“HOPE worldwide Ukraine” Charity Foundation has started the implementation of the project for psychologists, social workers, educators and volunteers who work in Donetsk and Luhansk regions – “Helping Hand for Ukraine: Psycho-Social Support Program”, which will involve 54 participants into the learning process and practice during March-September 2021.
The “Helping Hand for Ukraine: Psycho-Social Support Program” Project is aimed at contributing to the improvement of the mental health and rehabilitation services for children with war trauma in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine by introducing a psychosocial support training program to school psychologists, social workers, and pedagogical students. We aspire to strengthen the competencies of mental health care and rehabilitation specialists and increase the access to psychological rehabilitation services development activities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The Project is financed from the funds of the Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania.
Within the frames of the project we plan to conduct:
- Three 3-day trainings “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques” in Kramatorsk (March 15-17), Lysychansk (April 03-05), and Slovyansk (April 06-08),
- Seven online meetings – supervision for the participants who will conduct therapy courses with children and parents after the training (supervision will be held for small groups, 2-6 participants,, in April-September),
- One 3-day sum-up conference “Coping with War Trauma. Mental Health and Rehabilitation Services” for all participants in Carpathians in August 2021.
Each project participant will participate in one 3-day training, 7 supervision meetings and a concluding conference. Donbas State Pedagogical University (Slovyansk, Ukraine) is a partner of the project in organization of the “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques” trainings.
The Call for applications to participate in the Project is open. The deadline for registrations is March 28, 2021:
Project Relevancy and Statistics
The sad reality of the current humanitarian crisis in Ukraine due to military actions in Eastern Ukraine has motivated many non-governmental organizations to develop and implement projects targeting the internally displaced persons (IDPs). According to the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, as of February 04, 2016, there are 1,714,719 officially registered IDPs in Ukraine, while UNDP representatives in Kyiv note that around 5 million people in Ukraine currently need humanitarian aid. Preliminary statistics say about increase of the number of IDPs in Ukraine and the unofficial estimate of both registered and non-registered internally displaced people amounts up to over 2 million people.
Working with IDPs, children with war trauma and their parents, is a new challenge for the local professionals – social workers, state emergency service workers, practicing and school psychologists, educators and volunteers. The need for methods and techniques dealing with trauma and assisting IDPs and their social re-insertion into new communities increases.
War Trauma – How it Effects Children – Need for Psychological Assistance
During these difficult times, many Ukrainians suffer from military actions in Eastern Ukraine. They face the loss of their close ones, loss of their own homes, forced migration, anxiety and worries. These events are especially traumatizing for children. Children witness artillery bombing and shooting, watch the destruction of their native city or village and their own homes. Such experiences can cause different psychological traumas.
Children traumatized by war are easily scared by loud noises, some of them are afraid to go outside the house. Many of them become depressed; they often cry, exhibit anxiety and worry. Others become nervous, inclined to sudden irritation and anger. Many children face problems with sleeping: they wake up in the middle of the night crying and speak of awful nightmares. Thoughts about the past cause such sadness that they try to force out those memories and avoid any reminders of the past events.
The needs for psychological assistance of those who witnessed and survived the events of war are of utmost importance. Particularly, a focus has to be made on children, traumatized by war, since their experiences and skills to deal with stress, depression and panic will directly influence their chances for fulfilling lives.