Our Response to the War in Ukraine
The war in Ukraine is taking a devastating toll on children, families, and communities. Since the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, the country has endured the unconscionable targeting and bombing of hundreds of schools, homes, and hospitals, the deaths of more than two thousand Ukrainians—including more than 170 children—and the displacement of millions, both within the country and beyond its borders. Those who remain live in fear that they will be the next casualties of the war, while they continue to work together to defend their homeland and people. The Teach For All network fervently hopes for an immediate end to this war. In the meantime, we are doing all we can to support Ukrainian children and families.
Within Ukraine, Teach For Ukraine continues to work tirelessly to ensure children can learn and thrive
Teach For Ukraine is currently focused on two main priorities:
- Continuing to support children’s mental health, both through supporting Teach For Ukraine teachers, and by working with mental health professionals to provide support to the Teach For Ukraine community and to all those in need in the cities where they operate. In collaboration with the NGO TolerSpace and other experts, Teach For Ukraine is designing an initiative to provide teachers with training and support to minimize the adverse effects of trauma on children's learning.
- Ensuring children continue to learn. In addition to continuing to teach students from Teach For Ukraine classrooms virtually and in-person, in partnership with the International Tutoring Academy, Teach For Ukraine is developing an online program for Ukrainian students—primarily children in regions where classes have not yet resumed and those who have been displaced within and outside of Ukraine—who do not have access to quality in-person classes in which they have regular contact with teachers.
Learn more and support Teach For Ukraine's continuing efforts.
Beyond Ukraine’s borders, network partners are working to support Ukrainian children
Teach For All network partners in neighboring European countries are working with Teach For Ukraine to provide support to the displaced Ukrainian children who have arrived in their countries:
- In Poland, which has received over 2 million displaced Ukrainians, Teach For Poland classrooms are welcoming Ukrainian students, and teachers are responding to the crisis in multiple ways, from fellows training teachers in their communities in education-in-emergencies and trauma-informed practices to translating teaching materials into Ukrainian to better support students. And Teach For Poland aims to build capacity inside and outside of their placement schools by developing additional Education in Emergencies teaching materials; implementing trainings for teachers and school leaders on preparing schools for multicultural classrooms and supporting students suffering trauma; expanding their existing recruitment of psychology graduates to support students’ emotional well-being; and leveraging their expertise to help displaced Ukrainians, including teachers, understand the Polish education system and, where appropriate, to find employment within education.
- In Romania, Teach For Romania fellows and staff members are currently working with several local relief organizations to provide support to children and their families who have fled the war in Ukraine. Their efforts are focused on communications and fundraising to address families’ immediate needs, medical and social assistance, and temporary accommodations. In addition, Teach For Romania is part of a national task force that is working to build an integrated intervention plan to address the education needs of displaced children and provide support for families that will be staying in Romania for an extended time.
- In Slovakia, the Teach For Slovakia community is also contributing to multiple relief efforts providing shelter, supplies, and support to displaced Ukrainians. Teach For Slovakia alumni working at the ministry of education coordinated an effort to develop guidelines and webinars for educators to encourage pairing students from Ukraine with local student “buddies,” while other alumni are creating classrooms for Ukrainian students in their schools and working to change local legislation to enable schools to accept more students arriving from Ukraine.
- In Bulgaria, Teach For Bulgaria is responding in multiple ways, including partnering to convert a children’s museum into a daycare center for Ukrainian students—a collaborative effort involving Teach For Bulgaria alumni and supporters, retired teachers, displaced Ukrainians, and other volunteers—and creating a manual for operating and working in daycares that will be shared openly with organizations interested in creating similar centers. Teach For Bulgaria is also curating and sharing useful resources for teachers on an open platform and adapting their Summer Institute school to welcome Ukrainian students.
- In Lithuania, the Renkuosi Mokyti! team are connecting displaced Ukrainians with teaching backgrounds to schools where Ukrainian students are being placed, in order to help displaced students and their families navigate the school system and continue to follow the Ukrainian curriculum with classes taught in Ukrainian.
In countries across Europe, members of the network are helping to find temporary housing for thousands of displaced Ukrainian families, and connecting doctors with sources of necessary medical supplies. In recent weeks, the CEOs of network partners in the region came together to discuss how they’re responding to the crisis and to exchange knowledge and ideas. Partner staff, teachers, and alumni have also collaborated to coordinate efforts including funding support, responding to the basic needs of displaced people, and strategy coordination around continuing education for students in Ukraine and those who have fled to nearby countries. And within Teach For All’s global organization, a Europe-based team is focused on providing ongoing support to Teach For Ukraine and network partners in neighboring countries, and to be responsive to the emerging needs of Ukrainian children throughout Europe.