Address by Elizabeta Gjorgievska at the Second Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen ‘Ukraine and the World: A Future that we (re)build together’, taking place in Kyiv in a telebridge format.
Full content of the address by Elizabeta Gjorgievska below.
Dear Ms Zelenska,
Thank you for the opportunity to address this summit to reflect on how we could (re)build the future together, from the devastating Russian aggression on Ukraine.
Education is a fundamental right for every child. It is investment in the country’s future, raises people out of poverty, levels inequalities and ensures sustainable development. However, whenever there is war and conflict, children always suffer the most.
The war inflicted on Ukraine has left about 2/3 of Ukrainian children displaced, scared, in shock and desperate for safety. Many of them suffering from social disruption and mental health issues. These traumas on families and children will have lasting consequences for generations to come.
Restoring education for children is important to help them heal and feel safe. Children that remain in Ukraine and children that have fled in other countries must be provided with continuous learning, as well as mental health and psychosocial support.
Enabling children to learn in schools is not just a legal obligation, it is a moral duty and a fundamental right.
We should pool and share resources to help rebuild Ukrainian educational system and provide support to educational initiatives that keep children schooled.
Having welcomed children fleeing Ukraine, we in North Macedonia are providing them learning opportunities. Successful integration in schools can help children overcome their traumatic experiences and feel dignified, respected and accepted.
We should continue with supporting Ukrainian children to be enrolled in schools.
I am well aware that education is only one segment of children’s safety.
Therefore, we must not forget the children’s need for health care, social services, including kindergarten, and the adult’s need for access to employment opportunities, health and social services. In these dire times, we must not forget of these duties and we should all work together to address these challenges with shared efforts.