Estonian-built kindergarten in Ukraine to open next month

The new Estonian-built kindergarten in Ovruch, Ukraine.
The new Estonian-built kindergarten in Ovruch, Ukraine. Source: ESTDEV.

A kindergarten in Ukraine's Zhytomyr region will open in June after the 170-day construction target was met on Monday. The facility is now being furnished by the Estonian Center for International Development (ESTDEV).

Estonia has already started its reconstruction efforts in Ukraine and the country selected the Zhytomyr region as the area to focus its efforts.

Last year, Estonian companies started building a modular kindergarten for the town of Ovruch.

During the first stage of construction, four group rooms, common areas, a playground, and a bomb shelter have been completed. There are now plans to expand the space for up to 160 children.

Ukrainian students studying at the Estonian Academy of Arts have designed the wall graphics for the new kindergarten.

Former foreign affairs minister Urmas Reinsalu laid the kindergarten's cornerstone in Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukraine in 2022. Source: Ministery of Foreign Affairs.

Several unofficial records were set throughout the kindergarten's construction, said Tarmo Needo, ESTDEV's head of Infrastructure Development Projects in Ukraine.

"For example, the detail plan for the kindergarten was completed in just 1.5 months. To design, build, and deliver modules in less than 170 days is a significant achievement, of which Estonian producers of wooden prefabricated modular buildings should be very proud." Needo added, adding Estonia has proved itself to be a reliable partner.

The project was a cooperation between the Estonian private sector, the national government, and the partner county.

Alo Tamm, CEO of the modular building manufacturer and partner, Harmet OÜ, said the project's greatest challenge was transporting the modules to Ukraine.

The first components of a new kindergarten building have been sent from Pärnu to Ovruch in Ukraine. Source: ERR

"Our company has sent thousands of modules to different countries, but never to a country with military operations," Tamm said.

"The situation at the border can change in minutes. We had to take 34 trucks across the border, in three groups. The trip was not without obstacles, but today the modules have arrived and installed according to plan."

The Ovruch kindergarten is one of 15 which the Zhytomyr region has requested assistance from foreign partners. Estonia is also involved in the restoration of the Malyn Bridge, which was destroyed in the war.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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