EPALE Podcast - The war in Ukraine and adult education. A voice from Kyiv

Listen to this interview with Oleg Smirnov, representative of the Ukrainian Adult Education association.

On this special EPALE Podcast, Gina Ebner, Secretary General of the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA), interviews Oleg Smirnov, Board member of EAEA, Ukraine Country director of the Representative office of DVV International, representative of the Ukrainian Adult Education association, member of the Integration and Development Centre for Information and Research.

Oleg is still in Ukraine and his voice reached us, on 12 April 2022, directly from Kyiv. His precious words give us a glimpse of real life in a city where raid sirens mark the rhythm of the days; where citizens reclaim their spaces; where adult educators, despite everything, continue their activities, providing help to deal with the war.


From the situation in Kyiv to the role of adult education

The situation in Kyiv is evolving, there are still a lot of people in the city – which retains a significant military presence – despite the number of inhabitants who have fled the city. Raid sirens ring a few times per day, but explosions are not frequent. Many commercial and cultural activities are attempting to reopen, including shops, theatres and museums, showing the impressive reliance of people in Ukraine. Oleg and his family, for example, started to volunteer since the beginning of the invasion, which has marked the beginning of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, given also the shortage of food and medicines.

The first concern for Oleg’s organisation was naturally the safety of his staff and their families, some of which have sought shelter in other parts of the country or abroad. Oleg and his colleagues have organised online support and discussion groups, psychological help and art therapy.

Adult education became a tool for sharing vital information to help everyone deal with the war.

Oleg’s organisation has maintained contacts with partners in other parts of the country, including those which have been, unfortunately, in temporarily occupied territories. Also these organisations have continued to deliver adult education, focusing on life-saving skills – as first aid – as well as psychological support and sewing.

Before the invasion, Oleg and his colleagues at the Ukrainian Adult Education Association were working on a new draft law on adult education in Ukraine, advocating for adequate funding and governance systems. Even with Russian troops approaching Kyiv, his leading advocacy work and parliamentary activities did not stop.

Oleg has stressed his gratitude for the support from international partner organisations and the global ALE community, together with whom he has worked for years on brilliant initiatives on citizenship and peace education. ALE organisations across Europe are contributing in various ways to help Ukrainian people both in the country and abroad, collaborating with local communities and governments. Oleg has been engaged in many discussions and exchanges to advise partners abroad in the organisation of support and educational activities for refugees and locals.

EPALE is extremely grateful to Oleg Smirnov, his colleagues and the Ukrainian ALE community for their exemplary service in these difficult times.

You can download the transcript here

(235.46 KB - PDF)
Login (12)

Trid lingwa oħra?

Dan id-dokument huwa disponibbli wkoll f’lingwi oħra. Jekk jogħġbok agħżel waħda hawn taħt.
Switch Language

Want to write a blog post ?

Don't hesitate to do so! Click the link below and start posting a new article!

L-aħħar diskussjonijiet

EPALE 2021 Thematic Focuses. Let's start!

We invite you to enrich what is set to be an intense year ahead with your contributions and expertise! Let's start by taking parto in this online discussion. The online discussion will take place Tuesday 9 March 2021 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CET. The written discussion will be introduced by a livestream with an introduction to the 2021 Thematic Focuses, and will be hosted by Gina Ebner and Aleksandra Kozyra of the EAEA on the behalf of the EPALE Editorial Board.


Diskussjoni ta’ EPALE: Il-forniment ta’ tagħlim ta’ ħiliet bażiċi

Il-ħiliet bażiċi huma trasversali. Dawn mhumiex rilevanti biss għall-politika edukattiva, iżda huma rilevanti wkoll għall-politiki tal-impjiegi, tas-saħħa, soċjali u ambjentali. Il-bini ta’ miżuri ta’ politika koeżivi li jappoġġjaw lill-persuni bi ħtiġijiet bażiċi ta’ ħiliet huwa meħtieġ mhux biss biex il-Perkorsi ta’ Titjib tal-Ħiliet ikunu suċċess, iżda wkoll biex jgħinu fil-bini ta’ soċjetajiet aktar reżiljenti u inklużivi. Id-diskussjoni online se ssir f’din il-paġna fis-16/17 ta’ Settembru bejn l-10:00 u s-16:00 CET u se tkun immoderata mill-Koordinaturi Tematiċi ta’ EPALE tal-EBSN