When two superheroes meet

For hundreds of years, stories of heroes have been told from generation to generation to inspire children

Miruna Haican
Yulia from UNCEF and Kostya in a Blue Dot Hub
UNICEF/UN0625138/Holerga
13 May 2022

Isaccea, Romania - A superhero is a myth, a legend, a cartoon, an adventure, but also a true inspiration of bravery, ambition, and strength for all the children in the world.

And many times, children turn into real superheroes. Their creativity, their resilience and their smiles are the greatest armor.

“When I was talking to 14 years old Sophie, she said that her superpower is being Ukrainian. So now it’s time for all our superpowers to unite so we can support Ukraine. All of us who are looking to rebuild a new and better future for Ukraine. Together we can make it happen!”, said Yuliya Yurova, a Ukrainian UNICEF staff member. She came to Romania to document the situation of children and mothers fleeing war and the relief they get in the UNICEF-supported Blue Dot centers covering their most immediate needs.

As the world-known actor Hugh Jackman, popular for roles like Wolverine in X-Men movies, looked into the needs of the Ukrainian children and how UNICEF is supporting them, he had an online talk with Yuliya, who connected from Isaccea border crossing point, in eastern Romania.

”I’ve heard half of the child population has been displaced. I think this is the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War of displacement of people”, said Hugh Jackman.

An unexpected gift

In times of war, stories connect people and connection is necessary for survival. UNICEF facilitated a memorable online encounter, between two superheroes who shared their stories: Hugh Jackman and Kostya, a 7-year-old Ukrainian boy fleeing war.

He greeted the actor and presented him with a huge-arms and sharp-claws-surprise. A `Wolverine’ drew by Kostya was staring back at Hugh Jackman, who enjoyed the unexpected gift and the original look.

The likeness is uncanny, don’t you think?”, he said smiling.

The drawing of the famous film character - Wolverine
UNICEF/UN0625122/Holerga
The drawing of the famous film character - Wolverine - made by Kostya, 7, from Odessa.

Kostya fled Ukraine with his mother Zlata, his grandmother, and his little brother George. They crossed the border in Isaccea, by ferry over the Danube river and found a safe heaven and support in the UNICEF-supported Blue Dot hub while waiting for friends to pick them up and continue their journey to Germany.

Kostya played and drew: a much-needed moment for Ukrainian children who are fleeing war being forced to leave all their toys behind.

Other children at the Blue Dot felt inspired to draw Wolverine that day and every image had something special. Some of the children remembered the famous costume worn by Wolverine in X-Men, with his high boots and his mask, while other preferred to draw him in action, with his claws ready for defense.

UNICEF

More than two months after the war started in Ukraine, children and their families continue to leave their homes and country to find safety.

Connecting the Blue Dots

UNICEF is working with partners to establish Blue Dots at all border crossings with Ukraine and at other locations within Romania, following the flow of children affected by the situation in Ukraine. The purpose is to “connect the (Blue) dots” to ensure all children are monitored, traced, protected, and will arrive safely at the destination.

Currently, there are six Blue Dot hubs in Romania, in Albița, Brașov, Huși, Isaccea, Sighetu Marmației and Siret. They represent an integrated model that provides support for the most immediate needs of children and women, including family reunification and restoring family links, information and counseling, registration of the most vulnerable, spaces dedicated to mothers and babies/ young children, psychological therapy, first aid on hygiene, health and nutrition, basic legal advice, referral services for cases of violence or health conditions, etc.

You are doing an incredible job there and it is so inspiring. And I know a lot of people would want to help. (…) Our love, our thoughts, our prayers are with you and with everybody there”, Hugh Jackman told Yulia at the end of the virtual visit of the Blue Dot in Isaccea.

By donating to UNICEF you could help children at every step of their journey. UNICEF can provide the essential supplies and services for the families and children in Ukraine and for the ones who arrived in the neighboring countries.