The Charity Program “Unbreakable Education”, launched by the Educational Initiatives Foundation with the assistance of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and support from development partners, aims to help provide access to distance education and improve the material and technical equipment of educational institutions.
According to the Ministry of Education and Science, as of November 2023, 327,881 digital devices for children and 68,073 devices for teachers from socially vulnerable groups are currently needed to ensure access to distance learning. At the same time, the critical need for devices is 96,449 and 29,012 devices, respectively, for participants in the educational process from ten regions of Ukraine, where most schools operate in a mixed or online format. Therefore, further strengthening the material and technical base of educational institutions working remotely is one of the priorities of the Ministry of Education and Science and development partners.
First results of the project
In September-November 2023, as part of the Unbreakable Education Program, 480 PCs were received from the Scottish partner Reusing IT and sent to 22 educational institutions in 17 regions of Ukraine.The interactive public dashboard https://shorturl.at/givE1
In addition, in order to further fruitful cooperation to ensure the digitalisation of education in Ukraine, representatives of the Educational Initiatives Foundation and Hearts for Ukraine made a working visit to Scotland at the invitation of Reusing IT.
During the visit, many productive meetings were held with sponsors and partners of Reusing IT to take further steps to strengthen the material and technical base of Ukrainian educational institutions.
In particular, at a meeting with representatives of the global leader in the purchase, refurbishment and sale of equipment for corporate IT systems, we discussed the mechanics of cooperation with IT companies to buy back used equipment and implement charitable initiatives for further cooperation with partners in the United States.
With the logistics partner Reusing IT, we discussed organisational issues related to the next delivery of humanitarian aid to Ukraine in the amount of 2,000 computers for educational needs, which is expected in March 2024.
With representatives of Reusing IT, the largest donor, we discussed key issues such as the importance of building sustainable partnerships between businesses and charities, the mechanics of transferring devices for educational needs, and the company’s cooperation with Reusing IT.
During the meeting with the Reusing IT partners, the project team also discussed the possibility of supplying used work computers for reuse instead of recycling and disposal, in particular, Apple equipment, by involving representatives of Ukraine in negotiations with technology companies.
An important meeting was held between the project team and colleagues from the University of St Andrews, which is one of the main donors of equipment for Reusing IT (and later for Ukraine). As a result of the meeting, colleagues from the university plan to involve other Scottish higher education institutions in the program to collect and transfer used equipment to be donated to Ukrainian educational institutions.
What educational needs are already met with computer equipment.
As of November 2023, according to the Ministry of Education and Science, 135,805 units of computer equipment were donated as humanitarian aid for the needs of education, including:
• 96,011 units for the needs of teaching staff;
• 38,441 units for the needs of students;
• to improve the material and technical support of educational institutions, including computer science classrooms – 1,353 units.
All information about the equipment received, including the level of the educational institution, types of users, and partners who provided the transfer, can be tracked through an interactive public dashboard created and presented by the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Digital Transformation in July this year.
Next steps and new opportunities
The implementation of the Unbreakable Education Program continues and mobilises even more development partners.
In particular, together with the American foundation “Hearts for Ukraine”, we plan to expand the programme in the United States to collect devices from American Silicon Valley companies, similar to the mechanics of Reusing IT in Scotland.
“Socially responsible companies in Ukraine also have the opportunity to take part in the project,” says Nadiia Omelchenko, Project Founder, Advisor to the Directorate of Digital Transformation at the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.
The equipment that is transferred to the Educational Initiatives Foundation to meet the needs of Ukrainian educational institutions under the Unbreakable Education Project must meet three parameter:
• no critical damage or scratches on the monitor;
• have a memory capacity of at least 3 GB;
• network and Wi-Fi equipment in any condition.
To donate such equipment and participate in the Unbreakable Education Project, you can contact the all-Ukrainian toll-free hotline at 0 800 351 018.
Children are our future. Ensuring their education today should be a priority for every socially responsible enterprise in Ukraine.