In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, the metro no longer runs. Instead, families and children have found shelter on the platforms and in the train carriages, as the constant shell fire sounds above.
This is where Anastasia comes to work each morning. She volunteers at a support space set up by UNICEF in the metro station. Filled with learning materials for art, play and reading, it provides a safe space for children to just be children again.
“I just saw the volunteer recruitment and registered,” says Anastasiia, who has a 13-year-old daughter and teachers at a local university.
“Every morning I exercise with the children at the metro station. And during the day I hold workshops and play games with them.”
So far, more than 4,500 children and adolescents have participated in activities in Kharkiv’s metro stations. UNICEF plans to engage around 500 volunteers, educators and psychologists to support children and their families on the move.
Psychosocial support is just as important as basic needs such as water and health care to help children recover from trauma and lead successful lives into the future.
For the last 75 years, UNICEF has delivered for children in the world's worst and most urgent emergencies and crises and we’re not stopping now. Across Ukraine’s neighbouring countries, here’s what our supporters are helping us deliver for children and families:
💙 ‘Blue Dot’ safe places at borders to rest, play and escape the chaos of their long journey. To draw, sing and talk to other children.
✋ Someone to help deal with trauma. Someone to tell if you’ve lost your family. Someone to help you find them.
🚰 Supplies for those who’ve left everything behind: clean water and hygiene kits, nutrition supplies, baby food, diapers, warm clothes and blankets, cloths and pads to manage periods.