Along with millions of civilians, adult education in Ukraine is under attack. Adult educators are resisting Russian aggression by continuing to work.
One year after the large-scale assault on Ukraine, Russia continues its deadly attacks unabated. The German director of the DVV International regional office in Kyjiv had to move to Chișinău, but the local staff of the office continues to work in the Ukrainian capital. The partners of DVV International have remained in the country. They continue to educate adults and young people, even in bomb shelters.
DVV International cooperates with the Ukrainian Adult Education Association, with the NGO “Free Zone”, which offers education in prisons, and with seven Adult education centres. These centres are all open. They implement the agreed programs and expand them with offers that help participants who live with the constant fear of the next attack to hold out in cities with destroyed infrastructure.
The city of Sumy in northeastern Ukraine defended itself for six weeks after the start of the large-scale Russian attack, until the attackers were finally pushed out of the region. However, the area immediately bordering Russia remains under attack. The Sumy city government provides learning spaces in the local bomb shelter. The adult education centre has resumed its usual program, in addition to the survival assistance it gives to people.
DVV International’s partners in the southeast of Ukraine are also continuing their work. Some of them had to switch to online teaching. Adult education centres, for instance the ones in Mykolajiw and Nikopol, are providing psychological support and first aid courses. Where possible, the centres also coordinate the activities of citizens who provide volunteer units with food, backpacks, and medical supplies.
In the centre and in the west of the country, the adult education centres primarily provide care for the many internally displaced persons (IDPs). Hundreds of thousands of people have arrived in the city of Lviv since February 24, 2022. DVV International’s partners in this western Ukrainian city, as well as in Poltava and Vinnytsia, offer IDPs vocational training ranging from courses for (aspiring) hairdressers and cooks to courses in photography or project management.
In the capital Kyiv, meanwhile, a decisive hurdle has been cleared: On January 12, 2023, parliament voted and approved the first reading of Ukraine’s first adult education law. While the country is defending itself against an aggression that threatens its very existence, it is also taking steps to prepare people even better for life and work in the digitalized, globally networked economy and society.