On 24 August, Ukraine's Independence Day, the kindergarten Rūta was officially opened in Irpin. In just eight months heavily damaged kindergarten emerged anew from the aftermath of Russian aggression. Supported by over 4,9 million euros from the Fund for the Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, the rebuilding was implemented by Lithuanian Central Project Management Agency (CPVA) which runs infrastructure initiatives on the ground since 2014.
"Even in times of war, schools, and kindergartens must be rebuilt to ensure the continuity of Ukrainian children’s education, as well as an opportunity for parents to work and contribute to the countries’ recovery. Opening on Ukraine's Independence Day is a symbolic sign of our dedication and unwavering support. This project is a concrete and tangible example of Lithuania’s assistance and an act of hope," emphasized Rasa Suraučienė, Deputy Director of the CPVA.
The kindergarten's exterior received an artistic touch with murals by local artist Yuliia Trypolska, depicting solemn scenes of children at play and crafting their dream kindergarten with blocks.
A joyful moment – themed cake from Lithuania‘s Government for Irpin children – added to the vibrant ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Kindergarten Rūta is set to accommodate 400 children and will employ 45 staff members. It spans three floors, equipped with modern facilities, forming a cheerful environment for learning and growth. The outdoor spaces have been landscaped, revamped with playgrounds, and the basement has been adapted as a shelter.
The reconstruction of the kindergarten was implemented through the joint efforts of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania and the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania. The Taiwanese contribution of 1.2 million euros to the overall project budget was used to purchase furniture and equipment, as well as for the landscaping of the kindergarten's environment and the installation of playgrounds where all the kindergarten's children will enjoy their time together.
Adding to the transformation, former kindergarten Radist (Joy in UA) got a new name - Ruta. A cherished herb in both Lithuanian and Ukrainian folklore – “Ruta” name underlines unity and shared heritage between the nations.
Kindergarten is not the only project for Lithuania, that sees Ukraine’s education sector recovery as a priority. Lyceum reconstruction in Borodyanka supported with €7.9 million from the Fund for the Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid and implemented by CPVA is stepping into its final phase.
Another recovery initiative that has recently received the green light is aimed at creating a typical technical design for Ukraine’s future schools. In the open international architectural competition, the best architectural idea for innovative school design will be selected by an international jury and the winner will get the contract for creating the project.
Festive moments from the opening event of kindergarten "Rūta":