Children count the cost after year of war in Ukraine
After almost a year of violence, children and their families in Ukraine are struggling to make ends meet
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For 10-year-old Bohdan from Izyum, in eastern Ukraine, last year was the hardest year of his life so far. This young boy has been through things no child should ever have to – shelling, starvation, the destruction of his home and a heartbreaking separation from his family.
“A war is when strangers come and suddenly start to fire. Although we did not expect it to happen. So from now on, we are always afraid of something. And the worst thing is shelling, especially when it hits your house. Also, it is tough when we have absolutely no food and have to ask people for it.”
Now Bohdan lives with his grandmother and two sisters in a damaged brick house.
Unlike most boys of his age, Bohdan does not dream about toys or sport. He dreams about safety, winter clothes, the chance to study and simply keeping warm.
“We try to save firewood because we do not have much. I bring wood from the shed and chop it into small pieces, so my grandmother can heat the furnace and cook.”
Although volunteers recently brought a supply of firewood to Bohdan's home, this amount will only last a month amid such a harsh winter. All of the family’s money goes on food.
“I don’t attend school because of the war. And I can’t study online because I do not have a phone. My older sister helps me study with some of her old school books.”
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners are working around the clock to expand programs that save the lives of children and their families in Ukraine. Together, they provide children with school supplies, psychological and psychosocial support, as well as basic necessities and medicines.
This winter, UNICEF is also supporting vulnerable families with essential warm clothes and cash assistance.