Hello! We are an alternative learning center in a city of Ivano-Frankivsk in the Western Ukraine. Kaizen is one of the few private education institutions in the city for children from ages 3-6 (preschool) and 6-7 (school). Started by an international family, we aim to create a bilingual environment which fosters multicultural understanding, as well as implements elements of forest school approach, with lots of outdoor learning.
Core values of our project are:
appreciating the diversity of the world and creating multicultural environment
Bilingual environment: 50% of studies and activities are done in a foreign language, program and subjects are duplicated in both languages. Foreign language speaker is involved in daily instruction. We study third foreign language, that is completely different from English or native tongue. While maintaining own identity, we introduce children to the diversity of cultures, traditions, and religions of the world; develop effective communication skills with people from different backgrounds.
learning to learn
We support children in setting their own individual learning goals, appropriate for their age. We offer project-based learning, and interdisciplinary approach to subjects instruction.
Aside from New Ukrainian School curriculum, we use best case practices from Finland National Curriculum, recognized international curricula International Baccalaureate PYP and Cambridge Primary, USA National Curriculum (Common Core Standards) and UK National Curriculum (Early Years Foundation Stage), as well as interesting approaches to teaching math and STEM. Project applies individual learning approach for each child, based on his/her interests. We develop practical skills (sewing, wood work, culinary, gardening, etc.) Children are regularly involved in excursions and educational events, outside of the school.
educating for sustainable development
Project actively promotes ‘forest school’ approach. Classes take place not only indoors, but also in the ‘outdoor classroom’. Daily walks in the backyard. Regular walking trips to natural locations around the city, with instruction in the outdoor setting, using natural materials.
Educational program is offered for two groups of children (preschool - 3 to 6 years old, with separate learning approach for young learners and preschool; and first grade - 6-7 years old). Each group has no more than 10 children. Program takes place from 8:30 till 18:30. Main hours of study are 9:00 to 15:00, and afterschool is from 15:00 - 18:30.
About our team
Founders - Oksana (Ukraine) and Mohammad (Jordan). We have lived abroad in Jordan, Hungary, UAE, and now moved to Ukraine for a change. Our two kids are 6 and 3 years old and we love outdoors, nature, gardening, biking, and canyoning.
Team - Olya is a project manager, with a 3 year old son, big interest in community development and background as a lawyer. Bohdana is our education program consultant from Kyiv, with a big passion for patchwork and background in children's psychology.
Babysitting and creative play
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We have a separate house with a big yard for the Center facilities. To support outdoor learning, we also set up an outdoor classroom, as well as include weekly nature walks as part of our program.
We are happy to provide a lot of support and education on children's development. Our project founders are an international family (from Jordan and Ukraine), who have lived abroad for a long time, and understand what it takes to be a volunteer away from home :)
Bilingual outdoor education is something of a new concept in Ukraine, and we would love it, if you could help us bring it to life.
We want to show the diversity of the world through the volunteers and therefore, we are looking for applicants from all over the world.
You are a great fit, if:
- you speak English well (do not have to be a native speaker)
- love working with children and have basic understanding of children development (3-7 years old)
- enjoy being outside in the nature, whether it's rain or shine.
If you speak Arabic (Levantine dialect), then we will also ask you to do private play classes with kids (as they are Arabic speaking). If you speak Mandarine, then it's also great, as we are planning to offer it as part of our curriculum.
Teachers are running the main curriculum and program planning, while you will be able to join the activities on a flexible schedule (afternoon or morning), depending on the need. We can also offer you training on child development, and curriculum preparation, if it's something you are interested in as a career.
If you would like to come as a family, we'd be happy to host you too, and your children can join other kids at the center during the day (from 9 till 5-6 pm).
We have two apartments for the volunteers. Both are located in the same building, in a village outskirts of Ivano-Frankivsk. It takes about 30-40 min to get to school by buses from there (you will need to use two buses). One apartment is suitable for a couple or a family group, as it can be private (used only by volunteers). Second apartment is a separate room with our company's Jordanian female coworker. Therefore - suitable for female volunteers only. Both apartments have free wifi, excellent quality, comfortable beds, equipped kitchen, hot water etc. They are really good quality, the only issue is being quite far away. Our Active Ukraine office is on the third floor of the same building, so there are always people around during the day. Also, we (as a family) live in a house right nearby. All of our apartments have strict no-smoking and no-drinking policy.
Ivano-Frankivsk is a lovely city in the Western Ukraine, 1 hour away from the mountains, with two rivers, two lakes, and a couple of forests right at the outskirts of the city. It is a bike friendly location, with lots of walking areas. Project founders also own a travel company and will be happy to host you on a few days tours around the country (free of charge).
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week