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“Fairy Tale” Kindergarten Opens Near Hostomel, Providing Childhood Amidst War Conditions

“Fairy Tale” Kindergarten Opens Near Hostomel, Providing Childhood Amidst War Conditions

Anica Djamic, Croatian Ambassador to Ukraine, along with representatives from Caritas-Spes Ukraine, visited “Fairy Tale” Kindergarten in Hostomel, which resumed operations in early February after extensive reconstruction. The institution was renovated and outfitted through the contributions of various charitable foundations, local funds, and support from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia via Caritas-Spes Ukraine, which furnished the kindergarten's dining facilities. A total of UAH 154,706 was allocated for purchasing dishes, household equipment, and appliances for the canteen. During the visit, Anica Djamic commended the efforts, stating, "You are doing a remarkable job. We are pleased to have contributed to ensure that you have the necessary resources for your daily operations. The Republic of Croatia stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and we are committed to offering ongoing support to those affected by the ongoing war."

In Horenka, as well as in Hostomel itself, approximately 70% of the houses were destroyed in March 2022. Among the casualties were several kindergartens, including "Fairy Tale," which sustained damage but fortunately did not suffer fire damage. The building's roof was shattered, the heating system destroyed, and windows smashed. Through the collaborative efforts of local authorities and philanthropists, the kindergarten underwent restoration and is now fully operational. It currently accommodates four groups, with a total capacity for up to 80 children.

Olena Chorna, head of the education department at the Hostomel village council, noted, "The children attending “Fairy Tale” are primarily from local families whose homes were ravaged by the war. Many of these families reside in a nearby modular village, with only a handful hailing from eastern regions. Currently, we have a waiting list of 485 children hoping to enroll in kindergarten. In response to this demand, we are set to open another facility, “Rainbow”, in September, catering to 250 children. However, this expansion won't suffice to meet the growing need. We are now confronted with the challenge of constructing an additional kindergarten capable of accommodating 300 children, though this will be a lengthy endeavor."

For Yuliia Komarenko, the director of “Fairy Tale” preschool in the village of Horenka, the war's impact began in 2014, resulting in the loss of her home, job, and normalcy as the war escalated. Until 2022, she served as a methodologist in a military camp. Following the de-occupation of the Kyiv region, she took charge of a kindergarten in need of rebuilding.

"We worked with the Department of Education to restore the institution, voicing our needs and seeking benefactors. This led us to Caritas-Spes Ukraine. Now, we have a fully reconstructed and equipped kindergarten accommodating four groups, equipped with solar panels and a modular shelter. Ensuring the safety of our children is paramount. Kindergartens must be secure with autonomous power systems. With Russia as our neighbor, we must prepare for a prolonged struggle for independence," explained Yuliia Komarenko.

The teachers at the institution undergo training in "democratic kindergarten" principles. They study in the evenings and implement their newfound knowledge in the mornings. Ms. Komarenko concluded the meeting by expressing her wish for unity among all Ukrainians, emphasizing that unity enables everyone to overcome any adversary.

27 February 2024
Система Orphus
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