Ukraine war two years on: the impact of your donations

Tina's family posing together holding their pet kittens.

Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine sent shockwaves around the world. Two years on, your donations are still helping bring hope back to family in Ukraine. Read on to find out how.

On February 24, 2022, Russia declared war on Ukraine, catalysing a humanitarian disaster not seen in Europe since World War II. 

According to UNHCR, one in three people were forced to flee their homes. 6.3 million became refugees. And 14.6 million still need urgent humanitarian support.

Two years on, the crisis and devastation continue. But Hope and Homes for Children is still there – supporting vulnerable children whose lives have been torn apart by war and bringing hope back to family.

Will you help us support children and families living through war in Ukraine? Donate today.

A photo of a residential building in Kyiv. A huge hole has been blasted in the side of the building – remnants of a Russian airstrike.
A bombed-out building in Kyiv. Yevhenii Zavhorodnii / Hope and Homes for Children

How has the war impacted children in Ukraine? 

The Russian invasion has taken an immeasurable toll on the children of Ukraine, many losing homes, friends and loved ones. This trauma means they’re face-to-face with a mental health crisis – a crisis that could damage their development for years to come.

That’s why we’re working round-the-clock to support vulnerable children and families across Ukraine with humanitarian, psychological and social support. “Our work makes families, children and communities stronger,” says Liudmyla Boiko, leader of one of our teams, pictured below. “Together, this prevents children from being institutionalised.”

As of February 2024, we’ve supported over 131,200 people, including 70,400 children. Two years on, our teams are still bringing safety and stability back to family. 

A group of Mobile Team social workers travelling to a community in crisis. They all look out the window together in concern.
Our Mobile Team in Borodianka travel to the worst-hit communities in the country providing life-saving practical and psychological support. Yevhenii Zavhorodnii / Hope and Homes for Children.

How has the war impacted children living in orphanages?

Before the war, Ukraine had one of the largest orphanage systems in Europe. An estimated 105,000 children lived in institutional care, one of the highest rates in the world. When Russia invaded:

  • 95,700 returned to their families (85% of children in Ukraine’s orphanages have at least one living parent) 
  • 4,500 were evacuated abroad 
  • 2,050 were evacuated within Ukraine 
  • 3,400 remain in orphanages 

Unaccompanied children are extremely vulnerable, especially during a war. That’s why we’ve been supporting young people from orphanages facing forced displacement, young people like Daryna*. And, we’re working to make sure that, when the war ends, we get them back to family.

Two years on, how is your support helping families in Ukraine?

Humanitarian support 

We’re not a humanitarian organisation but in 2022, we became one. Two years later, we still are. As of February 2024, we’ve provided humanitarian, psychological and practical support to 102,900 people in Ukraine, including 57,900 children. 

In 2023, we built a fleet of 19 Mobile Teams to bring emergency support to the frontline. Among the first responders in newly de-occupied territories, our Mobile Teams provide free support to families in the worst-hit communities. Families like Tina’s* – a young mum widowed by war. “Without the Mobile Team, everything would have been so much harder,” Tina says.

So far, our Mobile Teams have provided life-saving support to over 20,700 children from 14,000 families.

Tina, a young mum, holds her baby boy Serhii. against a blue sky and green meadows in the background.
Tina was three months pregnant when her fiancé was shot by Russian troops. Psychological support from our team helped her process her trauma and regain the strength to raise her new baby boy, Serhii*. Yevhenii Zavhorodnii / Hope and Homes for Children

Keeping families together 

Russia’s full-scale invasion has pushed many families to breaking point, especially in the worst-hit communities. To help parents keep their families together in times of crisis, we’ve created a country-wide network of case management support, free community centres and support services. In 2023 alone, we trained 1,218 more professionals to provide these services.

In Fastiv, we opened the Children’s Spot offering free rehabilitative support to traumatised children. This was a lifeline to Andrii*, born with autism, who was deeply affected by the war. “The staff at the centre are true specialists,” his mum, Ryta*, says. “Everything they suggested worked. I’m so grateful.”

Through dedicated case management support, community centres and support services, we’ve protected 12,958 children from being separated from 6,474 families.

Andrii*, a Ukrainian boy with autism, clutches his drawing of a hibuki dog
Thanks to our staff at The Children’s Spot in Fastiv, Andrii’s mum, Ryta, was able to access the therapy he needed. Now, he’s recovered and is studying online in an inclusive school found by our team. Yevhenii Zavhorodnii / Hope and Homes for Children.

Foster care 

Tragically, the war has resulted in many children without parents or families able to care for them. Children like Mykhailo* and Igor*. 

To protect unaccompanied children from ending up in orphanages, we’re recruiting a new generation of loving foster parents to provide safe homes for them. 

As of February 2024, we’ve trained 151 new foster parents, successfully finding new homes for 90 children in Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk. 

Mykhailo, Igor and Oleksi, three brothers, look sad as they hold up their phones displaying a photo of their deceased mum.
Mykhailo, 14, and Igor, 11, showing a photo of their mum who died. We supported their uncle, Kyrylo*, to take them in and raise them as his own – giving them a chance to grow up in a loving family, not an orphanage. Yevhenii Zavhorodnii / Hope and Homes for Children.

Our global advocacy 

In 2023, we led the charge through our Global Advocacy, bringing the issue of child institutionalisation into the spotlight. From co-hosting a side-event at the Ukraine Recovery Conference to co-organising a conference on childcare reform, we’re making sure the rights of children and families always remain at the heart of the discussion.

Now, with Ukraine’s journey to EU accession in the spotlight, de-institutionalisation is more important than ever. We will continue to strengthen our advocacy efforts, working with the Ukrainian government to bring policy and priority back to family. Learn more about our advocacy work both in Ukraine and around the world.

What’s next?

Two years on, our commitment to protecting children and families in Ukraine is only growing. In Kyiv, we’re currently working with Bucha city council to set up:

  • An early intervention service to identify children’s support needs early on.
  • A new Mobile Team to provide parents in crisis with urgent humanitarian and psychological support.
  • A daycare service with specialists offering developmental support.
  • Trauma treatment from rehabilitative therapists, including counselling, group therapy, and PTSD treatment for children.
  • A resource centre making access to education for children with disabilities more accessible.

As the war continues, we’ll continue to strengthen our work to reach as many vulnerable families as possible. That way, standing up for the rights of every child to grow up in a safe, loving home. It all comes back to family.

Children in Ukraine play happily under a multicoloured parachute.
Children playing with some of our Mobile Team staff at a local community library in Kyiv region. Yevhenii Zavhorodnii / Hope and Homes for Children.

How can you help? 

Two years on, your help is more important than ever. Will you help us support children and families living through war in Ukraine? Donate today.

If you’ve already donated, thank you. Your generosity is helping transform lives.

“I want to tell every person who’s helped Hope and Homes for Children that your work and your help were not for nothing. Your help has been a breath of fresh air and brought hope for life for our people. Be happy that you can provide this support, as it’s truly helping us strengthen families here in Ukraine.”

Liudmyla Boiko, Leader of the Mobile Team in Borodianka.

*Names changed to ensure the safety and privacy of the people we support