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Espoo to donate 500 used laptops to Ukraine

Published : 23 May 2023, 02:53

Updated : 23 May 2023, 02:57

  DF Report
Photo: City of Espoo by Taru Turpeinen.

The Growth and Learning Sector of the City of Espoo supports democracy education in the crisis area and is donating 500 laptops to the schools of the city of Kryvyi Rih in Ukraine, said the city in a press release on Monday.

The partnership between Kryvyi Rih and Espoo was established in autumn 2022. The delivery of 200 laptops has already commenced, with the remaining 300 to be delivered later.

The donated laptops have seen a few years of use at schools in Espoo. The laptops have been overhauled by Atea, which also installed the Microsoft Windows operating system on them. The functioning of the laptops was also verified during the reinstallation.

The city is also donating student furniture that is no longer needed in Espoo to Kryvyi Rih. The aim is to deliver the furniture to Ukraine during the summer.

The partnership between Espoo and Kryvyi Rih encompasses more than just device and furniture deliveries.

When Ukraine's Ambassador to Finland Olga Dibrova visited the Growth and Learning Sector’s seminar in autumn last year, the matters discussed included the need to deepen education and training cooperation.

The partnership focuses particularly on connections between young people.

“Espoo is Finland's leading city when it comes to education and training, so we have much to contribute to this partnership,” said Director of Growth and Learning Harri Rinta-aho.

The City of Espoo has negotiated with various parties on the delivery of the laptops.

“Ensuring the delivery of the laptops to a war zone is not an easy task, as they contain valuable components,” said Chief Digital Officer Harri Luttinen from Espoo’s Growth and Learning Sector.

The City of Espoo received support for planning the delivery from the Ministry of the Interior of Finland. The logistics are being handled by Medifon Oy, which also delivers humanitarian aid cargo to Ukraine.

Last year, the City of Espoo donated EUR 50,000 to Kryvyi Rih for the improvement of Ukrainian schoolchildren’s distance learning opportunities.

In addition to this, the pupils of Espoo’s comprehensive schools and general upper secondary schools have independently organised several collections to support Ukrainians.

In the spring, the general upper secondary schools of Espoo entered into a partnership with the lyceums of Kryvyi Rih. As a result, every general upper secondary school in Espoo was assigned a partner school from Kryvyi Rih. The aim is to plan a wide range of joint lessons and greetings. Lyceums in Ukraine provide both basic and general upper secondary education, encompassing grades 1–11.

“The message from Kryvyi Rih has been that both professionals and young people want to develop this partnership. Having young people from two countries interact with each other broadens their horizons. Hopefully these young people will also be able to meet each other face-to-face in the future,” said Director of Upper Secondary Education and Youth Services Tapio Erma.

Leppävaara General Upper Secondary School served as a pilot school in the launch of the partnership.

“The students have showcased their educational institutions to each other, in addition to which they have also been given time for open discussion and questions. The cooperation has already been planned far into the future. Later, the plan is to carry out job shadowing and student visits, among other things,” said the Principal of Leppävaara General Upper Secondary School Ismo-Olav Kjäldman.

The cooperation has also expanded towards vocational schools, higher education institutions and universities, with Aalto University, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and Omnia, the Joint Authority of Education in the Espoo region, contributing to closer education and training cooperation. Common areas of interest identified include digitalisation development, mobility and pedagogical development.