16 February 2024

Sheltering from war

Try to imagine what it feels like to spend 5,000 hours – the equivalent of 7 months – sheltering in underground basements and metro stations. Now imagine you are a child. What does it feel like to be confined for this  length of time as air raid sirens ring above. Not knowing what might happen to your home, school and family members and friends…, Education disrupted, Across Ukraine, schools have either been damaged or destroyed by shelling or lack adequate facilities. Around 40 per cent of children across the country do not have access to continuous education. In areas nearer to the frontline, half of school-age children are unable to access continuous education. In 2023, UNICEF provided more than 1.3 million…, Schools in ruins, Nearly two years ago, Stepan and Yaroslav’s school was destroyed by shelling. Since then, schoolchildren have been trying to learn online. Yaroslav (16) stands against the background of a destroyed school, he used to study in. UNICEF/UNI510549/Pashkina "I'm afraid that younger children won't have the opportunity to receive an education and, thus,…, Shattered memories, Eight-year-old Anya stands amidst the rubble of her badly damaged school in Buzova, Ukraine. Anya and her family hid in their basement when the heavy bombardment began. Her school was hit 14 times by shells and rockets between February and March 2022. Before the war, Buzova’s school was one of the best in the Kyiv region. Around 500 children came…, All too loud, The impact of war on children’s psychological well-being are widespread. Ukraine’s children report feeling anxious, sad and disinterested in learning. They also report having excessive fears and phobias, sensitivity to loud noises and trouble sleeping.  “When we hear an air alarm, we go to the basement,” 5-year-old Maksym explains. “We go down and…, New country, new school, Ten-year-old Darya fled to Moldova with her 16-year-old brother and grandparents in the spring of 2022. For a year and a half, she and her brother have been separated from their parents, who had to remain in Odesa, Ukraine. Their grandparents are striving to ensure the siblings continue their education in Moldova. In school, Darya listens…, Building a path for children to heal, Children and families impacted by two years of war in Ukraine have shown extraordinary resilience, but without support the psychological wounds of war could scar them for life.  UNICEF has reached more than 2.5 million children and caregivers with mental health and psychosocial support to help them overcome some of the distress and challenges they…, Remembering something good, Eleven-year-old Nika misses her friends and hobbies. Her photo diary has become one of her main sources of joy. Through it she tries to capture pleasant and important childhood moments, which the ongoing war has destroyed for so many children.  Nika (11) is taking picture next to a destroyed building in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Her favourite shop used to…, Finding hope, Sisters Nelya and Lilya are in the ninth grade and, like all of Ukraine’s children have faced huge upheaval to their lives. They have become accustomed to hiding during the air raid alerts and are desperately trying to keep warm in their cold apartment. The ongoing hostilities and blackouts during fall and winter have affected their mental health…, A child-centered recovery, Ukraine’s long-term recovery depends on the recovery of children and families. Across Ukraine, UNICEF works to ensure children have access to health care, immunisation, nutrition support, protection, education, safe water and sanitation, social protection, and mental health and psychosocial support.  In 2023, UNICEF reached 8.76 million people…
28 November 2023

A road map to a better future

To seven-year-old Alisa, there is no such thing as a difficult exercise. Although her daily physiotherapy sessions can be strenuous and require razor sharp focus, with the help of her favourite physiotherapist all seems possible. “Alisa has lots of energy, she laughs a lot and sometimes has trouble concentrating but the physiotherapist, Ms…, “It was the project that has found us”, Alisa and her mother Liudmyla arrived in Wroclaw in March 2022 from Zhytomyr, northern Ukraine. Securing physiotherapy for the Alisa, who suffers from a congenital orthopaedic condition, was a priority but accessing it initially proved difficult due to language barriers and bureaucratic hurdles. A year after they arrived Liudmyla's received a…, Programmes informed by first-hand experience, As a father of two children with disabilities, the centre’s co-creator Adam Komar lives for such stories. The plethora of services offered at the centre have been informed by his own experience. “When we were setting up the centre, we wanted to provide holistic support for families, so they would not have to go to different specialists in…, Fun for kids, a breather for parents, Before being forced to flee Dnipropetrovsk in central Ukraine almost two years ago, Valeria could not imagine entrusting her 10-year-old son Yehor in somebody else’s care. “How could I leave my son for 4 hours?” she says. “He wears diapers, I dress him, change him, he does not talk. If somebody hurts him he would not be able to tell me.” Valeria…