Ukraine

Over 1,000 schoolchildren in Ukraine can now study in more comfortable conditions thanks to a joint United Nations & European Union project which repairs and rebuilds schools.

The EU4UASchools: Build Back Better programme has seen extensive repairs carried out in two schools which have been badly damaged in the war-torn city of Zhytomyr.

This is a scheme that is facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which operates in some 170 countries and territories, helping to tackle poverty, reduce inequalities and exclusion, and which is funded by the European Union.

Work on the reconstruction of one school, Lyceum No. 1, included replacing the roof, repairing the attic and classrooms, eliminating cracks, and installing paving around the building’s foundation to protect it from rainwater runoff. Meanwhile at Lyceum No. 26 the roof and 125 windows were replaced, and foundation side paving and a drain were installed.

‘Witnessing the return of children fills me with happiness and hope’

The project will also soon be providing both schools with vital furniture and items like desks, chairs, blackboards and bookcases, to provide a comfortable learning environment for students. A total of EUR 218,614 has been spent on Lyceum No1, and EUR 170,453 on Lyceum No.26,

Jaco Cilliers of the UNDP, said that during the war, children in Ukraine have often lost their right to a full education, as they are forced into online learning or, worse, they lose access to education entirely. “The international community is committed to restoring schools and reigniting the educational process in Ukraine, ensuring every child has the opportunity for quality education and the invaluable experience of learning alongside their peers,” he said.

Claudia Amaral, Head of the EU Humanitarian Aid Office in Ukraine, added: “Our goal is to transform these, and many others schools around Ukraine, into safe and comfortable environments for every child, thereby fostering the resumption of effective learning. Witnessing the return of numerous children to their schools today fills me with immense happiness and hope.”

Author: Simon Weedy

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