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    ISSA Connects for Ukraine: Online Event

    09.04.2022

    This online event will be hosted in Ukrainian and English

    Register for this online event!

    The war in Ukraine has internally displaced millions of families and young children — some of whom have been unaccompanied. These children have been through unimaginable stress and anxiety, and are still enduring very traumatic experiences.

    Over two sessions in this ISSA Connects for Ukraine online event, ISSA is bringing together its Member organizations in Ukraine and in neighboring countries to share their insights into the most pressing needs for young children, their families, and early childhood professionals. They will discuss the existing and possible solutions for meeting these diverse needs in the short and medium-term.

    This crisis has raised crucial questions, including:

    • How ready are early childhood systems to provide an attuned response to the detrimental consequences of having experienced war as a young child or as a parent or caregiver?
    • What type of support do young children, families and early childhood professionals need most now and in the next few months?
    • What are some responsive solutions which can be provided at local and national level to address the multi-faceted challenges and trauma experienced by young children and their families in Ukraine and in the countries they have fled to?

    Session I: 13.00-14.30  Supporting children and families affected by the war; supporting early childhood professionals in Ukraine and in countries receiving refugees

    During the first session, we will address the following questions:

    1. What are the most pressing needs and ways of supporting young children and parents in Ukraine, and those who have been forced to flee Ukraine? 
    2. What are the main priorities for equipping the early childhood workforce to work with children, parents and caregivers who have been affected by the war or forced to flee Ukraine? 

    Panelists:

    • Solomiya Boikovych, State expert, Ministry of Education and Science, Co-founder of the network of kindergartens “Birdy Children’s Place”, Ukraine
    • Inna Gorbenko – Psychologist, Step by Step trainer and co-founder of the Kindergarten “Happy Kids”, Ukraine
    • Didi Ananda Devapriya – Director, Amurtel, Romania
    • Carmen Lica – Director, Step by Step Center for Education and Professional Development, Romania
    • Teresa Ogrodzinska – Director, Comenius Foundation, Poland

    Moderator:  Mihaela Ionescu – Program Director, ISSA

    Session II: 15.00-16.30 

    Local, responsive and agile solutions to meet the needs of children and their families in Ukraine, and in the countries receiving refugees.

    During the second session, we will address the following questions:

    1. How ready are local municipalities to address the multiple challenges faced by refugee families with young children? 
    2. What types of early childhood services are needed to ensure a safe and gradual integration of young children and families in a foreign environment, and what services can we put in place to be ready to welcome refugee children and their families? What are the main challenges in ensuring they are able to access quality early childhood services?
    3. How do we bridge the Ukrainian early childhood expertise with the expertise in receiving countries in order to sustain workforce capacity and overcome challenges? 

    Panelists: 

    • Oksana Savytska – State expert, Ministry of Education and Science, Ukraine
    • Carmen Lica – Director, Step by Step Center for Education and Professional Development, Romania
    • Teresa Ogrodzinska – Director, Comenius Foundation, Poland
    • Natalia Sofiy – Deputy Director, Institute of Education Development, Ukraine

    Moderator:  Mihaela Ionescu – Program Director, ISSA

    Register here!

    Unprecedented humanitarian support has been mobilized by many agencies and organizations to cater to the immediate needs of these children and families, both in Ukraine and in neighboring countries. This aid has come in the form of safe and secure spaces, shelter, food, and medical assistance — all of which are vital.

    However, children also require attentive care from those around them, as well as time and safe spaces to play, explore, learn, heal, express their feelings, and make meaning of the world around them. Their parents and caregivers also need to be cared for, supported and listened to, and empowered to confidently continue their caregiving role in these exceptionally difficult circumstances. Families and young children need competent early childhood professionals around them who understand and are well equipped to deal with the ramifications of very traumatic experiences, and are able to provide professional support in a responsible and timely manner.

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