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New Ovruch kindergarten expansion now complete


Ukraina alushariduse aseminister Ovrutši lasteaias.
With support from Estonia, the Ovruch kindergarten was completed in June 2023, and an additional four-room expansion was completed in December 2023. The expansion is set to open in February, raising the school’s capacity to 160 children.

The construction of the Ovruch kindergarten and its extension is Estonia's largest public-private development project to date, and Estonia has become one of the first countries to build an educational institution to support the reconstruction of Ukraine. In addition to the construction work, Estonia has provided training on current teaching methodology for the Ovruch kindergarten staff and kindergarten leaders in the Zhytomyr Region.

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According to Margus Gering, ESTDEV’s head of Cooperation and Development for Ukraine, the Estonian-built Ovruch kindergarten is an international success story. "This project has all the elements of an exemplary example of development cooperation. We managed to draw on our own early childhood education reform experience and implement best practices during the reconstruction of the Ovruch kindergarten," Gering said.

In May 2022, an ESTDEV delegation travelled to Zhytomyr to learn more about possible areas of cooperation for the restoration or reconstruction of vital infrastructure. The kindergarten was completed in two stages — the Ovruch kindergarten reconstruction project was completed in June 2023, and in the same month, the winner of the tender for the kindergarten expansion was announced, and construction work began. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs financed the construction while ESTDEV undertook the project management.

Annika Kadaja, CEO of the Estonian Wooden House Association, said that building a kindergarten in Ukraine has brought visibility and credibility to Estonian companies. "The kindergarten project opened new doors for companies, proving to Ukrainian local governments, development program funds and large developers that Estonian companies are able to implement international cooperation projects," Kadaja said.

Estonia’s largest public-private development project to date

The Ovruch Kindergarten project is the first large-scale Estonian development cooperation project where the public and private sectors have worked together for a common goal.

Gering says that the construction of the Ovruch kindergarten is a good example of how the public, private and third sectors work together to support the development of other countries: "We are glad that the kindergarten project was financed and carried out through collaboration with numerous partners and companies that volunteered to help.”

Construction works, supplies and services ordered by ESTDEV through a series of tenders:

  • LLC Creative Architectural Workshop Alliance (Ukraine): 26,666 euros for the preparation of a preliminary project for a kindergarten.
  • FIE Mykhailo Ivanov: 13,785 euros for the provision of owner supervision services during Stage I and II construction works.
  • Harmet OÜ: two tenders totalling 2,930,158 euros for the design, construction, transportation and set up of kindergarten modules in Ukraine.
  • Nordecon AS and its subsidiary Eurocon Ukraine TOV: two tenders as the main contractor for the Stage I and II construction works of the kindergarten and the outdoor area, for a total of 1,261,326 euros.
  • Kumer Saag OÜ: 59,510 euros for the production of furniture for Stage I of the kindergarten.
  • Datel AS: 3047 euros for presentation equipment.
  • Metos AS: 27,824 euros for supplying and installing kitchen equipment for the kindergarten.
  • Saloni Büroomöbli AS: 57,987 euros for the production of furniture for Stage II of the kindergarten.
  • Artproof OÜ: 5105 euros for wallpaper printing services for group rooms, and Artproof financially supported the completion of the project itself.

Donations from businesses and private individuals:

  • Tiit Sild Arhitektuuribüro Sport OÜ: drawing up blueprints for the kindergarten.
  • Primostar OÜ: waterproofing materials for the underground bomb shelters.
  • Sportservice OÜ: sports equipment for the kindergarten.
  • Solarstone OÜ and Sunly AS: 20 kW solar power plant and batteries for the kindergarten.
  • Kitman Thulema AS: office furniture for kindergarten employees.
  • NGO Eesti Puitmajaliit: general project support.
  • Kohila Lasteaed Sipsik: the partner kindergarten in Estonia that has provided training to Ukrainian kindergarten staff. The residents of Kohila also collected money to buy educational supplies and arts and crafts materials for the kindergarten.
  • Tallinn Meelespea Kindergarten: developed a new methodology and materials to teach kindergarten children how to give first aid, and translated the materials into Ukrainian.
  • LeLu gaming sofas: soft sofas for gaming.
  • Harmet OÜ: purchased additional kitchen equipment.
  • Private person Madis Sander: collected donations and donated musical instruments and sound equipment for the kindergarten.

In order to complete the kindergarten in Ovruch, ESTDEV also cooperated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iceland, which contributed 66,000 euros for the purchase of furniture and presentation equipment for the kindergarten. The Flemish government provided 100,000 euros for training kindergarten leaders and teachers from Zhytomyr, overall strengthening the quality of primary education of the region.

ESTDEV also cooperated with the Ministry of Culture and the Academy of Arts, who helped to conduct the group wallpaper art competition. Ukrainian Darja Titova won the art competition for the first four group rooms in the kindergarten, and second place went to the Ukrainian Iryna Tanasiichuk, whose drawings were used to order wallpaper for the four group rooms completed during the expansion.

With support from donors and partners, Estonia contributed over 4.5 million euros to the construction of the Ovruch kindergarten and the training of its employees.