Education Above All Foundation Successfully Integrates 6,000 Ukrainian Child Refugees into Polish Schools

August 25, 2023

Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, one of the largest global institutions in development and education, announces the successful completion of its Ukraine Emergency Education Programme – a project designed to integrate over 6,000 Ukrainian child refugees into Polish education and social systems. 

Education Above All Foundation Successfully Integrates 6,000 Ukrainian Child Refugees into Polish Schools

In a partnership with Positive Education Institute (PEI), with support from Qatar Fund of Development, EAA Foundation’s Ukraine Emergency Education Programme addresses the need for high quality education for children affected by ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The programme, which kicked off in 2022 and covers five adaptation centres in Warsaw and 100 schools across Poland, will strengthen the well-being and productive engagement of young Ukrainian refugees from ages 8 to 16 years old.

A key aspect of this programme has been an emphasis on intercultural understanding between Polish and Ukrainian students. The programme promotes social and emotional learning by showing students how to recognise and express their emotions and develop empathy through shared experiences to create a sense of safety and connection with others. Parents also actively engaged in the project through support programmes that included bed-time stories and activity books carefully translated and localised into both Polish and Ukrainian to ensure accessibility and understanding for both parents and students in both languages.

Janhvi Kanoria, EAA Foundation’s Director of Innovation Development commented: “The Ukraine crisis has displaced 11.6 million Ukrainians, many of whom are children whose access to education has been cut short. Our Polish In-School Integration project, in partnership with PEI, and with the collaboration of the Ministry of National Education in Poland, has helped integrate over 6,000 Ukrainian child refugees into the Polish education system.

“The programme is innovative because it fosters mutual understanding, respect and empathy between Polish and Ukrainian students by highlighting both similarities and differences between them. These Ukrainian children now have the support to continue their education in Poland – giving them greater access to economic empowerment in the future.”

Malgorzata Nowicka, Chairperson of the board in Positive Education Institute reveals: “Within Poland, this initiative stands alone in its innovative approach – providing practical solutions to teachers and caregivers for nurturing and educating, tailored to confront the pressing mental health concerns of children and youth coming from Ukraine. Simultaneously, it tackles the challenges tied to intercultural work faced by Polish system schools. Yet again, the collaboration with international partner – EAA – offered immense value to our non-governmental organisation, as it reflects a shared appreciation for the significance of quality education that addresses the mental health crises pervading the lives of children and youth worldwide, solidifying its status as one of the most urgent issues of our time.”

Under the supervision of Ukrainian and Polish teachers, the joint program with PEI uses EAA Foundation’s Internet Free Education Resource Bank (IFERB) and Ukrainian Education in Emergencies (EiE) resources to promote and encourage intercultural understanding and curricular integration.

These tailored resources deliver quality education to children without reliable internet access, are cost-free, open-source, technology-free, and play-based. The Ukrainian Education in Emergencies (EiE) resources are designed to help Ukrainian learners deal with distress, support integration with their host communities and ensure learning continuity.

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