Growth (Flex 2023)

In 2023, UKUAT enters its third phase of support for UK – building the FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) Programme. Over the course of 2022/23 there has been a large ‘brain drain’ out of Ukraine (with over 8.2 million Ukrainians refugees fleeing abroad and a further 8 million displaced within the country).

UKUAT mission for the current phase of work is to help ‘rebuild’ Ukraine by focusing on its future leaders – teenagers who are a. in Ukraine b. have been significantly impacted by the war first hand.

UKUAT believe that by creating conditions for these teenagers to a. get respite b. establish contacts and connections and c. experience a western democracy – it will enable them to succeed personally and in the near term future when it comes to rebuilding Ukraine

We are gearing up to run a FLEX pilot programme at the end of 2023. This programme has full support of the Ukrainian Government, with named children already nominated to participate in the Programme.

As this exchange programme grows
we seek participation as follows:

UK Schools

We aim to collaborate with a select few outstanding schools that will

a) Incorporate and endorse our charity as a component of your Corporate Social Responsibility initiative,

b) Advocate for the charity’s mission among the school community and parent groups with the objective of enlisting Host Families for this project, and

c) Provide four days of resources (e.g., a few days’ worth of educational materials, engaging activities for children, language assistance, etc.) throughout the two-week period during which the children will be present in the UK

In essence your school will be part of the regeneration and growth story of the Ukraine.

UKUAT is committed to promoting all our partners and ensuring all marketing and PR material plays into our Partners’ CSR.

Event Support

UKUATogether wishes to develop a number of high impact partnerships with companies both big and small. Together, we can make a big difference,

Below are the range of ways you as a Corporate can get involved in the FLEX Programme:

  • Strategic sponsorship through donations (for example you may want to sponsor a cohort of 14 children coming through FLEX)
  • Strategic partnership through supporting the two week FLEX Programme (for example you may want to sponsor a programme activity whilst the teenagers are in the UK)

UK Hosts

UKUAT supports all Hosts (who sign up to welcome Ukrainian Kids into their homes as part of the FLEX Programme) across a range of services.

You’ve probably got some questions.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from our children and hosts.

For Ukrainian Children (and their families)

Why am I selected to go on the FLEX Programme?

You have been selected by the Ukrainian Government (Kyiv region) to participate in the UKUAT FLEX Programme. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn a lot about yourself, about a different country and culture, and to practice your English language. Immersed in the English culture and language, you will live as a member of your host family, attend four days of school and participate in fun and educational trips.

By the end of the programme, you will have gained new friends, established incredible connections and have improved your English.

The exchange experience is very rewarding but also very challenging and it will greatly benefit your future in many ways.

Do I need to speak English to be part of this programme?

You do not need to be fluent in English to be part of this programme.
However, as you will be attending a school and living with a local family, we strongly recommend that you know the basics of the language.

Possessing some language skills will enable you to interact with people more easily and generally make your visit more comfortable and enjoyable.

What clothes and other personal things shall I bring in November?

We will be supplying you with a full list of what to bring including clothes, hygiene products and other personal items.

Where will I be living?

You will be staying, in pairs (with another Ukrainian child on the Programme) with a local family.

We will be supplying you with photos of the house and your room as well as the exact location of the house – once its been allocated.

Do I need a visa to come to the UK?


UKUAT will be working with the Ukrainian and English Embassy to get a visa issued for you.

Who are my Host family and how are they selected?

Host families come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. They might be similar or very different to your family.

Host families will be formed exclusively by parents from the school we are partnering with.

Host families volunteer to participate in the FLEX Programme and therefore are open to receive you with an open and to share your learning experience.

Each host family is interviewed by The Head of Hosts in UKUAT and required to undergo screening procedures and a police check.

Can I choose my host family?

No. As it’s a short two week stay, UKUAT will be matching all children (in pairs) to the Host families.

Will I be sharing a room with someone?

Yes, You will be sharing a room with another child from Ukraine attending the FLEX Programme.

How will I get to the UK?

You will go by train to Warsaw. Stay the night in Warsaw. And from Warsaw fly to London. There you will be met by UKUAT and be taken to your Host Family.

What if there is a problem?

There will be numerous resources to assist if any problems come up. The Chaperone from Ukraine, Head of Host in the UK (UKUAT), Head of Children in the UK (UKUAT) and many others who can help.

It’s very important that you raise your concerns so everyone can help.

Keep an open mind and try to understand that the culture and customs might be different from what you are used to!

Will there be anyone who speaks Ukrainian on the UKUAT team?

Yes. We have numerous resources including Head of Children (UKUAT) and Head of Ukrainian Relations (UKUAT) as well as your Chelerone.

Can I go out/travel by myself whilst in the UK?

No, independent travel is not allowed on this program. As a minor living in a foreign country, you are under the responsibility of UKUAT and your host family and we have a duty of care toward you. There will be trips included in the two week FLEX Programme however, you are not allowed to travel without the supervision of those responsible for you.

I will be spending four days at a school. What will I be doing at school?

The school are thrilled to have you and will be developing a full Programme of activities for your days there. This will include sports activities, participating in lessons, assembly and games.

You will get a breakdown of school activities by end of October.

What will the weather be like in November in the UK?

The average day temperature in London in November is 12 degrees (C). And the average low is 5 degrees (C)

How can I keep in touch with other children participating on the FLEX programme?

UKUAT will be developing social media and chat groups to ensure we are all active, engaged and communicating prior, during and post the FLEX Programme.

For Hosts

Who can Host an FLEX Exchange student?

Our host families come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. However, it is necessary for you to be a parent in the school that UKUAT is partnering with and meet the other requirements (next question).

What matters most is that you are open to hosting two children for two weeks and are up for sharing hearts and home.

What are the requirements of a Hosting Family?

The host family must agree to undergo screening procedures including; Enhanced DBI check, providing a reference, have a video interview and provide videos/pictures of your home and the space the children will live in.

We also require the adults within the family to read and adhere to our Safeguarding policies. You will also be required to sign a Volunteer Agreement.

The video meeting is a great way for our Head of Host to get to know your family and answer any questions you might have.

How do I become a Host?

Click Here to register to become a Host and we will contact you.

Do The children speak English?

Most will have a basic level of English. However you may also be in a position where you are hosting children with almost zero English. The children count on your patience and will take the opportunity to learn English from you.

How many children do we host and for how long?

You will be asked to host two children for two weeks. For safeguarding purposes, UKUAT places most children in pairs.

Can I choose the children who stay with us?

No. However, UKUAT will send you the kids profiles and as much detail as possible so you are comfortable and the match goes smoothly.

In their profile you will find their first name, any special requirements, hobbies and any information we have on their situation during the war.

What are the responsibilities of a Host Family?

Your responsibility is to welcome the children into your home as a guest but also a member of your family for two weeks. Please give them the same care and support as you would give to your own children.

Ideally the children will share a bedroom if possible. They can also share a bedroom with one of your own children if of the same gender and similar age – provided everyone was happy with that arrangement.

Host families also provide the children with meals, give them lifts to school or designated meetings spot and have them participate in all family activities.

Children are expected to help with simple chores and go with any rules you may have in your house hold. Basically – the same expectations as you would have of your own children.

Do the children have health and travel insurance?

All children who come to the UK under the FLEX Programme will have comprehensive travel insurance that includes medical cover.

This is the requirement of the Embassy to issue visas to the children. Host families are not expected to include exchange students in their own insurance policies.

What support will I receive from UKUAT when hosting the students?

UKUAT will pay £50 per student per week to compensate for any outgoings if the Host require financial support.

UKUAT will also have a Child Psychologist (on our team) on stand by as well as a nurse. We will also have a Doctor on standby.

UKUAT will have a Head of Children volunteer and a Head of Hosts volunteers available to Hosts as resources.

UKUAT will have social media and other (private) comms channels set up before and during the FLEX Programme to ensure smooth and ongoing communication.

We contact both the host family and the children to make sure everyone is having a positive experience. We have a 24-hour emergency phone so are always available to help with any difficulties that might arise.

Are we expected/invited to escort children to some of the activities whilst they are in the UK?

You are not expected but we would be delighted to have you join one or two activities. But in short – there are no expectations for you to do so.

What may be some of the main challenges when hosting the students?

When students first arrive, they might feel a bit shy in their new environment. It usually only takes a few days until they feel comfortable around the house. The language barrier can be a challenge, especially at the beginning, but as the children become more comfortable, communication will improve.

Due to cultural differences, food may be a challenge as the children will be trying new food. Ukrainian food is not miles away from English food and consists of lots of soups, salads, meat, fish and fruit. We suggest Hosts discuss with the children what meals they will be having. You will be supplied with a food/allergies fact sheet for the children you are hosting.

It is quite common for the student to feel homesick at times. They might need some extra care and support to get through these feelings.

The child may not get along with a member of the host family. Most of these cases can be resolved with a discussion and assistance from UKUAT.

How do we handle talking abut the war?

UKUAT will be offering you support regarding this topic. This will be in the form of Helpful Hints & Tips and perhaps a Webinar lead by our Head of Ukraine Relations and UKUAT Child Psychologist.

How can we help the children integrate, feel relaxed and have a good time in the UK?

We suggest that you get to know the kids beforehand by doing a video call and have your children communicate with the Ukrainian kids as well. Everything else will come naturally as part of spending time with the Children over the two week FLEX Programme.