We asked and you responded. Generous and caring ChildFund New Zealand supporters gave $237,000 to provide humanitarian aid to children, women and families displaced following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
Today marks one year since the start of the war that displaced millions of families, killed thousands of people, and destroyed cities, towns and infrastructure. With help from kind Kiwis, ChildFund has been able to reach more than 55,000 people, including over 33,000 children, in Ukraine with food, medicine, shelter, hygiene kits, baby food, cash assistance, educational services, and psychosocial support. Additionally, we helped our partners reach 60,000 people, with over half being children, in Moldova. The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade also matched Kiwi funds given to the response in Ukraine and Moldova.
Here's how you have helped ChildFund respond:
Humanitarian Aid: ChildFund has provided water, food, medicines, hygiene items and household tools as well as the provision and set up of shelters, bunkers and overnight accommodation for internally displaced people. ChildFund also equipped accommodation with furniture, microwave ovens and kettles, beds and crockery. With temperatures below -20°C and Russia's targeted attacks on water, electricity and heating infrastructure have once again drastically increased the number of people in need of humanitarian aid. Providing children and families with warm clothes, blanket and heating is vital during the freezing winter months.
Medical and psychosocial Support: ChildFund helps children traumatized by war through recreational and therapeutic camps for children and young people with a wide range of activities includes art therapy, medical support, sports rehabilitation such as hiking, kayaking or football, cultural events as well as educational activities. Overall, the recovery camps aim to help with self-awareness, the development of a positive thinking, increase self-confidence and self-esteem as well as the formation of life skills to give back a sense of a normal life to the children.
Children with disabilities and their families: Children with disabilities and their families are often burdened with more stresses even in every day life, let alone in the event of an emergency. ChildFund has worked with staff at inclusive resource centres that are specialized in supporting children with disabilities including with medical assistance and psychosocial support. Additionally, ChildFund provided five day-care-centres for disabled children with specialised equipment.
Giving children a chance to be children again
Long-time ChildFund ambassador and Kiwi actress Danielle Cormack reflects on her visit to a ChildFund mobile aid site in Chisināu, the capital of Moldova three months after the invasion. She spoke with women and children who had fled the Ukraine.
“ChildFund recognised that children and their mums or caregivers have suffered horrendous trauma since the invasion, and so was not only offering food, toiletries and medical support but extra activities for these children like entertainment, face painting, activities, dancing and toys. These mobile sites offer the parents a moment to relax whilst their children socialise together and have the chance to have fun for a day and just be children.
A young mother Ilona told me her child hadn’t spoken for a few days after fleeing Ukraine as she was so traumatised from the sounds of the bombing around her and Ilona was overjoyed to see her daughter finally smiling while having her face painted. Ilona was able to share the photos with her daughter’s father who was still fighting back home in Ukraine. This was one of the many moments that highlight the importance of the ongoing support needed for people who have been through so much, have so little and may not have homes to eventually go back to. It is being witness to this kind of support and aid work that makes me have no doubt that every donation, big or small, can change lives in a remarkable way."
Read more about ChildFund's emergency response and humanitarian aid work here.