Conflict in Ukraine, children and schools in despair Since 2014, bitter conflict in Ukraine has forced 1.5 million people to flee their homes.(source UN Refugee Agency). Substantive infrastructure damage has been sustained due to the shelling with many schools no longer safe to use. It is estimated that are over 55,000 children live within 15 km of the ‘contact line’ between the two factions. (Source: Unicef, April 2018 Assessment Update). Many children have lost a parent due to conflict and children are also exposed to mines and unexploded ordinance. Like Victor who was playing outside and he picked up a toy like item. Doctors were fighting for Victor’s life as he spent one month in intensive care on an artificial respirator. He lost 1 hand and 3 fingers from his other hand as the indiscriminate mine exploded. After a month in intensive care he had a relapse in his trachea on which some scars appeared and it became critically narrow in size. It made it nearly impossible for Victor to breathe on his own. But now his lungs treatment is coming to an end and it is possible that his next visit will be the last one and only to check his lungs. Victor’s immune system becomes low because of colds, stress or low nutrition. As the metal splinters in his body start to decay he needs mini-operations to cut the area open and to remove pus and clean it properly. With our partner in Ukraine we helped Victor have a prosthetic hand and are currently helping Victor receive further medical treatment. At school, the teachers were not ready to come to terms that he is a child with disability and very often hurt him with their words or actions. Our partners are now working to change the way that teachers work with such children as Victor The region has seen a collapse of public transport, unemployment escalate, isolation issues, infrastructure damage and much of the farmland is mined. There is limited access to healthcare and education services, with many restrictions for the most basic necessities such as safe, reliable water supply. ‘The creation of a de facto barrier to movement of civilians (as well as goods) between the GCA (government-controlled area) and the NGCA, the damage to transportation infrastructure and the collapse of public transport have made settlements much more difficult to enter and leave. This isolation — combined with the on-going conflict, infrastructure damage, and mined farmland — has dramatically increased unemployment among parents, with many settlements having virtually no work outside government institutions such as local administrations, schools and medical facilities. High unemployment, coupled with the significant depreciation of the Ukrainian currency, has deepened the monetary poverty of families and further decreased their capacity to withstand shocks and stresses caused by this manmade conflict. Children and their families also suffer from damage and limited access to healthcare and education services, as well as basic necessities such as water supply. The situation is, overall, one of greatly heightened vulnerability for those living along the contact line.’ (Source: Unicef , April 2018 Assessment Update). Most of the schools in the ‘contact line’ were shelled, children have to travel up to 2 hours to go to a school. Child speech disorders are on the rise due to the conflict in Ukraine. . (Source: SOS Children’s Villages, 28.08.18). Children should not have to face situations like this. Our partners reach children and families who desperately need help and hope No child should have to travel 2 hours to go to school or be scared to play outside because a bomb might explode. ChildAid work with partners in Ukraine who bring physical, material and spiritual support to: families in crisis children living with disabilities orphans, and social orphans (where living parents may be in re-habitation care or in prison) children living in conflict zones Your help is crucial in order to continue to support children and families who live in conflict zones or are affected by conflict. Find out more about our work and how you can make a difference. You can donate by clicking here.