During his recent visit to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu confirmed Estonia’s readiness to begin building a kindergarten in the Zhytomyr region. The Estonian Center for International Development (ESTDEV) is responsible for organizing construction and involving partners. “Certainly, starting construction work during wartime means taking considerable risks; however, building a kindergarten is a task that Estonia can handle,” said Kadri Maasik, CEO of ESTDEV.
Out of all the construction projects in Ukraine, why did Estonia choose the Ovruch kindergarten?
Kadri Maasik: “Zhytomyr has put together a plan for the reconstruction and modernization of the region, which includes information about the objects destroyed in the war as well as the buildings and facilities left unfinished due to the war. Among them are also objects for which the region needs support from partner countries such as Estonia to restore or rebuild. ESTDEV experts visited Zhytomyr Oblast at the end of May and became acquainted with 15 projects, the reconstruction of which, according to Ukrainian partners, is critically important to restoring normal life in the region. The kindergarten in the city of Ovruch was one of the projects on this list. Considering the size of Estonia, our experience in the production and export of wooden panel buildings, and Estonia’s expertise in the field of educational technology and pedagogy, building a kindergarten is a task that Estonia can undertake. In addition, most of the work can be done outside of Ukraine, reducing the risks associated with military operations.”
“Considering the size of Estonia, our experience in the production and export of wooden panel buildings, and Estonia’s expertise in the field of educational technology and pedagogy, building a kindergarten is a task that Estonia can undertake.”
– Kadri Maasik, CEO of ESTDEV
When does construction start, after the war or right away, during the war?
Kadri Maasik: “World practice shows that reconstruction works begin during crises. At the recent conference on rebuilding Ukraine in Lugano, representatives of 50 countries confirmed the need to begin reconstruction in Ukraine immediately. The same was confirmed by the representatives of the Verkhovna Rada and Zhytomyr Oblast, who visited ESTDEV in July. Certainly, starting reconstruction works during the war means taking considered risks, but rebuilding Ukraine is a long process and Estonia is doing everything it can to support Ukraine, including carrying out reforms in their efforts to join the European Union”.
Are there plans to use Ukrainian resources and labor?
Kadri Maasik: “We certainly see the rebuilding of Ukraine as a cooperation project, which includes not only the state sector but also Estonian private companies and Ukrainian companies. Since the kindergarten is located in Ukraine, it is clear that Ukrainian partners have been involved already in the design phase, so that the project is in accordance with Ukrainian laws and regulations. However, in the initial phase of the rebuilding, it is likely that most of the work will be done outside of Ukraine. However, seeing Estonian private companies’ interest in participating in restoration, we predict that several mutually beneficial Estonian-Ukrainian economic cooperation projects will emerge, which will help restart the Ukrainian economy in the long term.”
- ESTDEV to Execute Estonia’s Rebuilding Projects in Ukraine
- Estonia is Building a Kindergarten in the Town of Ovruch, in Western Ukraine
- ESTDEV Gets Estonian Private Companies Involved in the Reconstruction of Ukraine
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Estonian Centre for International Development is a government foundation that manages and implements Estonia’s participation in international development cooperation and humanitarian aid projects, with the aim of increasing Estonia’s contribution to global security and sustainable development.