UNDP and Japan enhancing safety of 4,000 children in war-affected communities

February 29, 2024
Photo: Danylo Pavlov / UNDP in Ukraine

Kyiv, 29 February 2024 – Recognizing the critical need to support vulnerable communities, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine and the Charitable Foundation “savED”, with financial support from the Government of Japan, has provided $39,000 worth of equipment for shelters and safety classrooms at educational institutions in Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts. 

Almost 4,000 children in war-affected communities will not only be able to improve their knowledge of key safety principles, but also be better physically protected, and benefit from an uninterrupted learning process.

The support package includes visual aid sets for interactive learning in safety classes, which allow for situations to be modelled for learning basic safety principles – including fire safety, explosive ordnance recognition, traffic rules, and basic first aid provision.

Additionally, 300 children underwent training sessions on fire safety, basic first aid provision, and Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) conducted by “savED” to raise their awareness about safe behaviour, which is highly important during wartime. 

UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine Jaco Cilliers noted that during the war children constitute one of the most vulnerable groups, as they are at a greater risk of danger due to their age-related curiosity about unfamiliar objects. 

“The creation of such classrooms will help shape a responsible attitude among children to safety and preparedness, so they act appropriately in the event of an emergency,” Cilliers said. “Equipping the shelters plays a pivotal role in ensuring not only physical protection, but also a favourable educational environment for an uninterrupted learning process during the war. By prioritizing the well-being and education of the younger generation, UNDP is investing in the future resilience and sustainability of war-torn communities, where each child deserves a safe space to learn and grow.”

In Chernihiv Oblast, shelters were equipped in the Staryi Bilous and Novyi Bilous lyceums, Honchrivske Lyceum named after ATO Hero Dmytro Stepanchenko, Horodnia Lyceum No. 2, and the Semenivske Centre for Children’s and Youth Creativity.

In Kyiv Oblast, safety classrooms were equipped in the Makariv, Chervona Sloboda, Kolonshchyna, Pashkivka, and Kopyliv lyceums.

Head of Makariv community Vadym Tokar underscored the importance of the measures to inform children of the dangers of explosive ordnance that remain around them.

“People are still recovering from those terrible events (of the Russianinvasion), and we can only guess how much explosive ordnance could have been left in the fields, in the forests, on the roadsides, and in abandoned houses,” Tokar said.

“Of course, today we know that there is such a danger. But besides the very understanding of this fact, it is also important to know how to recognize explosive ordnance, and what to do when you see it. Today, such knowledge is already a necessity. Both children and adults need to be reminded of the danger it poses.”

Project Manager in Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts, for “savED” charity Vladyslav Sobora said that equipping safety classrooms and shelters in schools was a first step to creating an environment where everyone has the opportunity to develop and learn without fear. 

“This concerns not only preventing potential dangers, but also about recognizing our responsibility to the future generation. By ensuring safety in schools, we strengthen the foundations of civil society and form a positive culture of protection. Every child has the right to education without fear and hindrances.” 

The creation of safety classrooms is provided for under an order of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine as an effective way to raise children's awareness about potential threats. Equipping such classrooms with visual materials and using interactive teaching methods enables children to be taught to recognize dangerous situations and to act accordingly. The shelters, in turn, are designed to protect children during air raids and missile attacks, and to ensure the continuity of the educational process. 


The shelters and safety classrooms were equipped as part of the “Improvement of Educational Service Delivery in War-Affected Communities” project, which itself is being implemented by the International Charitable Foundation “saved,” with UNDP’s support, under the “Promotion of Human Security in Ukraine through Responding to the Multidimensional Crisis Сaused by the War” project, which is funded by the Government of Japan. 

Media enquiries:

Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail: yuliia.samus@undp.org

UNDP and Japan enhancing safety of 4,000 children in war-affected communities