Carving a better future for children in eastern UkrainePublished: Jan 21, 2022 Reading time: 1 minute
After eight years of conflict in eastern Ukraine, 2.9 million people need humanitarian assistance; 13 percent of those are children. For those living in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions—areas close to the “contact line” that divides government from non-government-controlled areas—the situation is particularly harrowing. In these areas, children face threats from shelling, landmines, and unexploded ordnance. Crucial opportunities for education have been shattered, as more than one in five schools in eastern Ukraine have been damaged or destroyed by the conflict.
Teachers and psychologists working with People in Need (PIN) report signs of psychosocial distress among children triggered by loud noises. Recent estimates suggest that more than one in four children in Donetsk and Luhansk regions need psychosocial support. However, few receive access to support, as the available services are over-stretched and under-funded.
Even as the fighting continues, PIN is providing support to children and families impacted by the conflict, including psychosocial support. In Hirske, a small town on the frontline, local children are deprived of hope for a better future. We believe that every child has the right to a decent education and leisure time, development of their creative potential, fulfilment of their dreams, and support of these aspirations by adults.
With funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, PIN helped renovate a room at the local art school and purchased wood-carving equipment for the children to use. Filling the need for fun and development, a woodcraft club has recently opened its doors.