About the Conference

IDEC goals in Ukraine:
  • To exchange ideas and experience
  • To find solutions for common situations and difficulties
  • To make democratic education in Ukraine and in the world more popular
  • To meet Ukrainian projects and conference participants

This year, Ukraine is hosting the annual conference! Dedicated to democratic education, it’s for people who are already changing education in the world, shaping trends and creating schools of the future and for those who want to join it!

An amazing outbreak happened in the educational sphere for the last three years— businessmen started to invest money in alternative schools which has resonated with society more and more. Sharing their experience, examples, and support, foreign professional representatives are not only very important for Ukraine, but they help in its growth of modern education.

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Why [email protected]?

Share your experience with people who really care about the education process in their countries!

Catch your inspiration from many creative professionals and keynote speakers!

Become a part of an international network, meeting new, fascinating friends worldwide.

[email protected] Ukraine:

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Conference Programme

The conference has got two stages: 1-3 August - Kyiv; 4-9 August -Vinnytsia. As you know, all IDEC/EUDEC participants play an important role in enriching the program so you are always welcomed and encouraged to contribute any initiatives or ideas.

Programme in Kyiv

Programme in Vinnytsia

Our Speakers

Assistant Principal and music teacher at the Summerhill school in Suffolk, UK.

Speaker: HENRY READHEAD | Speaks in Vinnytsya and Kyiv

As the oldest childrens‘ democracy, soon to celebrate its 100th birthday, Summerhill school is standing at the beginnings of the democratic education movement. The school’s philosophy is to allow each child to take their own path in life and to follow their own interests, free from the expectations of the relevant adults.

Henry Readhead is a person for whom the ideas of democratic education are not only his passion and his profession but also part of his family and his own childhood. Henry went to Summerhill from the age of 3 and is nowadays running the school alongside his mother and his brother.We are very happy that Henry will be with us to talk of his experience and perspective on the key principles of equality, freedom and democratic process.

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Senior Research Fellow at the Learning Policy Institute, founded by Linda Darling-Hammond in 2015

Speaker: Tony Wagner | Speaks in Vinnytsya

A globally recognized voice in education, TONY WAGNER is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Learning Policy Institute, founded by Linda Darling-Hammond in 2015. Prior to this appointment, Tony held a variety of positions at Harvard University for more than twenty years, including four years as an Expert in Residence at the Harvard Innovation Lab and the founder and co-director, for more than a decade, of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

His previous work experience includes twelve years as a high school teacher, K-8 principal, university professor in teacher education, and founding executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility. Tony is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and a widely published author. His work includes numerous articles and six books. Tony’s latest, Most Likely To Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for The Innovation Era, co-authored by Ted Dintersmith, was published by Scribner in 2015. Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World, was published in 2012 to rave reviews and has been translated into 17 languages. His 2008 book, The Global Achievement Gap continues to be an international best seller, with more than 140,000 copies in print.

Tony served as the Strategic Education Advisor for a major new education documentary, “Most Likely to Succeed,” which had its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. He also collaborated with noted filmmaker Robert Compton to create a 60 minute documentary, “The Finland Phenomenon: Inside The World’s Most Surprising School System” in 2010.

Tony earned an M.A.T. and an Ed.D. at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

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Israeli educator and worldwide pioneer of democratic education

Speaker: YAACOV HECHT | Speaks in Vinnytsya and Kyiv

Yaacov Hecht founded the Democratic School of Hadera in Israel, the first school in the world to call itself democratic. He then helped to establish a network of democratic schools all over Israel. In 1993, he convened the first IDEC Shortly after, Hecht founded the Institute for Democratic Education in Israel (IDE), and within it, the academic faculty for DE teachers.

His book “Democratic Education: A Beginning of a Story”, which has been translated into English, Portuguese, and Bulgarian, is a source of inspiration for groundbreaking educators and entrepreneurs all over the world. In 2010, Hecht founded "Education Cities – the Art of Collaborations" an organization that promotes collaboration and networking in the classroom, in the school, in the city, in the country and in the world. WIRED magazine has selected the MOOC learning model of Education Cities as one of the leading trends in 2015. Yaacov Hecht has served as an advisor to Ministers of Education in Israel, both past and present, as an expert in creating connections and interfacing between the state and alternative education. Yaacov is a distinguished and sought after speaker around the world, and lectures on issues that are close to his heart: artificial intelligence, social networks, Big Data, Disruptive Innovation, Augmented reality, and the ways these issues influence our life. Yaacov regards the preparing and directing of the educational system towards the future as his main mission today.

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Founder and Director of AERO - Alternative Education Resource Organization, author of No Homework and Recess All Day.

Speaker: JERRY MINTZ | Speaks in Vinnytsya and Kyiv

Mr Jerry Mintz has been a leading voice in the alternative school movement for over 30 years. In addition to his seventeen years as a public and independent alternative school principal and teacher, he has also helped found more than fifty public and private alternative schools and organizations.

He has lectured and consulted in more than twenty-five countries around the world. In 1989, he founded the Alternative Education Resource Organization and has helped found over 50 alternative schools and organizations.

He has been on National Public Radio, the major TV networks, in The New York Times, Newsday, and many other publications. He was Editor-in-Chief for the Handbook of Alternative Education, and the Almanac of Education Choices.

He is the author of No Homework and Recess All Day: How to Have Freedom and Democracy in Education and editor of Turning Points: 35 Visionaries in Education Tell Their Own Stories.

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Head of Staff of Tokyo Shure and Shure University.
Organizer of IDEC 2000 in Japan

Speaker: KAGEKI ASAKURA | Speaks in Vinnytsya

Kageki Asakura is working both in practices and in the study of democratic education. He has worked at the oldest free democratic school in Japan and founded the first Japanese democratic university, Shure University. Asakura is Dean there. He has been an active member of IDEC for two decades. Kageki studies and writes about democratic education, history of education and ethnography of youth. He is an also leading scholar of “self-ology”, a study about the self and by the self.

State school teacher, principal, school Inspector, advisor for the Council of Europe Education for Democratic Citizenship

Speaker: DERRY HANNAM | Speaks in Kyiv

Retired state secondary school Deputy/Acting Headteacher and School Inspector in the UK As an inspector he worked for Summerhill School when the UK government attempted to close it. He has tried to support democratic schools in the Netherlands, Denmark and Bavaria when they have got into difficulties with their inspectors.

He has a bachelor’s degree in education from Oxford University and a master’s degree in educational research from Exeter University. He has been a consultant, researcher, adviser to the Council of Europe, the governments of the UK and other countries in Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education. He has been a visiting fellow at Sussex University for student voice in schools and has lectured on student democracy and participation at London University.

He researched and wrote the report for the UK government that demonstrated positive outcomes when democratic and participative approaches are implemented in English state secondary schools. This became known as ‘The Hannam Report’ which has been cited in over 70 further research studies and reports.

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Founder of Phoenix School

Speaker: MARKO KOSKINEN | Speaks in Vinnytsya and Kyiv

Marko got interested in educational change through reading the Summerhill book over 20 years ago. He applied to the Helsinki University teacher education in order to be able to influence how teachers are educated. After half a year of studies, as a student he initiated a project, which ended up becoming an alternative teacher education line at the University. After the new teacher education was started, he began visiting various democratic schools around the world in order to start his own school in Finland.

In 2005 Marko started the first democratic school in Finland, called Phoenix School (Feeniks-koulu in Finnish). It was a small experimental school which ran for three years. During this experience Marko got many requests from people around Finland if they could join the school online. So, in 2009 Marko started planning the Phoenix School Online, which opened in 2011 and is still running.

In 2016 Marko hosted the [email protected] conference in Finland. During the preparations for the conference Marko started a school/learning center in Pakistan together with a local STEP-organization aimed for the slum area children who don’t have access to schools or education. In June 2016 Marko and the STEP-organization started the second center and now they’re planning a third one. The centers are open in the evenings, since many of the children need to work during day time. There are laptop computers with good Internet connection available for the students so they can teach themselves in small groups. In both centers there is one voluntary teacher/tutor who helps the students to get started.

Marko has been promoting democratic education since the 1990s. He was part of a group that started a student centered teacher education in Helsinki University in 1996. He then moved on to start his own school and founded the first democratic school called Phoenix School in Finland in 2005. The school was running for three years. In 2010 he started working on an online learning platform called Knowledge Constructors, which is specifically designed for student centred education and in 2012 he started the Phoenix Online School. In 2016 he hosted the International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC) in Finland. Also the same year together with a Pakistani educator, Arif Paul, they started three learning centers for street children in Pakistan.

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The founders of three schools by Sudbury model who bring experience of 18 years working in these schools and experience as parents of three grown up children.

Speaker: PETER and CHRISTEL HARTKAMP | Speaks in Kyiv and Vinnytsya

For Peter and Christel the search for alternative paths in education began in 1998 as they have just returned to Netherlands from Oman. Their eldest eight-year-old daughter went to school, and soon her parents noticed that she was depressed every time the holidays were over. Hearing from his daughter, “I`d rather die than go to school,” Peter deeply immersed himself in the study of learning issues, Dutch education legislation and human rights. Peter and Christel founded the school by the Sudbury school model (with no teachers, no exams, no lessons and no grades). Peter is an active participant in the Council of the European Democratic Education Community (EUDEC) and is an author of the book "Beyond Coersive Education" (2016), which is available in several languages and has recently been translated into Russian to be published soon. Now the children of Peter and Christel are adults, and they themselves stayed to work at the Sudbury School in Harderwick.

After defending her PhD thesis in geology, Peter`s wife, Christel, worked in the oil industry until 2003, when she and her husband opened their first school in Soest. Understanding the disadvantages of existing educational theories, Christel began working on her second PhD thesis, exploring the scientific basis for the self-directed education.

Peter and Christel publish their experience, advise activists seeking to bring the Sudbury model to their schools, regularly give lectures and perform as speakers at international events focussing on alternative education.

Peter and Christel are active participants in the EUDEC Council who founded three Saudbery system schools in the Netherlands and published books and scientific work on self directed education.

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The a well known philosopher and methodologist of supporting professions in Urkaine and beyond. She works in the fields of psychotherapy, coaching, facilitation, mediation and adult education.

Speaker: Anna Valensa | Speaks in Vinnytsya

At the IDEC/EUDEC conference Anna will seak about the evolution of maturity, about how we “remain ourselves” all our life, without even knowing it… You will hear about adult maturation, the main stages of becoming "yourself". How does it feel subjectively and how does it objectively look at different ages - physical and psychological - in childhood, adolescence, adulthood, maturity.

What needs, desires, interests, and values drive us while we are growing? How does this affect the behavior and relationships of children and adults? What are we aware of and what do we fail to notice due to the "age" features? Each stage of growth harbors specific keys to who we are. Parents, teachers and leaders grow up together and next to their children, students and staff. This is an exciting journey and a great life challenge at the same time!

Anna is an amazing speaker, listening to her you will recognize yourself smiling, your habits and manifestations, noticed by her. Anna helps many organizations, including those related to education, to realize themselves as a system, to build up a strategy of non-violent communication and inspiring group work in teams, organizations and even in the families.

We highly recommend to listen to her about the models of parenthood, learning and management styles. The experience of our cooperation in the past shows that interaction with Anna opens eyes to many seemingly obvious things in the society around us and turns out to be not only useful for many, but also healing in solving the problems with ourselves and others.

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The founder and the teacher of a very unique, bright and well-known `BerkoShko` school in Ukraine.

Speaker: Valentina Merzhiyevskaya | Speaks in Vinnytsya

The school is quite small with its 2 classes, but the ideas, principles and methods of the `BerkoShko` school have already spread widely and found many followers in Ukraine. `BerkoShko` does not open new classes, the number of children remains unchanged, although there is a long waiting list of people willing to join the project. Why? Because, according to Valentina, you can only make happy a maximum of 200-250 children on your own, and to achieve this you will have to give all you can give. However, you can go another way and inspire teachers and parents across the country to create their own schools build on the same ideas. In this way the number of children made happy will grow exponentially and not just by another handful.

Valentina carefully collects the experience of `BerkoShko`, analyses and structures it in order to support the new venturers of alternative education in developing their projects. She records webinars, develops training courses, writes books and travels the country with seminars. Dozens of alternative schools, camps and out-of-school educational projects in Ukraine were inspired or supported by `BerkoShko` and personally by Valentina Merzhiyevskaya.

At IDEC, Valentina will speak about one of the most demanded elements of `BerkoShko` - about `Tereveni`. Tereveni is a psychological club aimed at learning selfconciosnes, awareness of emotions, empathy and dealing with conflicts. She will also touch many other topics ranging from development of the responsible social attitude to the transfer of the cultural code.

Attending Valentina’s talk at IDEC is definitely a gain for every participant. We are sure you will appreciate the atmosphere of wisdom, soft confidence, kindness and reason around this amazing woman.

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The specialist in teenage psychology, she is the founder and the leader of the Communicative Club for teenagers and a practicing psychologist.

Speaker: Diana Zhitnya-Kebas | Speaks in Vinnytsya

In her diverse and important practice, Diana helps teenagers to live through their complex emotions, such as fear, jealousy, anger, offense, grief, depression, shame... She helps adults (parents and teachers) to understand their role in this process. The atmosphere of mutual trust and feeling of safety is particularly important for Diana and allows all participants of the club to speak openly and sincerely.

With the permission of the participants themselves, Diana summarizes their experiences and opinions to share with a wide audience. The results of her valuable analysis and the polls are showing what is important or difficult for modern tenagers today. They are covering such relevant topics as gadgets, bad habits, restriction of freedom, ethics of behavior on the Internet and the social media for both parents and children, etc. This invaluable experience helps many parents and teachers to build trusting relationships with children.

Her professional expertise and the power of her sincere desire to untie the tightly tied knots of misunderstanding between teenagers and adults works wonders. Many parents will support us in the opinion that Diana will enrich any event as a speaker. We highly recommend attending Diana`s talk to everyone for whom building a trusting relationship with teenagers is a relevant topic.

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The author of idea and fonder of People Parliament Movement. Chennai Area, India.

Speaker: Joseph Rathinam | Speaks in Vinnytsya

Joseph was an author of the idea and a founder of People Parliament Movement. He had been working for 27 years to build children's parliament around India and later around the world. For now the idea of children's parliament has reached several million children through his work. And Joseph is still totally enthusiastic!

Children's parliament gathers kids from 6 to 18 from one neighborhood community or one school and gives them the direct power in the whole process of identifying their own problems and needs, discussing them, taking decisions to set them right, charting out suitable action plans for the same, implementing the action plans and monitoring and evaluating the implementation and so on.

Towards this, this project promotes the platforms for children where they can cultivate basic human relationship among them in their own neighborhood community and the importance of children’s participation in self-governance and in the above whole processes by educating, organizing and empowering them which alone will lead to the much needed social change through a program called “Children Parliament”.

Now Joseph also works as a Professional Trainer and coach, basing his work in this field on the democratic approach and procedures.

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Terms and Prices

The participation fee of the Vinnytsia part includes: basic accommodation, food, the program itself, transfers from Kyiv to Vinnytsia, workshops, and a cultural program with excursions around Vinnytsia. The participation fee for the Kyiv part of the conference includes participation in the conference program, food and free accommodation in host families. For participants from Ukraine accommodation in Kyiv is not included. If you would like to arrange your own accommodation (a hotel, hostel or apartment), please feel free to do so on your own expense.

Are you planning to bring a group of students from your school? We'll give you a discount depending on the number of participants. Contact Us

We are planning to collect money through crowdfunding to give a scholarship to lucky participants in our conference. If you want to apply, please, tell us about yourself with a photo and video. We will review all applications and contact you should you receive the scholarship. here. Check who is waiting for your help

Children 5-14 years old Children EUDEC Members Adult above 14 years old Adult EUDEC Members
Opening + Keynote Speakers (Kyiv. Aug 1-3) 165 euro 165 euro 165 euro 165 euro
Conference + Keynote speakers. Vinnytsia. Aug 4-9 (Camping) 207 euro 192 euro 277 euro 261 euro
Conference + Keynote speakers. Vinnytsia. Aug 4-9 (Regular) 231 euro 220 euro 308 euro 292 euro
Conference + Keynote speakers. Vinnytsia. Aug 4-9 (Comfort) 315 euro 300 euro 392 euro 374 euro
Buy Your ticket now


The registration fee for the Kyiv part of the conference includes accommodation in host families. For the Vinnytsia part, please choose an option that best suits your needs (price/ comfort level) during the registration process.


Basic level on the territory of the former children camp that is, to say it honestly, not in an ideal condition. Living in the rooms from 3 to 15 persons


For those who require an accommodation with a higher level of comfort we offer a possibility to stay in a cozy hotel, located in a beautiful historical building 2 km away from the conference camp. Transportation to the conference venue will be organized twice a day.
Comfort accommodation is sold out, we are very sorry. Basic and tent see available.


Living on the camp territory in your own tents

Host Families

We also offer you free accommodation in a host family. It's a good opportunity to make new international friends and learn more about our country. Please, fill in the form if you are interested in this option


There are several hostels right near the conference venue, the cost of which is much lower than in hotels. Nevertheless, they offer good conditions for a comfortable stay. List of recommended hostels


We have selected several hotels for you near the conference venue. Hotels of different levels of comfort and different price ranges. List of recommended hotels

Travel Info


Tickets Info

You can get to the conference by plane (the flights timetable and tickets sales in Kyiv’s Boryspil Airport (https://kbp.aero/). It’s possible to arrive in Ukrain by train (https://booking.uz.gov.ua/) or by bus (http://bus.com.ua/). Conference participants will have a comfortable bus transfer from Kyiv to nearby Vinnytsia. If you have any difficulties with bus transfers, write to us and we will try to help you with train tickets.

travel truck

What to Take With You

The recommended list of necessary things: we’ve made a list of necessary things which you should have. You can, however, add what you need to this list.

  • Cap or panama hat
  • Two t-shirts
  • A long-sleeved T-shirt or shirt (mosquitoes don’t sleep!)
  • Fleece or sweater
  • Tarpaulin or jacket
  • Shorts or skirt
  • Lightweight pants
  • Warm pants
  • Three pairs of warm socks
  • Swimming trunks/swimsuit
  • Regular underwear
  • Rainwear (tops and bottoms)
Footwear At least 2 pairs
  • Crocs/sandals/rubber slippers (for warm weather and your comfort)
  • Waterproof boots/sneakers , preferably without netting (It might be raining, having feet wet is a big discomfort, not to mention the risk of catching a cold)
Other really useful stuff
  • Lantern/ Flashlight
  • Towel
  • Toilet paper (this stuff will be in the camp, but it’s better to have such necessary thing )
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothpaste, brush, comb, shampoo, a bar of soap
  • First aid kit ( there is a health centre with the most essential meds on the territory but keep in mind your personal needs)
  • Toothpaste, brush, comb, shampoo, a bar of soap
  • Plastic garbage bags ( there are trash containers on the territory)
  • Phone and charger
  • Documents. All children must have a copy of birth certificate. For those who live in tent it is advisable to wrap documents in a water-tight bag.
  • Cash (for those who live in tent, preferably to put cash in a water-tight bag)
  • Small-sized blanket or sleeping bag if you are cold. There are woolen blankets in the camp but they are light. Last spring it wasn’t comfortable to sleep under them
For those who live in tent
  • Waterproof tent (pay attention to a sign of water resistance. If it is more than 3000 mm – so you can sleep easy, whatever clouds are above you! A sign of water resistance is less than 3000 mm – you can be soaking wet!
  • Sleeping bags ( better to take one which is suitable for cold weather. Of course, it isn’t going to be frosty, but it’s not comfortable to sleep in light sleeping bag when it’s raining.)
  • Karеtmats ( tourist mats)at least 2, better 3 for a tent. Self-inflating mat is an amazing alternative to them.
  • Warm clothes for sleeping: light tracksuit, thermal underwear ( not synthetic) or warm pyjamas.
  • Hat, especially for children. It’s better to wear a light convenient hat for sleeping in a tent
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Visa Info

Citizens of the EU and CIS states and many other countries do not require a visa to visit Ukraine for up to 90 days. However, your travel passport should be valid for at least 6 months past your planned stay. Please follow the link to check the exact visa requirements for your country. An invitation template for your visa application can be downloaded here. Kindly fill in your personal information and send the file to ([email protected]) to get a signed copy. We kindly ask our guests from the Russian Federation to ([email protected]) for additional information and support in planning your travel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers (Q&A), are listed questions and answers, all supposed to be commonly
asked in some context, and pertaining to a particular topic. The format is commonly used on email
mailing lists and other online forums, where certain common questions tend to recur.

What are the parts of the conference?

The conference consists of two parts:

In Kyiv, you will be expected August 1, 2019 - this is the day of arrival and the great opening, August 2-3 - two full days of the conference in Kyiv.

4-9 August - conference in Vinnytsia. We will spend six days together in a camp outside the city. How to pay for each of these parts?

Each part (Kyiv or Vinnytsia) has a separate price, which you will find here.

When registering on a site, you choose which parts of the conference you want to attend, and the system automatically calculates the full amount to be paid. You can only complete one registration on the site and pay for it. You do not need to register and pay separately for each part of the conference.

Can I attend only one part?

Yes, each participant has the right to choose: whether he wants to be a participant in both parts (Kyiv and Vinnytsia), or visit only one (or Kyiv or Vinnytsia). But we strongly advise you to attend both, because IDEC is to become an incredibly bright event of your life, and you will most likely regret if you deprive yourself of this inspiration!

How do we get from Kyiv to Vinnytsia?

On August 3, after 15 o'clock, buses will be organized, which will take all participants from Kyiv to Vinnytsia. The road is long, about 3.5 hours, in a good company however you will hardly notice the time! If you understand that this is a problem for you, please let us know in advance so that we can take care of you and order you railway tickets.

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You can always ask any question by using Contact Form

Our Huge Amazing Team

Alternative educators from Kyiv and Vinnytsia joined their efforts
to make a fantastic conference for you!

Liubov Stepanenko

Igor Kazmiruk

Lilia Hriaznova

Irina Branitskaya

Natalia Tarchenko

Natalia Cherepukhina

Liudmyla Trofymchuk

Dasha Gorobets

Katerina Botvinnik

Taras Tkachuk

Yaroslav Devdera

Andrey Yascholt

Irina Veklii

Nataliia Roshchynska

Oksana Strelbitska

Olga Bevz

Anna Botvinnik

Natali Demidova

Jenya Mezhueva

Oksana Beznosiuk

Olena Radomyrska

Asya Kindzerska

Yaroslava Martynyuk

Masha Oshovska

Mary Botsula

Elya Yascholt

Olena Sydorenko

Anastasiia Filinska

Oksana Rozdorozhuiuk

Nadia Martynyuk

Marina Kolesnik

Myroslav Botsula

Anna Botsula

Oksana Ivanova

Contact Us

Have questions? Feel free to contacts us. We might not answer immediately, but promise to do
that as soon as possible.

If you have any questions - feel free to contact us.


LIKO SCHOOL, Kyiv, Konieva street, 7-B/Meitusa street, 5A (2 buildings)


Ukraine, 23316, Vinnytsia Region, Children's camp Mayak, Selyshche, Lisova 1

Our partners

ProfiМеблі Освіта Нова Освітній Експеримент EDCAMP Ukraine Генеральне консульство Республіки Польща у Вінниці LMS Collaborator