Swiss-Ukrainian Program Encourages Frontline Schools to Promote Health Benefits of Milk

Local news, 07.02.2024

Kyiv, 7 February 2024 – Three educational establishments in Donetsk, Mykolaiv and Sumy regions received prizes for participating in the World School Milk Day competition of the Swiss-Ukrainian program "Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sectors of Ukraine" (QFTP). 

Pupils receiveing prizes.
Sixty establishments in the frontline regions participated in the competition. © QFTP

The competition was held on the occasion of the World School Milk Day on 23 September, aimed to raise awareness on the health benefits of quality and safe milk and dairy products among pupils, their teachers and parents.

"Kindergartens and schools are the first institutions where children can learn about the health benefits of milk and dairy products. And educational facilities in regions where hostilities are or were taking place shouldn’t be left behind. Thus, we decided to support them with additional incentives to promote the culture of consumption of quality milk and dairy products in schools," said Viktor Shutkevych, Assistant Director of Cooperation at the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine. 

In addition to the all-Ukrainian challenge, a separate competition took place for schools and other educational facilities in the frontline regions of Dnipro, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson and Chernihiv. Sixty establishments from these regions participated in the competition, of which the three winners received various IT and sport equipment prizes, funded by the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine.

"As part of the competition, teachers organized a sports and dairy quest, cooking classes, dairy master classes, carried out educational projects and even organized a butter making challenge. Not only pupils and teachers joined in, but also parents actively supported us. Next year, we will definitely take part in the competition again," said Valentyna Kravchuk, director of the Lyceum No. 1 in Yelanets, Mykolaiv Region, which received a printer, three TVs and a mixing console. 

Another winner, a secondary school Akademichny in Kramatorsk, Donetsk Region, organized thematic events to participate in the competition online, as pupils still study remotely here for security reasons. The establishment received 14 tablets and a laptop to improve the educational quality. 

"The gadgets will make our lessons more interactive and help primary school teachers to develop calligraphy writing skills of pupils. They will also become a valuable asset for technology, art and design lessons. In the future, we plan to use the provided equipment for the integrated STEM and animation courses," explained director of the institution Inna Strashko.

The latest study of nutrition of urban population of Ukraine revealed insufficient consumption of dairy products by children (on average 185 ml per day), and especially teenagers (only 155ml per day), while the recommended norms require three portions per day: a portion of milk (200ml) and/ or other dairy products (for example, 125ml of yogurt or cheese) for persons 7-18 years old.

In 2023, the Swiss-Ukrainian QFTP program supported competitions and other initiatives to celebrate the World School Milk Day in Ukraine for the third time. A total of 284 educational establishments from 19 regions of Ukraine took part in the competition and held thematic activities in their schools, kindergartens and communities.  

The photo was provided by the educational establishment.