19 October 2023

“Your voice is key in fight against violence”. UNICEF and the Ministry of Justice launch a social campaign on preventing violence against children

The campaign in Ukrainian and Polish language is addressed at children and adolescents experiencing violence, as well as witnesses, parents and teachers. The aim is to sensitize society to this problem, encourage people to report violence and facilitate access to various forms of help. The Justice Fund is a partner of the project, supporting it…, To raise awareness and help , According to experts, despite the long-standing social debate in Poland on the prevention of violence against children, many people still do not know how to get help in the event of child abuse. This is also the case for 39% of surveyed mothers who moved from Ukraine to Poland after February 2022 and took part in the UNICEF study “Barriers and…, To defeat the monster , The campaign shows violence as a monster that stops children from talking about the problem, sometimes creating an insurmountable barrier. It also gives children experiencing violence and its witnesses a key to encourage them to speak out without feeling threatened, so that the monster disappears, and everyone who finds the strength to talk about…, Here you will find help , Anyone who thinks they may be experiencing violence can seek support by contacting the number 116 111 (helpline for children and young people), number 222 309 900 (helpline run by the Justice Fund) and the helpline of the Ombudsman for Children: 800 12 12 12. These helplines provide confidential, free counselling services and anonymous support in…
26 September 2023

Back to school, back to hope

Back-to-school is a huge day in every child’s calendar. Filled with anticipation, emotion and excitement for the new year. For refugee children, even more so – this day can mark the start of a returned sense of normalcy to uprooted lives. For Karina, 8, this is the second back-to-school day in her new home where she is starting second grade at a…, For the love of learning, It is important that children and young people who’ve had to flee the war are given the opportunity to continue their education and maintain their love of learning. “The children are incredibly hard working, motivated to learn and curious,” says Karolina Kotowska, the headteacher of Karina’s school. “It usually takes me two to three days to assess…, Education uninterrupted   , Many parents make the decision to leave Ukraine for their children. They worry about their future. Tetiana, who came to Warsaw from the Kyiv region with her two sons, wanted to ensure their education continued uninterrupted. “All schools in the region are closed and children can only get online education,” says Tetiana, a mother of Matviy, 7, who…, Tatiana with her son Matviy, UNICEF/Brykczynski UNI437814 UNI437814 UNICEF/Brykczynski UNI437819 UNI437819 UNICEF/Brykczynski UNI437812 UNI437814 UNI437819 “From all subjects, I like the common room the most,” laughs Andrzej, 8, from Dnipro. “Oh, and the swimming pool!” Mariia, his mother, laughs alongside him as she accompanies him to the back-to-school assembly on the…, Mariia with her son Andrzej, UNICEF/Brykczynski UNI437823 UNI437825 UNI437827 To support children’s education, UNICEF’s Refugee Response Office in Poland is working with the Ministry of Education and Science, 12 municipalities and civil society partners to increase access to quality learning for children in Poland. The support provided to the primary school mentioned in the…
28 August 2023

From dark to light

The children and families of Ukraine have endured violence, trauma, loss, destruction and displacement since the war escalated on 24 February 2022. More than 1.6 million refugees from Ukraine have registered for temporary protection in Poland. At the peak of the displacement, there were an estimated 3.5 million refugees from Ukraine in Poland. The…, Childhood interrupted, Children’s mental health is often another casualty of war. Psychologists and parents tell us that children jump at loud noises, shut down and stop talking or cry constantly. Children often blame themselves for the sorrow of their parents. And after the turmoil they have been through, it is hard to adapt to new situations and a new life.  “The war…, The invisible wounds of war, UNICEF UNICEF Alina, 11, Ternopil UNICEF UNICEF Kyrylo, 9, Berdychiv Display caption Show Original Caption Display caption Show Original Caption All children displaced by conflict are suffering from the invisible wounds of war. The psychological toll of the conflict in Ukraine on children is enormous. “When you possess darkness within, all you…, From dark to light: the power of art therapy, UNICEF Art therapy is a powerful tool that helps children process and express the experiences and emotions that come with living through war and displacement. It is not about drawing beautifully but expressing and unlocking emotion. Through art therapy, psychologists are able to gain insight into a child’s inner world. They use different methods…, Safety in Poland, UNICEF Much of the art on display here shows how the children who drew it started to feel a sense of physical and mental security. Many of the drawings that depict safety show pictures and representations of Poland, implying that children feel safe here. Some of the work is carried out in stages using what is called the ‘exposure method’. First,…, Childhood restarted, As children progress through therapy, they begin to settle. Their art becomes more whimsical and confident. They use colour and humour. Parents say they see children begin to open up and play again. Creating art has provided an opportunity for the children to appreciate their own successes. It fosters pride in their creations and boosts self-…, Safe and thriving, Each piece of art you see in this exhibition tells the story of a child’s experience of war and displacement - but also healing. The UNICEF Refugee Response Office will remain in Poland for as long as our presence is needed. Our vital efforts would not be possible without the support of public and private donors and for this we are truly grateful…, Ivanna, 11, UNICEF UNICEF UNICEF, Kateryna, 15, Lviv Region, UNICEF UNICEF UNICEF, Lada, 10, Odesa, UNICEF UNICEF UNICEF, Alina, 11, Ternopil, UNICEF UNICEF UNICEF UNICEF UNICEF
26 July 2023

4 ways to build more effective feedback mechanisms

When the war in Ukraine escalated in February 2022, UNICEF immediately arrived to respond to the emerging needs of refugees looking for safety in the neighboring Poland. As time went by, the needs were changing, and services had to be adapted to better support families from Ukraine who were staying longer-term because of the protracted crisis at…, 1. Be clear about the purpose of the feedback and how it will be used. , Service providers intuitively understand that feedback is more than data collection. It is an invaluable accountability tool. Feedback can work to measure satisfaction with a service, to respond to individual needs, and to generate ideas for improvement. Ideally, all modes of feedback promote participation, build trust and empower refugees to have…, 2. Take into consideration the feedback culture and context when seeking input. , The key to getting actionable information is finding the right method, level of participation, and frequency. Recent interviews and research revealed that the feedback culture among Ukrainians is different than among Poles. They are less likely to provide negative feedback about individual staff. This is a common issue in emergency response…, 3. Ensure the active participation of refugees. , Feedback is at the heart of guiding principles of Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP). According to the guidelines, refugees should be actively involved in decisions affecting them and should have the ability to provide feedback and hold aid providers accountable. This allows them to play an active role in shaping the response to better…, 4. Recognize that there is no single, perfect solution for collecting feedback. , There is no perfect mechanism for collecting feedback, but there are guiding principles that can make feedback tools more effective. It is important to involve refugees themselves in the design, collection and interpretation of feedback and regularly let people and organizations know how the information they supplied has been acted upon.  Clearly…