Dalarna University commissioned education assignment in war-torn Ukraine

As part of a two-year project, Dalarna University has been commissioned to provide education in Ukraine that aims to help its young people who have been affected by the war. The course will be attended by 50 participants, 40 students and 10 faculty, from three prominent Ukrainian universities.

Together with universities in Odessa and Lviv, the aim is to support education in medicine, psychology, and social work so that doctors, psychologists, and sociologists will be able to provide professional support relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights to patients and clients.

From April to November 2024, course participants will attend online seminars and lectures led by Lecturer Maya Vergara, Senior Lecturer Catrin Borneskog-Sinclair, MD, Professor Iryna Mogilevkina, MD Xerxes Vlahakis and MD Lawrence Daka, all of Dalarna University. The aim is to educate doctors, psychologists, and sociologists so that they can address the specific needs of adolescents and young adults who have been affected by the war.

– Integrating the subject of sexual reproductive health and rights into vocational training is particularly important in war-torn Ukraine where the need is acute, says Professor and Project leader Kerstin Erlandsson, Dalarna University.

The project will receive 1.5 million in funding from the Swedish Institute (SI). This new and innovative venture aims to help young people in Ukraine, and the universities in Ukraine will themselves have a central role in deciding who will take the course and attend a study tour to Stockholm in August. In 2025, the plan is then for Dalarna University, to provide mentorship and for the faculty at the Ukraine Universities to introduce the subject of sexual reproductive health and rights at the education programmes for doctors, psychologists, and sociologists at Ukrainian universities, that are part of the project.

– The goal is to prepare for the rebuilding of Ukraine, says Professor Kerstin Erlandsson.

This project can address the needs of young people both during and after the war, and the project will hopefully serve as an inspiration for similar initiatives.

About the Project and the Programme

The Swedish Institute is “a public agency that promotes interest and trust in Sweden around the world”. Swedish Institute funding is part of the "SI Baltic Sea Neighborhood Programme" and will go towards the Dalarna University project titled "Sexual and reproductive health and rights of youth in wartime and the post-war future: education and promotion of online youth and young adult consultations".

  • Commissioned education in collaboration with Odessa National Medical University, Ivan Franko National University Lviv, and Lviv Polytechnic National University in Ukraine.
  • The course in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Adolescents and
  • Young Adults in Ukraine will prepare students for consultations of youth and young adult in social work and in work in the healthcare system.
  • The purpose of the project is to support education in medicine, psychology, and social work so that students in their future professional lives are qualified to provide support to patients and clients.

Research and Education at Dalarna University

The goal of research and education in sexual, reproductive and perinatal health (SRPH) at Dalarna University is to develop research and practice that affect access to SRPH and rights as a means to improve healthcare services nationally and internationally.

Kerstin Erlandsson
Professor Sexual, Reproductive and Perinatal Health
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