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EAA Develops Emergency Response Programme for Ukraine's Children Displaced by Conflict

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The learning materials offer students psycho-social support through different play-based modules on subjects spanning numeracy, literacy, and science, as well as practical life skills to help them in times of upheaval and change.

In order to support the more than 1.5 million children from Ukraine who have recently been forced to become refugees, EAA has made its Emergency Education Programme available in Ukrainian and Russian. The programme’s modules have been developed as part of the global educational foundation’s award-winning Internet Free Education Resource Bank (IFERB) for marginalized children in emergencies.

“We need to support Ukrainian children manage these tumultuous times of conflict and uncertainty. We are specifically making our Education in Emergency toolkit for Ukrainian children in languages that they are fluent in to better help them manage their emotions, generate hope, and practice maths and English through games and play. Through this, we hope to keep children productively engaged and do what we can to distract them from the continuous stress of the ongoing conflict,” explained Janhvi Kanoria, EAA Programme Director and Education in Emergency Team Lead.

The materials integrate psycho-social learning with practical skills and traditional subjects in order to support students experiencing the trauma of conflict and displacement.  They consist of simple and intuitive play-based projects and activities that do not require technology or many resources and can be completed with minimal adult supervision.  Picture-book bedtime stories are also being created for parents to read to children to help them start conversations about dealing with feelings like grief and dislocation.

In addition, EAA is also in the process of creating new materials for refugee and host country children that will teach cultural awareness and promote friendships through collaborative activities.

“As part of our commitment to socio-emotional learning, we are developing lessons that will support children as they adapt to a new environment. We believe that the best way to do so is to promote integration through intercultural understanding, and empathy through learning. Our modules engage refugee and host country children in learning activities around food, language, history, and geography,” added Ms Kanoria.

EAA’s Emergency Response Toolkit is a low-cost, scalable educational resource. Like all IFERB content, it is open-sourced and free to access and can be used by anyone, including families, grassroots and non-governmental organisations. Once a module is printed out, it can be used repeatedly offline. Similar modules in Pashto and Dari for Afghan refugees were downloaded 1,570 times last year, far exceeding expectations, showing that there is a gap for such low-tech and accessible resources for vulnerable children who are suddenly displaced by conflict.

Already available in 15 languages, when the violence escalated in Ukraine, EAA’s in-house team quickly worked to get these materials ready for Ukraine’s children. Much of the material was translated with the help of a team of Ukrainian and Russian speaking volunteers based in Qatar and Canada, several of whom were themselves affected by the impact of the Ukraine crisis. The Internet Free Education Resource Bank is currently available in 15 languages including English, Arabic, French, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Assamese, Punjabi, Tamil, Urdu, Swahili, Pashto, Dari, Ukrainian and Russian.