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.
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.
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.”
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.
“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.”
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.
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.