UNDP and NGO Istok partner to equip inclusive facilities for children with special educational needs

December 18, 2023
Photo credit: Danylo Pavlov / UNDP Ukraine

Kyiv, 18 December 2023 – In a significant step towards educational inclusivity, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, partnering with the NGO "Istok" and with financial support from the Government of Japan, has successfully outfitted Inclusive Resource Centres (IRCs) in the Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts. These regions, heavily impacted by war, have seen seven of their communities – Dmytrivka, Hostomel, Velyka Dymerka, Boyarka, and Bucha in Kyiv Oblast, and two in the Kyinka community of Chernihiv Oblast – benefit from this initiative. The IRCs have received modern equipment worth over UAH 3 million ($82,000).

IRCs serve as critical support institutions for children aged 2 to 18 with special educational needs, including vocational students. These centres are instrumental in facilitating preschool and secondary education, fostering an inclusive environment where children have equal rights and opportunities.

Olena Ivanova, UNDP Project Manager for Rehabilitation and Inclusion, said education is the cornerstone of a nation's progress and prosperity. "Education shapes the minds that will build our future, fuel innovation, and drive positive societal change," she said. "In a country like ours, recovering and rebuilding in the face of adversity, ensuring that every child has access to education is both an obligation and a necessity. By integrating every child, especially those with special educational needs, we are upholding their fundamental rights and strengthening the fabric of our society."

Serhii Piddubnyi, Education Projects Manager at the NGO "Istok," expressed the project team's pride in assisting Inclusive Resource Centres affected by looting, vandalism, or destruction from the consequences of war. "The new, bright, high-quality, specialized equipment will serve as more tools to support children with disabilities and those on the challenging path of social integration," he said. "We have enhanced the efficiency and effectiveness of the centres and inclusive resource spaces in schools, aligning to ensure the 'happy childhood of little Ukrainians."

Olha Shamych, Head of the Dmytrivka Inclusive Resource Centre, said the equipment has contributed to a more conducive environment for children's development. "With the guidance of specialists, children can now enhance their attention and concentration, develop their motor skills, and improve their visual and auditory abilities," she said. "Additionally, with the new equipment, we are seeing significant progress in self-awareness and self-esteem. For us, IRC specialists, and parents, it is equally important that during classes, children continue to develop essential skills for everyday communication while learning social and moral norms and rules of behaviour in public places."

The equipment provided includes multimedia, correctional, interactive, and rehabilitation equipment, as well as laptops, projectors, furniture, and various rehabilitation, correctional, and educational aids. This initiative aims to create an enriched learning environment and promote the development of inclusive education in war-affected communities.


The equipment was handed over as part of the project "Restoring the capacity of communities of Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts to provide access to psychological and social support, rehabilitation, and accessibility for children with disabilities who suffered the consequences of the war." This project was implemented by the NGO "Istok" with the support of UNDP within the "Promotion of human security in Ukraine through responding to the multidimensional crisis caused by the war" funded by the Government of Japan.

Media enquiries:

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