New UNICEF initiative to help Ukrainian preschoolers
By Deborah Castellano Lubov
As the war continues to wreak havoc in Ukraine, especially for families and children, UNICEF has launched a new initiative to help Ukrainian preschoolers.
UNICEF, or the United Nations Children’s Fund, announced a new mobile application for Ukrainian preschoolers that offers interactive games aimed at developing skills such as logic and creativity.
The war has had a devastating effect on access to education, especially preschool education.
Engaging children, sense of normalcy
The app is part of a larger project, NUMO, whose idea is to help parents engage their children in educational and developmental activities, thus keeping education accessible and providing children with a sense of normalcy during the war.
"About two-thirds of the children are displaced in Ukraine or neighboring countries. This means that in addition to war-related trauma and suffering, children have limited access to preschool education and early learning opportunities and may miss out on essential foundations for lifelong learning.
The app "НУМО розвивальні ігри" (NUMO Developing Games) also contains drawing exercises and stories for children up to six years old. The content is divided into several categories: up to 3 years old, 3-4 years old, 4-5 years old, and 5-6 years old.
Independent learning, distraction from war
Since the outbreak of war in February, many families have spent days, weeks and even months sheltering underground or traveling long distances, where the Internet is not always available.
The application will help children learn independently, use their free time effectively, engage in cognitive activities, develop key skills, and distract themselves from war.
The application was created by UNICEF Ukraine, together with UNICEF Montenegro, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education of Montenegro and the company SoftServe.
Lifelong Learning and play
To help those who have difficulty connecting, the NUMO app is available for offline use after being installed on a mobile device and completing a short registration form.
Philippe Cori, UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, says, “NUMO offers a unique opportunity for lifelong learning and play, and is an excellent example of cross-country collaboration and innovation to reach children with joyful and playful experiences.”
“We hope that many Ukrainian children will enjoy quality interactive games with the help and company of adults,” he said, noting that “NUMO is an excellent example of UNICEF's use of digital innovations to reach children and their parents in this response. Other innovations used are the Passport to Learning and the Bebbo App for parents."