20 November 2023

Children in emergencies: stories of resilience

A staggering 315,000 grave violations against children in conflict were verified by the United Nations between 2005 and 2022, a horrifying illustration of the impact of war and conflict on children. The UN has also verified more than 16,000 attacks on schools and hospitals, and more than 22,000 instances of denial of humanitarian access for…, Ukraine, In a village near Kyiv, 14-year-old Nelya gazes into the distance while her 13-year-old sister Lilya braids her hair. It has been over a year and a half into the full-scale war. The ongoing hostilities and blackouts have impacted the girls’ mental health. They have become used to hiding when the air raid siren sounds and are forever trying to keep…, Armenia, At the end of September, 30,000 children fled their homes. Amidst the chaos, some children were able to bring with them items they hold dear to their hearts, mostly small in size but huge in significance. Fifteen-year-old Eduard managed to take only a part of his extensive collection of medals when he fled. He had dedicated six years to his karate…, Türkiye, Ten-year-old Sidra sits in one of the tents her extended family lives in after their homes were destroyed, in Antakya, Hatay, Türkiye, by the devastating earthquakes that struck southern Türkiye and Syria in February. Sidra (10) holds the hand of her grandmother Semiha (73), who now shares the role of raising Sidra. UNICEF/UNI452169/Secker When…, Italy, Between January and mid-September, more than 11,600 unaccompanied and separated children made the perilous journey across the deadly Central Mediterranean Sea migration route to Italy. Travelling alone without their parents or legal guardian, in search of safety and better opportunities, often fleeing armed conflict and war, these children are…
22 February 2023

A place full of contrasts 

The Humanitarian Center in Gabčíkovo is a very contrasting place. Freezing corridors and warm rooms; a constant silence broken by the echoing noise of closing doors. Smiling children run and play together, but their families are torn apart by the war. Initially a temporary solution; now a continued reality for those who have nowhere else to go.…, Helping others: Yulia’s distraction , Yulia first arrived in Gabčíkovo with her 10-year-old son Artemy in the middle of March 2022, almost a year ago, leaving behind her husband and her routine, scared and uncertain about the future.  Artemy was not happy to leave his home country and move abroad, but things got a bit better when they were joined by Yulia's mother.  Yulia, a former…, The children are still scared , Karine has been in Gabčíkovo for almost a year now. Originally from Odessa, she also arrived in Slovakia in March 2022, together with her children and sister.    Karine, a kindergarten teacher from Odessa, Ukraine, in her class in Humanitarian Center in Gabčíkovo. Karine, a kindergarten teacher from Odessa, Ukraine, in her class in Humanitarian…, A contrasting place indeed   , "On the one hand, Gabčíkovo is convenient because refugees have everything here,” explains Katka, a social worker at the centre. “If they have any problems, they can sort them out here: they don't have to go anywhere; everything is in one place. On the other hand, it makes it more difficult for them to integrate.”    Social workers Katka, Melinda…, I just want to take my dog on a trip  , A completely different glimpse into everyday life in Gabčíkovo is offered by Marianna, a 15-year-old girl who fled Kramatorsk, close to the frontline in Eastern Ukraine, with her family eleven months ago.    She and her family did not plan to stay in Slovakia for long. This is the main reason why Marianna initially did not enroll in a Slovak…, The end of the war with a magic wand   , Samuel and Anastasia, both 8 years old, like Gabčíkovo, especially when the volunteers come and play with them. Like many kids their age, they are not too fond of going to school or attending their Slovak language course, which is a must for all children until the age of 15.  Anastasia is playing in the kindergarten room in Gačíkovo Humanitarian…