Tdh supports families with children who are affected by the war in Ukraine, both internally displaced people and host communities in Ukraine, as well as those who are transiting or taking refuge in Moldova, Romania and Hungary. Our response includes providing humanitarian aid, child protection services and psychosocial support.
The war in Ukraine is having a devastating impact on the civilian population and particularly on children. It is heavily violating children’s rights, including the right to life, survival and development; the rights to health, safety, protection and education.
Due to Russia’s full-scale invasion since 24 February 2022, about 5.1 million people were forced to leave their homes and move to the West of Ukraine (as of May 2023) and more than 6.2 million people left Ukraine in search of security and protection in other countries (as of July 2023). It is estimated that approximately 17.6 million people of Ukraine are in need of humanitarian assistance in 2023 (source: UNHCR).
An immediate response to children’s needs
In the first days of the war in Ukraine, our teams in Moldova, Hungary and Romania launched an emergency response, building on the in-country presence. We immediately started providing support in reception centres and train stations where mothers and children needed it most.
In Ukraine, we first ensured the safety of all our employees that were working in eastern Ukraine and Kyiv. Since May 2022, we are active in the west of the country to help the internally displaced families and host communities.
A multidisciplinary approach
Both in border countries and in western Ukraine, our multidisciplinary teams consisting of a social worker, psychologist, and animators, assess the needs of displaced children, youth and families, living in accommodation centres as well as in communities. We improve their well-being and protection by providing them with food and non-food items or cash/vouchers, psychological first aid, information about available help and potential risks, and by referring them to specialised services if needed.
To help children overcome stress and trauma, we set up child-friendly spaces both indoors and outdoors and organise psychosocial activities. Our psychologists and animators are there to supervise children and support them. Children are listened to, participate in games and various creative and learning activities, and interact with peers. In the mother-baby corners, there are freely available items for babies (nappies, food etc.), a space to change the nappy, and a comfortable place to feed the baby.
Besides responding to immediate needs, our teams facilitate the integration of displaced families within host communities. To ensure quality services for more children and families, we collaborate with authorities and other organisations and train frontline workers.