Laptop initiative helps Ukrainian refugee Lisa to keep learning

Lisa, a Ukrainian refugee living in Romania, received a laptop as part of the Digital Equity for Ukraine project (UNICEF/Adrian Câtu)

When 12-year-old Lisa and her mother fled the war in Ukraine, she left her home, her father and all her belongings.

Arriving in Romania as a refugee, she did her best to continue her Ukrainian school classes online by using two mobile phones – one to watch the teacher and the other to read her lesson.

“I had to zoom in on every page and I had problems with my eyes,” said Lisa.

But when a partnership supported by Theirworld’s Global Business Coalition for Education gave Lisa and thousands of other Ukranian displaced and refugee students a laptop, her lessons suddenly became more accessible and engaging.

Lisa told UNICEF, which delivered her computer: “My life changed so much from the moment I received the laptop. I can learn faster now. I can see the lessons better and read the texts with no problem.

Ukrainian refugee Lisa with her mother Lilia outside their home in Romania (UNICEF/Adrian Câtu)

“I take care of my laptop because I will start school again in autumn and I will need it a lot.”

Lisa, whose home was in Kherson, now lives in the Romanian city of Galati, near the Ukrainian border. Despite the hardship, she is committed to her education and is passionate about graphic design.

Lisa, who asked that her last name be withheld, spent this summer creating designs using online tools on her laptop. She said: “I see myself as a professional graphic designer in the future.”

Her laptop was part of the Digital Equity for Ukraine initiative of the technology company HP. More than 70,000 laptops and learning devices were donated by HP to UNICEF, in partnership with the Global Business Coalition for Education, a movement of businesses committed to ending the global education crisis. Microsoft provided software support.

The computers were distributed to Ukrainian refugees in various countries, as well as to displaced children in Ukraine and teachers.

4 million

Learners supported by Digital Equity for Ukraine

Last year, Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska met representatives of the partners at Ukraine House in Washington, DC. They included Justin van Fleet, Executive Director of the Global Business Coalition for Education and President of Theirworld.

He said: “We’re proud that we worked with two global companies committed to giving back through education. This initiative helps thousands of children like Lisa continue their studies and maintain their ties to their home country.”

Our organisations help in other ways to ensure Ukrainian children receive the lessons they need. With support from Theirworld and GBC-Education, the organisation Smart Osvita is delivering online lessons in Ukrainian language, culture and history to 700 students aged 10 to 17 in the United Kingdom and other countries.