We’re expanding our bilingual preschool to hire Ukrainian refugee teachers who will care for Ukrainian refugee children
What We’re Doing
Stage 1, March through late 2022
We’re working over-time to achieve the following by late March:
- Full-time hire of 2 Ukrainian teachers
- Full-time hire of 2 Ukrainian assistants
- Accepting 16 Ukrainian kids, 12 in a new class and 4 in an existing class
- Securing funding
- Hiring one more teacher, one more assistant, enrolling 10 more kids
- Adapting to new context as it arises, continued integration and enablement of Ukrainians
The Plan and the Status
The entirity of the funding we collect will go towards:
- Salaries of the new hires
- Increased food and operational costs of caring for the new kids
- Tech support and maintenance costs directly associated to the increased capacity
Each dollar or euro we collect will be amplified by:
- Increased government funding that we may be eligible for later on once the authorities see we have grown the operation
- Volunteer time of the local community in Presov, Slovakia, where people have been looking for ways to help the refugees
We’re a lean NGO. We break even thanks to our donors and public grants. Our director volunteers her time.
In February 2022, the preschool reached 21 kids. That is the full capacity for the current staff of four.
The preschool is in a spacious historical building that has been newly renovated and tailored for the needs of tiny kids, We meet the high standards of European Union grant requirements. We have vacant physical space and amenities, and we can use it once we secure the funding.
Organic events and our involvement in the Ukrainian population of Ruthenians have made it so that we are already in touch with two Ukrainian teachers who want the work.
Our team members and many of our friends in town have recently started hosting Ukrainian refugees for an undetermined amount of time. Most of the refugees have kids with them.
Through education and events, we have already been invested, known and active in reinforcing cultural ties between Ukraine and Slovakia. For example, our founder, Luba Kralova, with her master’s from Kyiv, organizes cultural events in collaboration with Ukrainians, and publishes children’s books in cyrilics.
Local authorities have been notified of our effort to provide jobs and education to the Ukrainians, and we have the necessary approval for expanding the capacity.
We’ve been getting contacted by the Ukrainians who are settling in town. One Ukrainian teacher is already waiting for us to confirm she’s hired, several Ukrainian families expressed the need to place their little ones even though we’re not promoting this yet.
Major Slovak media outlets have published about us before. With their help and word of mouth in the community of Ukrainians, we expect to fill the capacity within a handful of days.
We will operate at the expendad capacity for as long as needed. Ukrainians are close to our hearts. We’re building an environment where the refugees find security in knowing that their stay can be sustained for as long as they wish or need.
We expect the refugees to need to stay a while.
We recognize the Ukrainian herosim, and we are deeply grateful for Ukraine standing up to the aggressive dicatorship in the name of Europe. We also recognize the unity in international support of Ukraine and are deeply touched by it. But we also are in Slovakia, a country that has been bombed and occupied by Russian military between 1944 and 1990, and with powerful Russian propaganda still deplorably active in our country now in 2022. Based on the first-hand knowledge of persistent Russian aggression, we anticipate that it will take a while for some of the Ukrainian families who are now in Presov, Slovakia to be able to return to their beloved home.
Presov is only about 120km / 60 miles by car from the border with Ukraine. Many of the refugees stream through on their way further west, others stay.
Why Make This Preschool into an Opportunity for Ukrainian Refugees?
This preschool is the perfect new home for Ukrainian refugees in our town.
Our NGO, Kolysocka-Kolyska, has established it as the first Ruthenian preschool in Slovakia. Ruthenians are a nation spread across Ukraine, Slovakia and more rest of the region affected by the war and refugee crisis as of March 2022. Ruthenian is a language closely related to Ukraininan, and it is the first language for many Ukrainians, including our potential new Ukrainian teacher.
There is also a shared history of Ruthenian families relocating between Slovakia and Ukraine. The unfortunate circumstances are now forcing educated Ukrainian women and young Ukrainian kids move to Slovakia with urgency. But Slovakia and Presov have been a common destination for Ukrainian immigrants for a while now. With the preschool, we have the ability and the facility to make them feel at home.
Email us if you want to talk to us and support the cause.