“Child Friendly Space” – a Development and Leisure Center for Children, has been operating in Kyiv for almost a year. It aims to provide psychological and social support and care for IDP children from areas of military conflict in Donbas region.
Center offers quests, games, and many activities that help children to become open to others and overcome psychological traumas. Children happily perform different tasks, seeking innovative approaches to solving difficult situations and fast decision-making, and receive practical knowledge that help in for adaptation and overcoming all obstacles in life.
“Children learn to think creatively. Exciting, interesting games and quests give them spirit of victory. They travel to other countries where animators share with them cultural customs, traditions, habits, and ways of life in different parts of the world. It gives children not only intellectual development, but makes them healthier. We do our best for children to grow healthy, smart and get rid of psychological traumas” says Caritas Kyiv social worker Bogdan Tkachuk.
Psychosocial assistance in Caritas Kyiv is provided by professionals with experience in preschool education, pedagogy and psychology of children of different age groups. For the period of its activity Center ‘Child Friendly Space’ has seized more than 300 children aged 3 to 15 years.
The first aim of the Center is to provide psychological assistance to IDP children who have experienced the horrors of war and were forced to flee. Center is a comfortable space for communication, recreation, learning and self-expression and all these things are is important for reducing feelings of anger and anxiety, in order to promote better socialization of IDPs from the conflict area. About 25% of the center participants are local children from large and poor families. It allows children from Eastern Ukraine to better integrate in the current conditions of their residence and communication with new friends.
As of today Caritas Kyiv has assisted over 15 thousand persons, first of all, socially vulnerable categories of people and children. Financial assistance, food, hygiene means, wheelchairs and rehabilitation equipment, clothing and footwear – these are essential things that IDPs need, as well as psychological help. Into the care of Caritas takes care of the most vulnerable persons that fled areas of military conflict and Crimea, especially pensioners, disabled persons, single mothers and large families.
“I want to thank everyone who helps us in assisting IDPs and all those who need help. At the same time, I want to welcome and ask for help those who can provide it, so that together we can overcome the great humanitarian crisis. Thanks to you – philanthropists and benefactors, we are able to render comprehensive service to people, thus transforming our country, about unity of which we dream today,” pointed out Caritas Kyiv Director Roman Syrotych.