"I put all my strength into protecting my children from the consequences of the war."
"We are safe here."
"Marija is five, and Sofia is three years old. We arrived from Ukraine when it was still summer. We have our daily routine. I think that is important for children, especially in these circumstances. We exercise in the morning, and then we have breakfast. Every day I do two hours of educational activities with girls. They learn numbers, letters, and drawing. We play board games here in the area designed for children. We go for a walk every day. When it was warmer, we went to the beach. Now we spend more time here in the playroom or in our room", Anja Ovchinnikova, Marija and Sofija's mother shared with us.
It is not easy, she tells us, to be a parent in these circumstances, but she does her best so that the girls feel as little as possible of her concern:
"I put all my strength into ensuring that the situation taking place in Ukraine does not have a strong impact on my children. For them, the most important thing is that mom is close, and I try to ensure that the time I spend with them is filled with quality content and that they don't sit all day with their cell phones and cartoons. We do not talk about the events in Ukraine in front of children. Of course, you can't escape from worry. My dad and brother stayed in Ukraine. My mother is here with us. We have nowhere to return to in Ukraine because our house has been destroyed. We are grateful because we are safe. For many people, the situation is much harder than for us, especially for those in Ukraine. We have accommodation and food here. We are safe. It is not easy, but we must not complain."
UNICEF, in cooperation with the Center for Social Welfare Split provides group and individual support in collective accommodation. There is also a space for playing and socializing, where Marija and Sofija spend time playing with friends or in educational activities with their mother.