We started by creating a great team of volunteers (together with the international association of physicians in Slovakia
) and running the MALnS/NadaciaAK telegram account - "Everyone Can Help."
Our biggest advantage was the contacts and the ability to communicate in Ukrainian or Russian, which was very important, especially in the initial stages. So, for months, we drove people crossing the border (mostly sick children and the elderly), found accommodation for them, helped with formalities in offices, found places in schools and kindergartens, collected and delivered clothes, food, medicines and hygiene products. At this point, we would like to thank all the volunteers, whether they worked for us for a few hours or for several months, for their help in a good cause.
When the situation partially stabilized, we left most of these activities to organizations that deal with this type of assistance and returned to what we know best - children, their integration and education. At that moment, we also realized that the assistance would not be individualized, but that our ambition was to help all children (and therefore their mothers) integrate into our society through education and schooling. At that time, we had just finished a series of textbooks for foreigners' children
, which we wanted to reach as many children as possible, as we realized that language skills are the gateway to education in Slovakia for these children. Unfortunately, when the state did not support us in this, we decided to find the funds to print them on our own. To this end, we approached a number of potential donors and eventually managed to raise almost 150,000 euros, which we used to print and distribute these much-needed books. We are very grateful to all our donors, especially the EPH Foundation, which provided €135,000 for this purpose.
Today, the situation has partially improved due to the adoption of a new state educational program, which also approved standards for Slovak as a foreign and second language. Thus, on 12.5.2023, our books were approved as textbooks, which was the goal of the entire project from the very beginning. Thus, all schools will be able to order textbooks, and the books will get into the hands of children of Ukrainian emigrants who urgently need them and, hopefully, soon.
As a foundation, we have also started to cooperate with the Digital Coalition of Slovakia on the Digital Pupil project, which is also open to Ukrainian schoolchildren and students.
Our ultimate goal is to attract as many Ukrainian children as possible to Slovak schools and change the current unfavorable situation where only one third of them attend school. Here is more information on whether integration is beneficial and why: >>>>
So, there is still a lot of work to be done, but as always, we accept the challenge.