Nadacia AK blog EN

Why we must make Ukrainian children and mothers more integrated into our society

Segregation, exclusion, integration, or inclusion of immigrants and military refugees? What does Slovakia really want to achieve? Which is more beneficial for us economically, as well as more sustainable in the long run? And what is the right thing to do from a moral and social point of view?

The war has led to a migration crisis that could weaken or strengthen Slovakia. Life is not a fairy tale in which everything is black or white, right or wrong, people are bad or good. Life is multicolored and shows us different points of view. The role of public figures and prominent and respected individuals is to point us in a direction, to show us the way, and to tell us a common point of view. And to do so without fear and with confidence in their voices. It is a matter of opinion and the subsequent testing of society's response with adjustments to procedures. One must be able to listen to the voice of the nation and have the courage to represent it even in times of war, as Ukrainians demonstrate in their own territory.

Thank God no bombs are falling on our heads in Slovakia. However, about a hundred thousand refugees have come to us, a third of them to Bratislava. The Bratislava region is becoming an international zone, almost 8% of its population are foreigners. At the end of 2022 we registered almost 280 thousand foreigners living in Slovakia. In practice I perceive all forms of coexistence with foreigners, from separation to inclusion. Perhaps those in charge will finally realize how they themselves can see that a new, war-stricken, international society is emerging in Slovakia.


It is clear that schooling and education must be inclusive. There is quite a lot of discussion about this, widely supported by the professional community. Inclusion is the most natural form of coexistence, through which foreigners can integrate into society as a whole, not just become part of a group which adapts to their otherness (integration). Children can perceive change much more effectively and in a playful way. According to statistics, about ten thousand expatriate children already attend Slovak schools. Unfortunately, another ten thousand do not go to school at all. This automatically excludes them and their parents from our society. We should not segregate them (military classes), but rather integrate them, ideally ensuring their inclusion in our environment. Only then will the entire generation of our children benefit.

Perhaps we simply do not realize that inclusion contains an element of superiority, even in the name of supporting and helping others. Inclusion is a completely innovative idea, not of adaptation, but of accepting any difference in the sense of strengthening the whole community. Women and children who come to us unintentionally have a huge potential precisely for inclusion, and our society could benefit from this whole situation.

So I offer real solutions and methods for including Ukrainian children in our community. For example, training teachers who can use inclusive methods to teach foreign children.

Mothers of children

Along with their children come their mothers. They are often women with higher education, teachers, nurses, or managers. Back in 2016, Slovakia erected insurmountable barriers to the arrival of medical professionals from abroad, unfortunately excluding them from the medical community. Which is a clear demonstration of segregation. As of March 2022, but only thanks to the war, this state of affairs has changed somewhat. Unfortunately, we are not fully integrating them, and at a time when we desperately need them.

The same goes for teachers. How is it possible that there are not enough teachers in our schools, and yet there is a surplus of unemployed teachers from Ukraine who could immediately devote themselves to Ukrainian children and thus relieve the pressure on Slovak teachers? Who should say and understand that Ukrainian specialists are not an evil, but a help. That we can integrate them, although full integration in this case, unlike with children, is much more difficult.

Among the graduates there are also entrepreneurs who would also like to integrate into the common market, but cannot. Since it is impossible to run a business under refugee status, they will have to obtain a residence permit. It is the bureaucratic obstacles that push many of them toward exclusion, that is, to return home, even if they are in danger there. That said, new products and services could help us increase our GDP and thereby somewhat mitigate the effects of covid and war on our economy.

Inclusion is a new way of looking at society and requires comprehensive and thoughtful systemic changes, affecting not only education, but also health care, business and work. Only in this way will Ukrainian children have the opportunity to be equal participants in the educational process, and their parents - the economy of Slovakia.

Current articles by Alona Kurotova are also available at