Real lives

In eastern Ukraine children suffer as fighting breaks water supply

UNICEF delivered first aid medical kits to provide immediate medical care for thousands of displaced children and their caregivers

UNICEF helps meet the hygiene and water needs of children affected by the crisis in Ukraine.

In Ukraine, children suffer as conflict continues

Colored pencils, drawing albums, books and games – basic but so necessary items for children.

Volunteer Vova: “A simple window pane separated me from death”

With the support of social workers, Maria was able to avoid the biggest mistake of her life

Inna: from Kyiv to Odesa. Hostage of circumstance

Angelika from Mykolaiv: looking for home

The most vulnerable children are the most affected in the conflict in Ukraine

Maria: “I feared for the lives of my children. There was no question, I had to take them away”.

Mother of two children from Donetsk: It is necessary to build a new life. And we are going forward.

Sisters from Luhansk are overcoming their fears after life in the conflict zone

One boy’s journey of change and coping with crisis

12-year-old Sumaya from Crimea is back to being ‘herself’ thanks to the psychosocial support she received from UNICEF

Football helps street children to become fans of sport and healthy lifestyles

Young activist asserts the rights of her HIV-positive peers

Liuda is sure that prevention will help her to give birth to a HIV-free baby

Prevention and treatment will make it possible for HIV-positive Kateryna to give birth to a healthy baby

Social workers provided care when all other people gave up on dealing with me, Maria says

Hard life is hard to change

An attempt to start a new life

What matters in life – success in football

Vinnytsya Becomes More Child-Friendly

Korosten Became More Friendly to Children with Disabilities

“Football gives me different life”

Football did not let him down

There is a way out. Widening a range of services for the most-at-risk adolescents in Mykolaiv region

A mistake in your life is not a full stop; it is a comma

A Boy from Odessa: from the street life to the dream of becoming a famous footballer

Changes that save lives: a story of success

Children with special needs: “To be not worse than others!”

From darkness to light: A social worker’s story

A true meaning in life: success with football

If to compare him today and then – it’s as different as day and night

Indifference may ruin lives: Children who No one Helps

A better life for at-risk girls in Ukraine

Hope in darkness - Olena’s story

Street children in Ukraine are among the most vulnerable groups to get HIV/AIDS

“Fathers are as important for newborns as mothers”

Child development in Chernobyl-affected Ukraine

Anastasia Polishchuk: “We thought that our child was just cutting teeth and we almost lost her because of meningitis”

“I had never even dreamt of such wonderful big family...”

Mediation as Implementation of the Right of the Child to Legal Protection

Sebastien’s story: A young Haitian earthquake survivor speaks

Breast-feeding: a Woman’s Happiness, a and Society’s Maturity Test

God and the Sun

The Price of Safer Sex Goes Up

The Duties of Real Men

Joined Hands Can’t Be Wrenched Apart

A Perfect Future

I did not want my son to be an orphan

I will not give him up… I will not be able to live knowing my child is somewhere along…

HIV positive mothers in Kherson oblast in Ukraine know their children can be born virus-free

Children’s authority in the world of adults

“It’s Just a Bug”. The Story of One Unvaccinated Boy’s Struggle with Meningitis



Football did not let him down

Andriy likes playing football

17-year-old Andriy is a handsome blond young man with timid eyes that immediately darken if someone asks the boy about his family and his past. He hates talking about it and retreats into his shell whenever people mention difficulties of everyday life. Andriy matured very early, as he had to help his mother, father and old sick granny. In order to earn a living, the boy is often forced to work in different construction sites and repair works, helping his mom who is a mason.

Family incomes are more than modest, as everything depends on mother’s salary – about one thousand hryvnas a month. It is not enough to make ends meet, since the family has to pay for utilities, food and medicines... Andriy’s father had to quit his job of a school carpenter to care for his sickly mother. It is Andriy’s support when he is not in his technical college, as well as assistance from church and from the charitable foundation “Caritas Ukraine” that helps the family to survive. “They provide us with clothes and footwear. In summer I may travel to the seaside or to the Carpathians with them. Their overall support is significant”, tells Andriy about people he met in the foundation – social workers and his new friends.

Andriy’s mood changes radically when someone talks about football – his biggest passion and love. It becomes immediately clear that football is something that gives him strength and encouragement, that it is his biggest joy in life. “Caritas Ukraine” supports a football team, and Andriy does his best not to miss a single practice. His greatest delight is the opportunity to meet someone from FC “Dynamo Kyiv” or even to play against them. This sport is everything for the boy: practices, games and competitions are all that he can think about, and the football field is the place where he spends his free time.

“Football is something that prevents him from hitting the bottom”, believes Olha Lyashenko, psychologist of “Caritas Ukraine”. Because of their craving for better life, children from low-income or socially disadvantaged families often find themselves in bad companies, develop bad habits and get into trouble. For her, talented and rational Andriy is a true miracle, an “exception from the rule”.

Young man dreams of becoming a professional football player; he prepares to every game thoroughly and plans to participate in the professional try-outs in the Dynamo’s football school. “In order to do so, I will have to quit smoking. It will be difficult, but I can do it”, claims Andriy.

About 60 thousand of Ukrainian children are registered as vulnerable. Many of them are exposed to violence, are deprived of parental care, or live with HIV; many children live or work on streets, come from low-income families, become victims of violence, have disabilities, or are in conflict with the law.

UNICEF continues to work with its national partners in Ukraine to strengthen social services, enabling families and communities to become loving and protective environments for children. EURO 2012 provides opportunities to raise awareness about children’s rights in Ukraine encourages all stakeholders to join efforts for the benefit of Ukraine’s children.



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