News and blogs Stories Beating a life of abuse: Borys and Children’s Hearts In Ukraine children are highly vulnerable to domestic abuse. A survey done by UNICEF reported that in one month alone 61.2% of children aged 2-14 received at least one form of psychological or physical punishment from an adult. For Borys however, aged 11, the abuse has not only been over a period of a month, but rather the entirety of his life. He has never known his father, whilst his mother is an alcoholic who is known to have beat him regularly. Sadly family members claim that Borys has never even seen his mother sober. The only figure of care and compassion in his life was his grandmother who gave him food and warmth, but is now too old to give him the attention he needs. With the lack of a stable home, alongside the trauma of the beatings, Borys became isolated, withdrawn and unwilling to speak. When our partners at Children’s Hearts first met him he rarely smiled or showed emotion, instead favouring to play with cars alone in a corner or looking out of the window for his grandmother. Eventually he burst into tears when he saw our partners taking children to do their regular Saturday activities at the House of Light, and was invited to come along. Now he joins in with the activities at the House of Light every week. As a result he has learnt to play with others and speak much more freely, having gained the confidence to relax and enjoy life like all children should. His educational performance has also taken an upturn, whilst employees at the Internat he attends have observed him to be happier thanks to what they describe as the care, love and encouragement he gets from Children’s Hearts. Our partners also are looking for a loving family to foster him in the hope to end the abuse permanently. Your donations help to fund such work by Children’s Hearts to give children like Borys hope for the future and a chance to smile. Thank you!