UNICEF together with IT Association in Ukraine will teach children Mine Safety with virtual reality
IT Ukraine Association and UNICEF have signed a memorandum of understanding to foster cooperation on protection of the rights of and educating children and youth. The first outcome of the joint work will be the development of an interactive virtual reality product to increase knowledge and change behavior among children in eastern Ukraine on ERW and UXO.
UNICEF, together with mine action partners, will provide technical expertise, guidance and global expertise on raising children’s knowledge and how to behave with ERW and UXO in the conflict-affected zones, as well as phycological support. This will form the basis for an interactive virtual reality product that will also enable the measuring of knowledge and o identify behavior change before and after its use. In autumn, UNICEF will launch innovative learning sessions featuring the virtualreality component focusing on children living in eastern Ukraine, as well as in other localities where stockpile ammunition depots are located.
“After six years of conflict in eastern Ukraine, children need more profound approach on mine safety. Learning through entertainment proved itself as a useful tool that helps children and adolescents to gain new experience, to get to know an important information and develop lifesaving skills,” said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine, “This is the first time globally that UNICEF has developed a virtual reality product for EORE. And this is a big step towards changing behavioral patterns and practice. We believe that cooperation with the IT industry and Ukraine's experience will contribute for educating children in humanitarian emergencies in conflict-affected countries.”
Kostiantyn Vasiuk, Executive Director of IT Ukraine Association, stressed: “The virtual reality product we are currently developing in partnership with WeAR Studio and UNICEF will clearly demonstrate to children the dangers of mishandling explosives. We are grateful for the trust and the opportunity to apply the knowledge of Ukrainian IT specialists, as this cooperation will be a unique case of IT technology helping save the lives of children and youth in areas of armed conflict in Ukraine, and perhaps globally.
More than 430,000 children are still living in areas close to the ‘contact line’ in eastern Ukraine, on both sides. According to UNICEF, only 57 per cent of the children under 12 surveyed in the conflict area know how to identify dangerous objects. And one in three of the child casualties has been caused by mines and explosive remnants of war.
About IT Ukraine Association
IT Ukraine Association is the largest pool of service and product IT companies in Ukraine that jointly provide 50 percent of all export revenue of the IT industry in Ukraine and unite 27 percent of Ukrainian IT professionals. The Association has been operating in the market for over 15 years. Our mission is to provide favourable conditions for the development of the IT industry in Ukraine and abroad. For more information, visit IT Ukraine Association
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.