Worldreader Brings the Joy of Reading to Ukrainian Children
The right story changes everything. As millions of refugees flee Ukraine, we’re bringing digital books to displaced children across Europe and the US so they can find comfort and hope in stories written in their mother tongue.
The stories we love as children play an important role in who we are as adults. They help shape our values, our knowledge, our dreams, and even our personality. And the books we love are always there to bring us comfort no matter where we are.
In early 2022, our hearts grew heavy as we watched the war unfold in Ukraine, killing thousands of civilians and forcing millions to flee the country. At the time of writing, more than 14 million people have fled their homes since Russia’s invasion. Of these, over 7 million refugees have crossed the Ukrainian border seeking safety, protection, and assistance abroad, in what the UN has described as “the fastest and largest displacement of people in Europe since World War II.” Around half of them are children.
Children displaced by war experience unthinkable trauma. With their lives suddenly turned upside down, often separated from their loved ones, young refugees face extraordinary health, safety, and emotional challenges. And educational disruption means that they can’t always rely on the classroom as a safe space to learn, dream, and grow.
Since the war broke out, Worldreader has been working tirelessly to assist Ukrainian children the way we know best – by sharing the joy of reading.
In partnership with two of the country’s largest publishers, Vivat and Ranok, we’ve curated our first digital collection of books in Ukrainian so that young readers can find hope and comfort in stories, and keep learning anytime, anywhere.
Ukrainian children can now enjoy fiction and non-fiction titles, Ukrainian classics and traditional stories, international classics, and literacy improvement material – all at the touch of a finger. We made sure young readers can find their favorites, including the world-famous Harry Potter adventure series, which they can access via our BookSmart app thanks to our partnership with Pottermore. All books are written or translated into Ukrainian and can be accessed by readers, educators and caregivers online and offline for free.
From exciting adventures in far-away worlds to games, poems, and riddles, we hope that this collection will provide young Ukrainian readers with the opportunity to create moments of joy any time they need it. We’ve seen the magic of reading at work before – our Tuta Tuta program provided Syrian refugees in Jordan with access to digital storybooks in Arabic to support their educational and social-emotional needs. The program reached nearly 60 thousand readers and encouraged Syrian families to bond over reading and gain confidence in new surroundings.
“The impact that reading can have on a child’s life goes well beyond learning outcomes. My hope is that the stories in this collection will provide Ukrainian children with comfort in trying times and help them find joy in connecting to their heritage.”– Rebecca Chandler Leege, CEO of Worldreader.
➤ Are you a caregiver? Download our free app and access the magic of books – offline collections are available so that young readers can build brighter futures anytime, anywhere.
➤ Are you an educator/program director? Partner with us to bring the joy of stories to displaced children.
➤ Are you a reading champion? By supporting our work, you’ll help give the gift of reading to Ukrainian children and all the young readers we serve in 100+ countries.