‘I had to do something’: How one Osmo employee stepped up to help Ukrainian refugee students
As Katja Heinisch, the head of business development in Germany and France, watched the horrors of the Russian invasion of Ukraine unfold, she knew she had to do something.
And quickly, she knew that Osmo from BYJU’s and its partner Klett had what could be helpful tools to help children who had fled the war learn the new language, German, that they’d be speaking in their new school.
“I couldn’t just watch what was happening and not take any action at all,” she said. “Luckily, Osmo’s leadership agreed and was quick to approve my request.”
She worked with Osmo’s leadership to secure 500 Genius Starter Kits to be given away to teachers around the country in hopes of making their jobs a little bit easier.
The hope was that the kits, which included a special Words Education album with Klett’s German Foreign Language content, would allow teachers to give extra resources to students who needed to learn German without disrupting instruction – and that the individual play the kits provide would give students the confidence to learn.
Using Osmo’s social accounts, she sent out messages notifying teachers of the donated kits available. And then, she read through the notes that came through shortly after with stories of new children who had shown up to their classes and were struggling with school or the individual boost that an Osmo kit could provide existing students. She read about educators’ experience with Osmo that had helped their own kids at home that they now wanted to be able to bring into the classroom.
But mostly, the educators who wrote just spoke about how they wanted to help their Ukrainian students. And for Katja, the first round of donations is just a start to the role she hopes Osmo and its partners can play in helping children learn around the world.
“With the end of the school year coming, we’ll look to see what other needs classrooms have that we can help with,” she said. “But I hope this is just a first step for what we can do.”