New laptop is lifeline for Ukrainian first-grader
After fleeing his home with few belongings, Illia has received a new laptop from UNICEF and partners, which means he can study and communicate with friends online
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When the full-scale war broke out in Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the Derevyanko family’s world changed forever. Along with their parents, Nazar and Illia would spend their nights in the basement, sheltering from the explosions above.
“Why isn’t it a dream?” Illia would cry. “When is it going to end? I am exhausted.”
Terrified, the family fled to Dnipro. There, the boys enrolled in online school, but little Illia had a hard time adjusting to first grade. He did not fully understand why it was necessary to look at the screen and turn on the camera. He had also yet to learn to read or hold a pen properly.
Technology was another issue – for first-graders especially, high-quality teaching techniques are crucial, since it can be difficult to convey information through a phone screen. But when the Derevyanko family fled home, there was little possibility of bringing a computer or laptop with them.
Now, thanks to the Polohiv City Council and the 'Child and Youth Friendly Community' project implemented by the Association of Ukrainian Cities in cooperation with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Ukraine, Illia has received a tablet for online learning.
Suddenly, lessons have become informative and interesting – Illia can even study during a power outage, as the laptop holds its charge all day. With it, he reads works of contemporary Ukrainian authors, listens to English audiobooks, draws, exercises, and can research everything on the internet.
Although his tablet is no substitute for live communication with his teacher and peers, Illia can now continue to learn and develop, even amid war.
Flexible funding enables UNICEF to continue providing life-saving supplies and address immediate needs of children and families in Ukraine. The Governments of Denmark, Iceland, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Serbia are among UNICEF's partners that have contributed to flexible funding, alongside the UNICEF family of National Committees.