Education Energy for children in Kyiv

By Global Fund for Children | June 7, 2023 | Europe & Eurasia | Education

This blog was written in collaboration with Lyceum Educator.

When GFC partner Lyceum Educator saw how war-related electrical shutdowns in Kyiv were affecting children’s ability to study, the organization created a free learning space with reliable power and internet connectivity.

The current realities of life in Ukraine require rapid adaptation and flexibility in transforming the educational process. Constant danger, air raid alarms, and lack of electrical power have made it extremely difficult for children to continue their education. Without electricity at home, children were studying in coffee shops, stores, and even gas stations. While these locations have electricity, they are not comfortable or conducive to studying.

Seeing the need for a space where students could study, communicate with peers, and receive support from adults, community-based partner Lyceum Educator created the Education Energy co-learning space in Kyiv in early January 2023, with support from GFC.

Education Energy is a free space for learning, where there is access to the internet and a generator to provide electricity. Here, children and youth can seamlessly join their online classes or do homework in a comfortable environment under the guidance of a tutor. Teachers also come to Education Energy to conduct their online lessons.

“Education is an inalienable right of every child,” said Vladyslava Bandurko, Head of Lyceum Educator.

“This winter, almost from the first days of the energy shutdowns, we decided to install a generator and open a space for children to study, so that even when they have no light every day from 10 to 8 hours, they could come to this space and continue their education in comfort. The co-learning site works in such a way that children who need access to the internet are able to come to the appropriate classrooms and work in peace.”

The Education Energy co-learning space in Kyiv. © Lyceum Educator

Yehor, a Project Assistant with Lyceum Educator, explained how Education Energy came to be. “Because of the war, a large portion of Ukrainian schoolchildren study online,” he said. “Studying without electricity is almost impossible, primarily due to the lack of internet. After analyzing the situation, my friend Pavel and I realized that the electricity on the left bank of Kyiv was turned off more often. So, thanks to the availability of good conditions and a generator, we decided to create a community learning site.

“For this, it was necessary to equip the premises and spread advertising. We managed to do this very well, as on the first day more than 10 new children came to us. The project was covered on television several times. This is how we helped schoolchildren to get an education in comfortable and safe conditions for them, even in such a difficult period.”

Many children and youth now in Kyiv fled to the city from less secure parts of Ukraine, and some struggle with their schoolwork. Almost half of the students at Education Energy are internally displaced.

“I think it saved some students’ studies; most of them were displaced persons,” said Pavlo, a volunteer with Education Energy. “We gave them the opportunity to learn in co-learning every day by attending online lessons.”

Pavlo also explained how Education Energy operates. “Co-learning works in two shifts – morning and evening. The children had to register using the online link; then we called them and reserved a spot. So they could stay there for a certain period of time. They also had a tutor to help them.”

This initiative greatly helped students during a difficult period.

“When they first started turning off the lights, it had quite a strong impact on my study, productivity, and knowledge,” Anna, a sixth-grade student, said.

“My parents were very nervous about my education as well, but when this project started, I was able to come to school normally and study without any problems.

That is, the other students and I were in a rather pleasant and comfortable atmosphere, we did not disturb each other, and everything was as usual, even when there was no electricity in the area for 10 to 12 hours every day.”

Education Energy turned out to be especially valuable toward the end of the academic term.

Children utilizing the Education Energy co-learning space in Kyiv. © Lyceum Educator

“Often the lights were turned off for almost 10 hours, or even for several days,” explained Ilya, an eighth-grader. “I was very worried about how to write test papers, especially semester papers. So, thanks to the co-learning site, I was able to finish the semester well, I didn’t have any incomplete assignments. After all, thanks to the light and the internet from the generator, I could do everything on time.”

While the power outages have recently eased, students continue to come to Education Energy to access online classes and complete their homework. The co-learning site also offers extracurricular activities for students in the afternoon. Volunteer organizations have provided art therapy, run a master class on 3D printing, and held classes on professional orientation and other soft skills. There are also groups centered around playing the guitar, creating start-ups, and more.

Thanks to the support of GFC, Lyceum Educator has successfully managed to preserve education for children in Kyiv during a particularly challenging time for Ukraine.


Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February 2022, GFC has approved more than $2.9 million in emergency grants to 74 community-based partners in Ukraine and neighboring countries that are helping children and families under attack and refugees who have fled the country. Through GFC’s Ukraine Emergency Response Fund, Lyceum Educator has received grant support for its work with children and youth affected by the conflict, including the Education Energy co-learning space.

Header Photo: The Education Energy co-learning space in Kyiv. © Lyceum Educator

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