Children’s Plants Library

Helping Ukrainian refugees adapt by creating a plant library with conservation books in three languages, and running creative workshops to nurture community bonds.

The Local Challenge

The educational infrastructure in Neringa is not well-adapted for children from different cultural backgrounds, with extracurricular activities mainly in Lithuanian. This lack of facilities was highlighted by the influx of Ukrainian refugees in 2022, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. During the summer, Neringa’s popularity with tourists leaves parents busy with multiple jobs, while in the colder months, the lack of family-friendly facilities means there are limited spaces or resources for children and families 

 

 The Initiative  

The initiative helps Ukrainian children learn about Neringa’s environment and develop new skills outside the school curriculum. It offers a safe space for children to build connections while adapting to their new home. The programme includes reading groups on local flora, workshops led by artists and educational sessions. The library is becoming a hub for mutual integration among locals, the Ukrainian community and the natural environment, nurturing community bonds through shared experiences and learning. 

 

What’s Next?

Although many programmes support Ukrainian refugee children, most similar programmes are based in large cities, neglecting remote rural areas. This initiative can be easily transferred to different contexts. Similar programmes focusing on the local environment could be implemented across Europe in collaboration with local libraries, educators, artists and researchers. The librarys ongoing partnerships with remote cultural institutions also provide opportunities to extend the programme to other regions. 

 

This is an ongoing Europe Challenge project that will be completed in autumn 2024. Stay tuned for more updates and contact theeuropechallenge@culturalfoundation.eu if you have any questions or want to be connected with the team behind the project.

Website by HOAX Amsterdam