While cities in Ukraine are being shelled day and night, ACTED renovates school basements in Chernihiv region to serve as bomb shelters. This is to make schools safe for children again.
Chernihiv region, north of Kyiv, was under occupation for three months. The invading troops retreated leaving behind a trail of destruction: damaged buildings, burt cars near the roads bear witness to the physical impact of the armed conflict in villages across the region.
“Our village was under occupation since February 26. Many things were stolen and destroyed. There were problems with access to food, electricity and information because all our phones were taken away.” says Leonid, the school director in Voznesenske village.
With the war still going on, the constant attacks have left people sleeping and studying in basements, bomb shelters, underground stations and temporary accommodation. The risk of air strikes persists, so Ukrainian schools cannot run onsite classes unless they have a functional bomb shelter. But most of the schools’ basements were cluttered and unprepared with dilapidated walls, rusted pipes, and terrible floors. Hiding there was life-threatening. So, to give children access to education again, ACTED is renovating school basements in Chernihiv oblast.
Without a bomb shelter in good condition, our school simply can't function. If ACTED hadn't renovated our basement, the school would have been closed, and children would have had to stay at home.
ACTED with support from UK Aid reconstructed 15 bomb shelters in Odessa, Kirovograd and Chernihiv oblasts. They have been equipped with benches, beds, blankets, mattresses, containers for drinking water and technical water, lamps, WI-FI modems, fire extinguishers, medical supplies and other tools. A few months ago, the shelters were in a catastrophic state. Now more than 5,000 people will be able to stay there safely and comfortably during air strike alerts.
“After nearly a year of armed conflict, our children are getting used to classes in the basement. The rennovated shelter gives us the possibility to continue studying even during air alarms. Because sometimes we sit here for more than two hours” says Leonid.
This shelter can accommodate 500 people. In fact, it is all the people in our village. We thank you for the help. Now all our children and the whole population of our village can stay safe during emergencies.