UNICEF provides educational materials and cognitive toys to preschool children in Moldova and their peers from Ukraine
The teaching and learning materials are part of UNICEF’s Early Childhood Education programme
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Chisinau, January 18, 2023- The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Chisinau Municipality today joined hands to equip 58 preschools in Chisinau with educational materials and cognitive toys from Lego and Duplo.
More than 13,000 children aged up to six years from Moldova and Ukraine will benefit from these materials in a favorable learning and playing environment.
"We stand by the Ukrainian refugee children who have found peace in Chisinau and undertake all the necessary efforts to integrate them into the education system. Together we can create a safe learning and playing environment for children, especially for those affected by the trauma of war. Today's event, organized with the support of the General Department of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport of the Chisinau Municipal Council and UNICEF Moldova is another eloquent example in this regard,” said Ion Ceban, the Mayor of Chisinau.
The teaching and learning materials are part of UNICEF’s Early Childhood Education programme and are designed to offer a wide range of activities like drawing, writing, storytelling, numeracy - helping children to learn critical skills and develop as they play.
It is designed to support the integration of Ukrainian children and to foster social cohesion among the host and refugee communities.
"By interacting and playing together, children forget about language barriers, becoming more sociable. Educational toys contribute to the development of imagination, creativity and problem-solving skills - essential abilities for a successful start in life,” says Raisa Boian, Director of Kindergarten no. 210 from Chisinau, which received some of the learning materials.
The role of preschool education and early childhood education is critical to learning and development. Kindergarten also provides a respite from the violence that children have left behind, particularly for the children from Ukraine.
In the past UNICEF purchased a batch of 600 educational kits to facilitate the integration of Ukrainian refugee children in Moldova’s preschool institutions, and in play and learning hubs within refugee accommodation centers. The Lego and Duplo boxes were offered by the Lego Foundation.
Currently, 856 of Ukrainian refugee children have been enrolled in Chisinau’s educational institutions, of which 545 were enrolled in primary and secondary education institutions, and 311 in preschool institutions.
"Research shows that the first few years of a child’s life are the most formative. It is through these activities that children build a close relationship with parents, teachers and their peers. This is how they learn to trust others, practice empathy, and embrace the world,” said Maha Damaj, UNICEF Representative. “This is even more critical for children from Ukraine who need support to learn how to understand and process what they have experienced."
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org
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