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World News

3 million Ukraine children in crisis over war says Christian charity

by Donna Birrell

Christian charity World Vision (WV) is warning of the plight of children in Ukraine as the country marks two years since the Russian invasion.

It says their needs are becoming increasingly urgent with recent assessments indicating that 3.3 million children are grappling with the repercussions of this crisis and require immediate support. Among their most pressing needs are protection from harm and ensuring continuity in their education.

9 year old Eva from Lviv Oblast told WV that she is desperately worried about her father who is on the frontline of the war. She further lamented that not a week has passed without her online classes being disrupted by the air alarms.

Eva’s teacher Roman raised concern that children are losing a lot as this period is critical to their learning and brain development. Instead of focusing on their well-being and education, the children are faced with attacks, blackouts and uncertainty. 

World Vision’s Ukraine Response Director Chris Palusky said :

“The children’s bright future hangs in the balance as the war continues. It is unimaginable why our world, with the technological advances we have reached, allows our children to suffer.

“This is the challenge that we must not give up on, no matter how tough and complex. World Vision’s vision for every child to have a life of fullness is a promise we must fulfil. We must continue to pray, hope and work hard for Ukraine’s children.” 

12 year old Viktoriia, now lives in Kyiv after fleeing Bakhmut with her parents. For months, she quietly despaired from loss and fear, and how to adjust to her new home, having left her friends and everything behind. 

The child-friendly space and activities organized by World Vision’s partner NGO Girls gave her hope. She realized she was not alone, and that she can still dream in spite of the war.

World Vision says that with an estimated 14 million people in need in Ukraine, only the concerted efforts of organizations, donors, local partners, working with government agencies and communities can address their needs, urgently and consistently.

UNICEF has also highlighted the impact of the war on children’s mental health, with “fifty-six per cent of parents in eastern regions sharing that their children are anxious or tense”. 

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