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Save the Children is a leading international development organisation working to support children and young people experiencing disadvantage to reach their full potential.
Their mission and the base of all their work is that every child:
- Survives: No child dies from preventable causes before their fifth birthday
- Learns: All children learn from a quality basic education
- Is Protected: Violence against children is no longer tolerated
This program ensures children can access the resources they need to attain a quality education and help create brighter futures for children in the Ukraine.
Save the Children has been working in Ukraine since 2014 and have significantly increased their work in country and in border countries since the conflict escalated in February 2022. Since then, more than 1000 children have been killed or injured in Ukraine. Nearly one -third of the population has been displaced and more than 7.6 million refugees have been recorded across Europe with thousands of people still being forced to flee from the fighting. Save the Children has been providing support to children and families in Ukraine and neighbouring countries and have reached over 1,000,000 people to date.
As the conflict continues, so too does the significant impact on the lives of children on many fronts, none more so than their ability access to quality education. Through disruptions to schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic and then the escalation of conflict, which has resulted in only 51% of schools being open, children in Ukraine have had no continuity to their education for over 3 years. There are 1.7 million Ukrainians in grades 1-4 and these early years of learning are vital for setting the foundation of literacy and numeracy that will underpin all future education.
Through their educational program, Library All, Save the Children is responding by setting up digital learning centres, where children can access a variety of educational resources including their free digital Ukrainian Library.
The library, which when complete will be over 800 books, is stored on tablets in Spark Kits that are Wi-Fi enabled so that children can learn anywhere. The library contains culturally relevant stories for all ages because they know children learn best when they read stories that reflect their lived experiences. Save the Children are also developing a set of 50 specialist books for psycho-social support specifically addressing the current crisis children are experiencing.
Children will also have access to their learning app, Elevate. Using Elevate, students can learn the equivalent of one full year of school with an average of just one hour a day. Gamified learning engages children from one activity to the next, growing their skills step by step. The extensive library of books and educational resources can also be accessed by children through the free mobile app available on any iOS or Android device, making it more accessible for displaced families.
Library For All partners with Ukrainian translators, proofreaders, authors and illustrators to build the collection of culturally relevant stories for Ukrainian children. The process of engaging adults in story creation has proven a powerful tool for engaging communities in literacy and empowering individuals through creativity and connection.
Building this free resource for the next generation of Ukrainians holds the power to unite a community separated across borders in a common cause. Library For All already works with many Ukrainian creatives, and Save the Children is seeking to grow this network to amplify the authentic cultural voice of books created for this collection, while providing valuable sources of income to those who have had their livelihoods disrupted by conflict.