Children playing in Ukraine

New app to bring education into the hands of displaced Ukrainian children

Our partner War Child Holland is teaming up with Ukraine’s government and non-profit Osvitoria to create a Ukrainian version of Can’t Wait to Learn, a best-in-class education app for emergency contexts.

Since the war in Ukraine began on 24 February more than 7 million children have had their lives – including their education – irreversibly disrupted. Displaced from their schools, homes and, in many cases, their country, children are experiencing unthinkable compounded learning loss; first from the COVID-19 pandemic and now from war. 

Last May, in preparation for the start of the new academic year, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (MESU) and the largest education non-profit in Ukraine, Osvitoria, approached War Child Holland to find a solution to reach and teach mathematics and reading to some of their youngest learners - children in grades 1-4. 

“Since the full-fledged war began, 2,248 educational institutions have been damaged and 287 destroyed,” said Andrii Vitrenko, First Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine. “With millions of children displaced both within Ukraine and beyond, we needed an accessible, successful, measurable EdTech solution we could put into the hands of our teachers and caregivers no matter where they are.”

“Today, the educational landscape is unpredictable for Ukraine,” substantiates Zoya Lytvyn, Head of NGO Osvitoria, the education non-profit that supports the All-Ukrainian Schools Online program, initiated during the pandemic. “That’s why it’s all the more important that we offer an educational experience Ukrainian children, teachers and parents can count on.”

War Child Holland took on this challenge and began the process of rapidly adapting its already proven Education-in-Emergencies programme, Can’t Wait to Learn, to meet these new demands for greater scale. This required a re-programming of the app to make it available – for the first time – on personal IOS and Android devices, along with its standard practice of co-creation and curriculum alignment with the government. Each version of the app is also uniquely designed with local children, educators and artists to reflect the culture, language and look of the country to make the learning experience for children feel familiar as well as fun.

“The result – Can’t Wait to Learn: Ukraine – quite simply, changes the game for emergency education,” said War Child Holland CEO Ramin Shahzamani. “The constraints that conflict places on teaching and learning are many and varied, but this new ability to expand Can’t Wait to Learn’s reach will not only open doors in Ukraine, it will create whole new dimensions through which we can provide children with their fundamental right to learn.”

Can’t Wait to Learn: Ukraine launches today in the Google Play and App Store. Inside Ukraine, teachers in classrooms and informal educational settings will be supported in the use and administration of the app. Teachers and caregivers anywhere using Can’t Wait to Learn: Ukraine can visit for additional information and guidance. 

Photo of the Can't Wait To Learn app on a phone

Can’t Wait To Learn

Can’t Wait To Learn is a best-in-class digital learning application for education in emergencies created by War Child Holland. It is an integral education component of War Child Holland’s System of Care for children in crisis that combines psychosocial support, child protection and education to help children regain trust in themselves and others. Launched in 2012,  it has been used in Chad, Jordan, Lebanon, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Ukraine. More than 59,000 children have received education through Can’t Wait to Learn.
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