New generators keep kindergarten children warm in winter
UNICEF is providing generators to educational facilities in Ukraine to ensure that children continue to have access to education
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Amid power outages and freezing winter temperatures, new generators are transforming life for children and teachers at a kindergarten in Borodianka, Ukraine.
"Without heating in winter, schools and kindergartens simply can't work,” says Oleksandr Tyshchenko, chief engineer of the Borodianka Heat Supply utility company. “If UNICEF hadn't provided us with generators, some educational facilities in Borodianka would have been closed, so children would have had to stay at home.”
Without a stable electricity supply, the kindergarten's boiler room would not be able to operate. However, its doors can now remain open, thanks to the generators supplied by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
“It provides us with the capability to continue studying”
After nearly a year of war, children at the kindergarten in Borodianka are getting used to sheltering in the basement.
"I remember getting ready for school when the war started,” says ten-year-old Margaryta. “I asked my mom what that meant, and she said that war means constant shelling.”
"When the air raid siren occurs, there are explosions or planes are flying around, a bomb can be dropped and it can cause damage. That's why we always go to the shelter.”
When they first enter the cold and damp basement, children must squint through the dim light and pull on their jackets to keep warm.
“Since the local school is closed, and older children have started remote schooling, younger school children come to us. We have 116 kids in the kindergarten and 65 children joined us from the school,” - says Viktoria, the head of the kindergarten.
"The fact that we have a generator-heated basement provides us with the capability to continue studying"
“War means constant shelling”
This winter, UNICEF and partners are working to expand programmes to save the lives of children and their families in Ukraine. In addition to basics such as clothing, boots, and blankets, the programme provides cash assistance to families in difficult circumstances. Schools and children's hospitals have also received generators and heating equipment as part of the initiative.
"Most of the children do not have generators at home, so they often spend evenings at home without electricity or heating,” says Viktoria. “And the kindergarten is the warmest and safest place for children now.”
UNICEF is grateful to USAID's Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance for its contribution and support to the people of Ukraine.