Psychological support for children of war who have settled in Vinnytsia Oblast

Published: Dec 9, 2022 Reading time: 2 minutes
Psychological support for children of war who have settled in Vinnytsia Oblast
© Foto: People in Need

Because of Russia's war on Ukraine, almost five thousand children in the Vinnytsia Oblast alone have become internally displaced. Today, these children must overcome personal internal problems: nightmares, difficulties expressing their thoughts, fear of loud noises, and tremors. All these issues are a small part of what psychologists must work through during a meeting with children affected by ongoing war.

In the village of Zoziv, almost three dozen families have found shelter in the temporary stay сentre for internally displaced persons. Most of these families are residents of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, where active hostilities, constant shelling, and the danger of landmines persist. In these places, families often have no homes to return to, so they try to build a life in a new location. Children continue distance learning at their schools, communicate with classmates, and work out their problems with school psychologists. However, this is not enough to restore the destroyed sense of security.

Four-year-old Evelina moved to Zoziv village in spring together with her older brother Andrii and her parents. When her family fled, she left her room with her favourite toys, friends from neighbouring houses, and the first love she met in kindergarten. Evelina misses the yard animals that she and her brother used to feed during their walks. 

"When we came here, I couldn't move away from my child - she started crying, keeping a distance from me. Evelina refused to eat and talk," - said Viktoriia, Evelina's mother.

Yehor dreams of becoming a translator. Therefore, in addition to learning English according to the school curriculum, he was constantly looking for additional didactic materials on the Internet to learn the language on his own. In addition, at home, he played basketball and hoped to get into the regional team. Therefore, after leaving home, he almost despaired of his abilities. 

"I thought then that there was no point in striving for anything - neither for sports victories nor big profits as a translator. What can I do with my life if I can't even ensure my own safety?" - Yehor stated.

Psychologists of "People in Need" say that such cases and reactions are not individual. Therefore, a project to provide psychological assistance to internally displaced children was launched in Vinnytsia Oblast. After several group meetings with a psychologist, the children feel better. They have new desires and goals. Some of them now want professions related to rescuing people in crises.

Autor: People in Need

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