Across the years, many GAP International members will remember working with various wonderful teachers in Ukraine. In these unthinkable times, where Ukrainian citizens are experiencing untold horrors due to Putin’s war, many of you may want to know more about how you can help to support their practical and psychological needs. Read on to find out more.
Between 2010 and 2015 Global Action Plan International’s partnership project with Teachers for Democracy and Partnership (TDP) trained over 5000 teachers in 1500 schools in Ukraine. The project, called ‘Ukraine, Lessons for Sustainable Development’ engaged 200K+ pupils in a programme of integrated environmental education and provided 100K textbooks to schools across the country. The GAP International ESD project, also worked with 60 teachers from 30 schools in Ukraine, representing 1000+ young people, who are all currently safe as they are in regions that have not been occupied by Putin’s forces.
Under immensely challenging situations in Ukraine at present, these committed teachers, school leaders and their pupils desperately need support to continue their great work. Through the trauma and terror, these are dedicated teachers who are, despite all odds, determined to continue to educate and support their students. It’s impossible to imagine the challenges they face and the circumstances in which they find themselves, but they know how much their students need them and they are committed to finding a way to make it happen.
“Today was amazing day, I conduct the class during air alarm… I was greatly amazed to see 21 from 30 students. 5 of them were in shelters, other are in the villages or abroad. I have amazing students! They want to communicate, they opened their cams, they were active.” – a Chemistry teacher in Ukraine, April 2022.
GAP International Ukrainian associates Galina Gupan and Olena Pometun – who led the ESD project – are now leading efforts to directly support the cohort of 60 teachers from 30 schools that remain open and work with them to co-create an integrated package of support for those teachers and their pupils that have been displaced.
This critical education support that is desperately needed for teachers includes:
- Facilitated support: ESD guidance and pedagogical support provided and/or coordinated by Galina and Olena and other relevant facilitators.
- Saturday schools: for displaced young people, many of whom will be enrolled in schools in a different country, a series of Saturday schools, delivered in the Ukrainian language on important topics such as: critical thinking, open communication, integration into a new community, diversity as a resource, and other topics and content developed to respond to teachers’ needs.
- Drop-in support sessions: formal and informal sessions to enable teachers and (importantly) young people to connect, share experiences, ask questions, and benefit from the support of and connection with their peers and fellow Ukrainians.
- Trauma support: given the terrible circumstances there is an immediate need for trauma support for teachers, both for themselves but also to enable them to support their pupils. A second step would be to offer, through the teachers, access to similar, professionally facilitated online group support for pupils, both those in Ukraine and those who have fled.
- Website and learning resources: development of a dedicated space on the Transform Our World website as a central place for Ukrainian teachers and their pupils to come to, collaborate and access a range of educational resources.
How you can help:
Contribute to production of materials for teacher and pupils €15+
Fund internet access and software licences for one teacher €10
Fund a Saturday school lesson for up to 20 pupils €40
Fund professional support for up to 10 teachers for one month €450
Provide trauma support for up to 10 teachers for a month €480
Purchase of a laptop or tablet for a teacher that does not have one €500