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Rebuilding Ukraine: Construction of the Estonian Modular Kindergarten in Ovruch, Ukraine

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Pledging to support the reconstruction of the Zhytomyr Region, Estonia became one of the first countries to build an educational institution to support the reconstruction of Ukraine.

The kindergarten for 160 children in the city of Ovruch combines the best of Estonia’s practices in building high quality, energy-efficient wooden modular buildings, as well as Estonia’s world-class knowledge on creating modern and inspirational educational spaces for children. Estonia is also providing digital pedagogy and education management training for the teachers of the Zhytomyr Region. The kindergarten follows all Ukrainian safety requirements and has been built in partnership with Zhytomyr Oblast and the city of Ovruch. 

“The Estonian-built Ovruch kindergarten is an international success story. We managed to draw on our own early childhood education reform experience and implement best practices during the reconstruction of the Ovruch kindergarten.”

 Margus Gering, Head of Cooperation and Development for Ukraine

Key Facts
  • DURATION: 12 months from the financing decision to completion of kindergarten in Ukraine, and additional 6 months to expand the kindergarten by four more classrooms.
  • SOLUTION: Prefabricated wooden modules, designed and manufactured in Estonia, were transported to Ovruch and assembled on-site. All operations were fully compliant with EU regulations and the principles of the Davos’ Baukultur Quality System.
  • PROCUREMENT: All public tenders were organised in Estonia, in accordance with the European Public Procurement Directive.
  • COOPERATION: A tripartite cooperation between the Zhytomyr Region, the city of Ovruch, and the Estonian Centre for International Development (ESTDEV).
  • MAIN DONOR: The Government of Estonia – €4.5 million
Modern Educational Space

Estonia is actively supporting the modernisation of early childhood education in Ukraine by improving access and establishing the best practices of efficient education management procedures with digital means. It includes modern and inclusive learning environments, teaching methodologies, skills, and tools, exemplified by the Ovruch kindergarten.

Key goals

  • Providing access to early childhood education and care
  • Improving and streamlining of training and working conditions of teaching staff
  • Defining appropriate curricula
  • Enabling consistent governance and funding
  • Streamlining of monitoring and evaluation systems
Estonia’s largest public-private development project to date

The Ovruch Kindergarten project is the first large-scale Estonian development cooperation project, which was financed and carried out through collaboration with numerous partners and companies that volunteered to help.

“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.”

Annika Kadaja, CEO of the Estonian Woodhouse Association

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

  • LLC Creative Architectural Workshop Alliance (Ukraine): €26,666 for the preparation of a preliminary project for a kindergarten.
  • FIE Mykhailo Ivanov: €13,785 for the provision of owner supervision services during Stage I and II construction works.
  • Harmet OÜ: two tenders totalling €2,930,158 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.
  • Kumer Saag OÜ: €59,510 for the production of furniture for Stage I of the kindergarten.
  • Datel AS: €3047 for presentation equipment.
  • Metos AS: €27,824 for supplying and installing kitchen equipment for the kindergarten.
  • Saloni Büroomöbli AS: €57,987 for the production of furniture for Stage II of the kindergarten.
  • Artproof OÜ: €5105 for wallpaper printing services for group rooms, and Artproof financially supported the completion of the project itself.
  • Estonian Woodhouse Association: overall project support 

Donations from businesses and private individuals:

  • Tiit Sild Arhitektuuribüroo 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 playing sofas: soft sofas for playing.
  • Harmet OÜ: purchased additional kitchen equipment.
  • Private person Madis Sander: collected donations and donated musical instruments and sound equipment for the kindergarten.
Support from the Estonian public sector entities

ESTDEV cooperated with the Ministry of Culture and the Estonian 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.

The process was guided and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia and the Estonian Embassy in Kyiv.

International donors

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.


Margus Gering
Head of Cooperation and Development for Ukraine
[email protected]

Tarmo Needo
Programme Manager for Infrastructure Development
[email protected]