When the sirens start, the nightmare begins. 

The sound of shelling is echoing everywhere, people’s screams, fear, hunger, despair. 

Imagine being a child in Ukraine. The psychological trauma of a child, hearing the sirens, being outside school, without a home, food or missing a parent is unreal. The children have already experienced isolation due to the pandemic, and now they live in fear and isolation because of the war. 

Our partners keep repeating the same thing, “children have lost their childhood;” children have become adults. Their worries now are food, safety and survival. Nothing more. They’ve seen dead bodies, they lost a parent, relative or a friend. They are scared and they don’t know what to do. 

They had to leave home and move to a shelter, their houses were destroyed, some of them managed to take one toy with them, others didn’t. Our partner was there to provide food, basic necessities and a cuddly toy to cuddle when the nights are hard. They had to leave home and move to a shelter, their houses were destroyed, some of them managed to take one toy with them, others didn’tOur partner was there to provide food, basic necessities and a cuddly toy to cuddle when the nights are hard. 

Short term impacts of the conflict on children's mental health . 

"the short term, children can be affected in a number of ways, the most obvious ones relate to loss of parents or parental figures, this affects children massively as familial stability is the leading factor in helping children deal with stress. Change and uncertainty mean children feel as though they have no control over their lives. Children have also gone from being able to travel to school with relative ease to a life of displacement in refugee camps. Many children have witnessed horrors such as the destruction of homes and dead bodies, this will undoubtedly have a negative effect on their future behaviours.” London Politica Report for ChildAid 

 ‘‘We just play to forget about the bomb shelters for a while. We need strength of spirit to endure and, we draw a lot with children.” Alyona, Children’s Hearts, Ukraine 

Art therapy to distract these little hearts from the horror of war. Refugee Camp in Kamianke,Ukraine.

‘’They talk about how to survive shelling in the basements, they know the level of danger from how sirens sound, they know the hours of silence between shelling and much more .... these are all the stories of the children of war!  But they are only kids!!!!!” Project Leader, Refugee Camp in Kamiaske. 

Our hearts are aching, we cannot even think how hard this must be for them and their parents.  

‘’The traumas, especially among children, negatively impact their physical, mental, developmental, and behavioural health. They have higher rates of chronic medical conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and premature death. There is also increased risk of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis. In addition, detrimental coping behaviours such as smoking and use of alcohol or drugs could become more prevalent. There is also a heightened risk of violence, abuse, and exploitation’’ London Politica Report for ChildAid 

We cannot change what is happening, we cannot prevent the pain, trauma or loss but we ease a few of their worries like help with food to ease hunger, blankets to be warm, medicines, shelter, toys and support. And we will give children colours, plenty of crayons to draw a world without wars, a world full of love and kindness. 

If you can, please support our appeal Supporting Conflict Victims