In April 2022, the NGO “Smart Osvita” started the “FranKolo” project in Ivano-Frankivsk. After the full-scale invasion began, this city became a refuge for many families, so the children, who had already experienced the stress of the war, had to adapt to the new conditions. Four hundred forty-five children aged 6 to 17 took part in various activities.
“FranKolo” is a series of free circles. The project allowed local and forcibly displaced children to get to know their peers, find new friends, and do what they liked. Usual children’s activities helped them to distract themselves at least a little from the problems related to the war. In addition to the clubs, the young participants had the opportunity to engage in active recreation, sports, hiking in the mountains, and spent a lot of time in nature and creative workshops. The children shared it when there needed to be more new activities, and we did our best to meet the need. So, for example, at the children’s request, the group “Interesting Chemistry” appeared.
Thanks to partners – the creative workshop-sewing co-working space “Klaptyk,” the alternative Kaizen school. RoboclubIF, Anastasia Yevdokymova, private gymnasium “Kryla,” children’s hiking club “GoÎra!”, English Lab and theater-studio “Grotesk” – every child could find leisure time to his liking.
From April 2022 to January 2023, we organized, with the assistance of the Children’s Fund of Germany (ChildFund Deutschland) and EDUCO, about 14 groups and activities, from hiking trips to art meetings, from acting classes to a STEM course. Everyone could try themselves in a new role or do their favorite thing. Interestingly, children aged 11-16 preferred the “Klaptyk” modeling club, the English club, chemistry and physics classes, and sports sections (tennis, taekwondo, aerobics).
For now, the project will continue. It will be taken care of by new partners and organizers. We are glad that this fantastic initiative will be able to help many more children gain new knowledge and, at the same time, make childhood a genuinely bright and rich period.