On 26 September, Luxembourg's Minister of Finance Yuriko Backes, Minister of Education, Children and Youth Claude Meisch and EIB President Werner Hoyer inaugurated a new school for migrant children in an EIB building in Kirchberg.
The EU institution has decided to make this building available to the Luxembourg state. The building is particularly well designed and adapted to accommodate children as it housed the EIB crèche until 2020.
Since the beginning of the war and the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, the EIB Group has firmly demonstrated its support for Ukraine and its people by providing immediate assistance to the Ukrainian authorities and neighbouring countries hosting refugees. Here in Luxembourg, the EIB has decided to support the most vulnerable refugees — children — by facilitating their reception and schooling.
The new school is home to specialist classes for refugees, sponsored by the state. Some 80 pupils aged 3 to 12, children of Ukrainian refugees and children of asylum seekers from other nations are now being taught there. The children are split into eight basic teaching classes, with lessons for the duration of the school day. There is also an after-school nursery.
Luxembourg's Ministry of Education, Children and Youth now runs the building and will manage it as part of the schools programme for migrant children living in the accommodation facilities of the National Refugee and Migrants Office (ONA) of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
Minister of Education, Childhood and Youth Claude Meisch wishes to "thank the EIB for its humanitarian commitment to address the Ukraine crisis by making infrastructure available to the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth to welcome and educate young Ukrainian asylum seekers. Investing in new classrooms is undoubtedly an investment in the integration of these young people and their prospects for the future.”
Finance Minister Yuriko Backes said: "I wish to sincerely thank the EIB for making this building available for migrant children from Ukraine and other countries. This initiative is a vibrant sign of solidarity and another example of the excellent cooperation between Luxembourg and the EIB. Education is one of the most important tools we have to improve the plight of children who have had to flee war and violence in their home country.”
EIB President Werner Hoyer said: "It is important to contribute collectively to Europe's effort to welcome with dignity and warmth children and families from Ukraine, other people at risk and those fleeing conflict zones. In addition to our increased support in the field of education and our activities on the ground and in and around conflict zones, we are delighted to be able to work with the Luxembourg authorities on this initiative. I am pleased that the EIB can contribute to the country's effort to welcome young asylum seekers from Ukraine and other conflict zones, which is fully in keeping with European solidarity and values.”
Press release by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth / the Ministry of Finance / the European Investment Bank