First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, together with Deputy Head of the Presidential Office Ihor Zhovkva, met with Vice-President of the European Commission for Promoting our European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas.
The parties discussed joint key areas of work. These include education, healthcare and cultural space.
The President's wife thanked Margaritis Skhinas for supporting Ukraine and for his personal visit to Kyiv - it is the third time he has visited our country since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion.
"Your visits demonstrate your commitment to the urgent priority of protecting the European way of life not only within the EU, but also in Ukraine, where people are forced to pay with their lives every day for choosing European values," Olena Zelenska emphasized.
The interlocutors discussed cooperation in healthcare, education and protection of Ukrainian IDPs. These areas are a priority in the work of the Vice-President of the European Commission. Among other things, they discussed the mental health program initiated by the First Lady of Ukraine last year.
"At present, thousands of people who can provide first-line treatment (both from the public and non-governmental sectors) are trained in accordance with WHO interventions. However, this is less than 10% of all professionals, so I would suggest considering the possibility of attracting the expertise of specialists from the European Union and scaling up training. A special area of interest is assistance to traumatized children and adolescents," the President's wife noted.
She informed the guest about the activities of the Olena Zelenska Foundation. These include the construction of shelters for Ukrainian schools and the provision of laptops to pupils and teachers for distance learning.
"Due to the constant shelling, 2.7 million schoolchildren in 2023 were unable to study full-time, and distance education has become a challenge for many families and teachers. But education in Ukraine should be accessible to all. Therefore, my foundation strives to provide Ukrainian pupils and teachers with everything they need for safe and comfortable learning. Children have always been and will be a priority for the Foundation," the President's wife said.
In total, in 2022-2023, 38,856 Ukrainian teachers from 12 regions received laptops with software as part of the Olena Zelenska Foundation project.
Thanks to the support of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Korea, 500 schoolchildren were provided with laptops.
After a meeting with the First Lady, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam Almheiri announced the donation of another 2,500 laptops to the Foundation, which will be sent to Ukraine in the near future.
"Together with our friends, we hope to make education and healthcare of the highest quality and accessible to Ukrainians, no matter where they are," Olena Zelenska emphasized.
The parties also discussed Ukraine's progress on the path to EU membership. Deputy Head of the Office of the President Ihor Zhovkva thanked the Vice-President of the European Commission for the comprehensive support for our country in this direction.
"Ukraine is persistently moving towards the adaptation of EU law and completion of the implementation of the European Commission's recommendations necessary for membership. We look forward to a positive interim assessment of Ukraine's progress on the way to the EU and the launch of the negotiation process by the end of the year, for which Ukraine is already actively preparing," the Deputy Head of the Presidential Office said.