Orphans saved from shelling find shelter in western Ukraine

In the tourist town of Vorokhta, more than a hundred children from four orphanages have found sanctuary from the shelling.

UNICEF
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UNICEF
11 April 2022

A century ago, the resort village of Vorokhta, in western Ukraine, was popular with wealthy tourists. There, in the Carpathian mountains, skiers honed their skills. Today, Vorokhta is still an important tourist center. And in March 2022, as war broke out across the country, it sheltered more than a hundred children from four orphanages in the Kharkiv region. 

The children fled the shelling and explosions with their caregivers, as the Kharkiv region suffers countless strikes from various weapons.

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UNICEF
Children from orphanages in Kharkiv region passed a medical examination in Vorokhta.

In Vorokhta, the children were placed in one of the local medical facilities. 

“We knew that children could come to us at any time,” says Lyudmyla Sirko, the deputy head of the Ivano-Frankivsk regional state administration. “The sanatorium was provided with medicines, food, personal hygiene products and clothes. In addition, a medical examination of the children is being conducted.”

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UNICEF
Vorokhta provided shelter for more than 100 children from orphanages in Kharkiv region. Here they escape from shelling and explosions.

The children age from several months to six years old. There are many babies. Thanks to the medical facility, they all have the necessary diapers, hygiene products and medicines. The staff who came with them from Kharkiv are assisted by local specialists. Many are volunteers, who were recruited quickly and have a medical education.

Andriana, from Ivano-Frankivsk, is one of the volunteers. She saw an advertisement on the internet and came to help with a friend. She did not sleep for three days.

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UNICEF
Children who came to Vorokhta from Kharkiv region are curious. They like attention and communication with new people.

“We took on any job,” she says. “We bathed the children, changed their clothes and gave attention to them. There are many things to be aware of. For example, you should not take children in hand, because they need to get used to new people.”

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UNICEF
6-year-old Olga walks around the hall of the sanatorium in Vorokhta. In March 2022 she and other children from the orphanage in Kharkiv region were displaced there because of the war.

Now, the children are adapting to their new surroundings. They are curious, and enjoy attention and communicating with new people. Weeks ago, these girls and boys were rescued from a brutal war – now many of them are smiling. 

According to UNICEF, the war in Ukraine poses an immediate and growing threat to the lives and well-being of 7.5 million children in the country. More than 100 children have died since it began on February 24. It is impossible to determine the exact number of those injured or in need of safety water, food, medicine and protection.

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UNICEF
The girl from one of the orphanages in Kharkiv region in the hall of the sanatorium in Vorokhta. The day before she and other children from the orphanage were displaced there, away from shelling and war.

UNICEF is stepping up its efforts to meet critical and growing needs for safe water, health, education and protection. The organization has sent 50 mobile emergency protection teams to Ukraine, which provide medical care and information to children and caregivers.

UNICEF has already delivered almost 500 tons of humanitarian aid, including winter clothes, blankets, basic necessities, medicines and tools for the development of young children.

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UNICEF
Vorokhta mountain landscapes give some coziness for children rescued from shelling and bombs.