Olena Zelenska Foundation and the charitable foundation of Kyiv School of Economics (KSE Foundation) have started setting up a shelter in one of Kremenchuk's lyceums in the Poltava region.
Nearly 1,200 students, both boys and girls, who study at the lyceum, as well as 60 pre-school children from a nearby kindergarten, will soon have a renovated and equipped shelter of almost 700 square meters.
As a result, the children will be able to study offline and remain safe and comfortable during air raid alerts.
"When selecting the first schools to set up shelters, our main consideration was the number of children who could return to offline learning. Our priority is large hub schools in cities and villages. We focused on regions with many internally displaced children and where offline education is feasible. The city of Kremenchuk has repeatedly suffered from missile attacks by the aggressor. However, the security situation allows children to study in school if a shelter is available. That's why, the lyceum became one of the first schools in our project," explained Nina Horbachova, director of the Olena Zelenska Foundation.
Last year, the Kremenchuk Lyceum operated exclusively online. Students met in person only for certificate ceremonies and subject olympiads. For security reasons, all activities were held in a small basement of the old school building.
"Our educational institution has a 79-year history of educating talented children. For decades, the lyceum has been teaching students in mathematics, biology and chemistry. But distance learning affects the quality of knowledge acquisition. After a year of online classes, we dream of bringing all students back to their desks," says Tetiana Oderii, the director of the Kremenchuk Lyceum.
Work is currently underway to renovate the school: in the basement rooms, brick partitions are being removed and ventilation and sewage systems are being installed. A cement and sand screed will then be laid on the floor of the shelter, pipes replaced, walls painted, lighting installed, toilets built and the place furnished, and furniture will also be provided.
"A year ago, we set ourselves an important task: to return children to school. The "ZAKHYSTOK: Safe Education" project started with the construction of shelters in several rural schools and received significant support from Ukrainian businesses. Today, we are simultaneously repairing a dozen shelters, have returned more than 13 thousand schoolchildren to schools, and are proud to have earned the trust of the incredible team of the Olena Zelenska Foundation. Together, we will return thousands of children to quality education," said Maryna Borysenko, Head of Recovery at KSE Foundation.
The shelter at the Kremenchuk Lyceum is one of the first to be built by the Olena Zelenska Foundation in partnership with the KSE Foundation. The plan is to renovate the first seven shelters in educational institutions in the Poltava, Chernihiv, Kirovohrad and Dnipropetrovsk regions. This will enable more than 5,000 children to be sheltered in air raid shelters equipped in accordance with the requirements of the State Emergency Service. Schools and kindergartens can apply for shelter renovations by filling out the form.