Educational challenges in Ukraine

“I want my children to have the chance of a normal life”

Seven-year-old Danyyil Kamoza is one of thousands of Ukrainian children who have never been taught in a classroom; his first year of school has been at home, online. 

The Kamoza family are from a village in Sumy region in the northeast of Ukraine, 10km from the Russian border. Their once peaceful village came under relentless attack, and Russian forces have repeatedly targeted the region since the war began.

Danyyil's mother, Vira, 44, said, "Since the beginning of the war, we've all been living in fear, and we've been in danger of our lives. The children took it especially hard. They became scared of any loud sound, and at night, they would wake up crying and couldn't be comforted.

"A shell fell just a few meters from our relatives' house. The neighbor's house burned down. We couldn't stand it anymore and left for a safer place."

The Kamozas moved to Rivne region in western Ukraine in the summer of 2022. Although it is relatively safer here, displaced families like the Kamozas face many challenges, from low wages to unemployment – as well as fear of Russian attack. 

Many parents also worry about their children's future, as more than 7.5 million children and 1.5 million young people have had their education affected by the war. Many students, including Danyyil and his siblings, are learning online from home. However, issues such as poor internet connectivity and lack of in-person interaction with teachers and peers can make it challenging to stay engaged.

Since the beginning of Russia's large-scale invasion, more than 3,000 educational institutions in Ukraine — 10 percent of the total — have been damaged or destroyed, according to the Ministry of Education. School buildings are at risk of shelling or lack of heating after massive damage to the country's energy infrastructure, and not all of them have bomb shelters in place to be allowed to remain open. 

Vira said, "I want my children to be educated and to have the chance of a normal life in the future. Here, they have to study online using mobile phones. Their eyes get very tired, and I'm concerned their eyesight may deteriorate. It's difficult for children to concentrate because there's no contact with the teacher. The teachers understand they cannot expect too much from children, as many are emotionally traumatized and constantly under stress."

In February 2023, the Kamoza's path crossed with Mission Without Borders, and they have received regular support ever since. Pavlo, the MWB family worker, encourages the parents and children to persevere with education despite their challenging circumstances. MWB consistently provides emotional, spiritual, and material support to the Kamozas, alleviating their burdens and giving them strength to persevere.

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Vira said, "It's challenging, but we, as parents, try hard to help Danyyil and our other children. We want them to stay engaged and not lose interest in their education. We hope that peace will come to Ukraine so that our children will be able to go to school regularly."

We hope that peace will come to Ukraine so that our children will be able to go to school regularly.


Danyyil said, "My favorite subject is called 'I discover the environment.' I like it because I can see everything I'm learning about when I go outside. I learn about nature, the weather, people, and animals."

Pavlo added, "There is a local evangelical church in the neighbourhood. My hope is that I will get the family acquainted with it and invite them to attend services. The children can go to Sunday school and attend various children's activities. I believe that being part of such a friendly, caring community will be a great blessing for the Kamoza family."

As the war in Ukraine continues to threaten their future and destroy children's experience of a normal education, it's hard for young people to dream big. At Mission Without Borders, we aim to instil hope and bring encouragement and support to children and families struggling in the midst of war.

With your help, we can support families like the Kamoza's in rebuilding their lives and encouraging their children to dream big despite their circumstances.

7.5 Million

More than 7.5 million children have had their education impacted by the war.

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