Give Warmth to Families in Ukraine This Winter
The families of Ukraine have endured over 21 months of war now. Children, and the most vulnerable in Ukrainian society pay a particularly high price. While front-line casualties remain very high for Ukrainian and Russian forces, the invasion leaves an indelible imprint on Ukraine’s most vulnerable. Since the start of the war over 3,428 educational facilities have been damaged and 365 have been completely destroyed (according to Ukrainian government figures). The number of Ukraine’s roughly 7.5 million children living in poverty has almost doubled from 43 percent to 82 percent. An alarming number of Ukrainian children have been abducted by Russia during the war. Russia estimates 700,000 have been “evacuated”, while Ukraine and Western countries estimate the number to be in the hundreds of thousands, with at least 19,000 documented cases. Ukrainian children, separated from their parents in areas seized by Russia are sent to camps for ‘re-education’. Many of Ukraine’s children who remain with their families face extreme trauma as a result of the war, and the deprivation that follows. Children who’s parent’s survive frontline service in the military, and civilian casualties of Russian bombings still face harsh winters, with severely damaged or destroyed public services, and the economic challenges of family life in a nation at war.
The Salvation Army continues to offer front line services inside Ukraine and in bordering countries to assist the displaced, and those who are experiencing the devastation of war. In addition, The Salvation Army provides winterization supplies for families most in need, and Christmas toys for children. Children impacted by hostilities can access after-school and camp programs, alongside the support provided to families. With the continued support of our generous donors, The Salvation Army is turning its attention toward the long-term welfare of Ukrainian children impacted by hostilities. Psychosocial interventions are being offered across Europe where capacity allows. In Latvia, this support is conducted by a Ukrainian psychologist. Hundreds of sessions have provided many refugees with observable success. With our support children and women suffering from survivor guilt, feelings of undeserved happiness, and a low sense of purpose are being integrated into schools in local society. A program participant expressed her thanks to The Salvation Army this way:
“I sincerely thank you, dear friends from The Salvation Army, for your help, for your support, for your warmth, and sympathetic hearts…. They say your home is where you are, and it is you who gives the feeling of home. But our home, our land, is our Ukraine. Your help with things, food, communication, events, and everything you help us with… saves the Ukrainian nation, and together with you, we bring our common victory closer.”