Ukraine Update

Information regarding the work of Hope and Homes for Children Ukraine in the period from 26 March to 30 April 2022*

*Each month our teams overseas send us updates on their work. We don’t normally share these externally but the April update from our team in Ukraine is so compelling that we wanted you to see it. So you can get to know our team in their own words, we’ve only edited for understanding, so you may find some of the grammar is not perfect.

In March, there was a firm belief that this horror was about to end.

However, it did not get easier in April. It was both psychologically and physically difficult. Our social workers have already gotten used to sirens, checkpoints and cars with the words “Evacuation”, “Children”. But seeing cars with the inscriptions “300” (wounded) and “Cargo 200” (dead). The deaths of acquaintances. Answers from the services on children’s affairs: “We have a funeral today.” You do not get used to this.

Local authority social workers began to resign and leave because it became dangerous for their own children. Some moved from the border with the Donetsk region closer to Dnipro city, and some went abroad.

Those who have still stayed in workplaces, did the work of three or more specialists. Often it was just one person for a whole community. And furthermore – there were 500-800 internal refugees in settlements with a population of about 5,000 locals. People are placed in kindergartens, schools, abandoned houses, and village halls. Sometimes people come themselves, sometimes in groups by packed buses. Many were forced to leave their homes without anything, without money, and sometimes – also without documents.

A special problem arose due to the return of children to families, who had been in institutions before the war. Due to the war, these institutions were suspended, and children were forced to return to their families. Most of them had been in institutions around-the-clock. In some families, more than three children have been returned after institutions were closed, and there is, in fact, nothing even to feed them.

In total, almost 8 million people in Ukraine have been forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in other areas. This data does not take into account people who have left the country.

Our work in numbers, April 2022, Ukraine

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

children received assistance

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

children with disabilities supported

£ 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

spent on goods and food (1.228k UAH)

Support for families with children in the Dnipropetrovsk region

We have continued to support families left without livelihoods due to the war. However, due to the large inflow of refugees, we also provided support to families with children who were forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in the region’s communities.

Among the families who have been provided with assistance, there were:

  • 28 families to whom 75 children were returned from institutions after the beginning of the war;
  • 21 guardian families who take care of 59 orphans,
  • 702 families raising 1,055 children, including 12 children with disabilities and 145 children under 3.

Support of families with children in the Donetsk region

Our work here (supported by UNICEF) has changed because of the war and is refocused on ensuring priority assistance to families with children. In the period 14 March to 30 April 2022, the assistance of food and hygiene products was provided to 150 families raising 302 children. Among children, there are 10 children with disabilities and 39 children under the age of 3 years old.

It should be noted that the teams in all communities of the Donetsk region have joined our work (identifying needs, purchasing, packing, and delivery to families). People work seven days a week. Specialists of centres of social services, and psychologists have all become active participants in determining the needs of families with children, and continue providing psychological and social support.

The groups of families covered by the humanitarian aid are:

  • Families raising orphans and children deprived of parental care
  • Families in difficult life circumstances
  • Single mothers
  • Large families.

It should be noted that the situation in the communities of the Donetsk region is also changing fast. There is constant shelling in suburbs, in various areas, air strikes, refugees, evacuees. However, many families with children remain in the settlements. These families are unable to leave, many have lost their jobs, and medical care is almost non-existent.

Supporting refugees

Assistance to internal migrants has become a top priority for us in Dnipropetrovsk, due to the unpreparedness for the large inflow of “refugees”, the undeveloped system of social support of the state, and the lack of other NGOs and volunteer initiatives there. A large number of remote communities noted that Hope and Homes for Children is the only organisation that helps the people in need there. From such communities, our experts constantly hear many words of gratitude for timely targeted assistance to families with children.

“Many people ‘collect the needs’ and promise to help, but only you provide a real and necessary help right now! Thank you from us and every family who received food kits! May God protect you!”

Head of one of the services on children’s affairs

The assistance is provided in combination with the provision of primary social and psychological assistance to families and children, and family counselling. It is always an individual meeting, finding out the current situation of the family, what problems the family has (medical support, counselling, referral to other services providers, informing parents, and psychological support).