Every war is a war against children. In the following sections you will find a non-exhaustive and compact summary of Save the Children's activities in Ukraine, neighbouring countries and in Switzerland.

Save the Children provides humanitarian aid in Ukraine and in the neighboring countries.

Humanitarian aid since 2014

Having a huge network worldwide, Save the Children is always amongst the first humanitarian organisations to provide life-saving aid for children and their families on the ground in emergencies and crisis, and has been active in Ukraine since 2014.

Children in eastern Ukraine have already suffered eight years of shelling and violence. Many have been driven from their homes. Airstrikes and explosions have damaged important facilities such as schools and hospitals. Since 24th February, 2022 more than four million people have crossed the borders from Ukraine into neighbouring countries – including at least two million children. The impact of the conflict on children is devastating. As this war rages, our crisis response in Ukraine aims to reach 3.5 million vulnerable children and their families.

5.37 Mio.

People have already fled Ukraine.*

Current: Life-saving help on site

Ukraine

Our current 24 national staff and 12 international staff are working from various locations in Ukraine including our previous areas of operation in Kiev, Donetsk and Sloviansk. We have set up new bases in Lviv, Chernivtsi and Uzghurod and we are working our way via Vinnytsya to Dinipro in the East. We have on-boarded 23 new partners through which we work in Zaporizhia, Kremenchug and Poltava and in different towns in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast.

Our new footprint gives us logistical staging hubs all the way from Lviv, Uzghurod, Chernivtsi and Odessa in the south-west of Ukraine to the main cities around the contact line in the east. The team has delivered food assistance in Chernitsvi and 230 tonnes of high-energy biscuits are on their way to Odessa. A distribution of 400,000 hygiene kits is underway in the south-west and an additional 20 tonnes of food commodities and the first 5,000 out of 60,000 medical trauma kits are on the way and expected to be distributed early next week. It’s only been a few week, but the operation has reached already hundreds of thousands of people in critical and hard to reach areas with live saving assistance.

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School facilities have been destroyed An average of 22 schools a day have come under attack in Ukraine, with military operations disrupting the education of 5.5 million children remaining in the country, Save the Children said today. At least 869 education facilities – or about 6% of all schools in the country – have been damaged with 83 completely destroyed, according to the Ukraine Ministry of Education and Science.

Romania

There are five asylum centres in Romania. Save the Children provides social, recreational and educational services in the form of child-friendly spaces and mother-baby areas in asylum centres, reception centres and major transport hubs such as Bucharest North Railway Station. The team has set up more child-friendly spaces at the Siret border crossing and at the Romexpo convention centre in Bucharest, which is being converted into a shelter for refugees.

Save the Children also provides ongoing support to asylum seekers in the reception and processing centres, including activities in child-friendly spaces, psychosocial counselling, and material support.

Food, toys, nappies, and other hygiene items are also distributed to the children and their caregivers, and psychosocial support and child protection are provided.

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More than 801 000 people have already been forced to flee across the border into Romania.*

Poland

After working non-stop to be registered in Poland to be able to provide the best aid and support to children fleeing the Ukraine conflict, we are now registered! We are steadily expanding our presence and extending aid in the country to protect and support as many children as possible.

In Krakow, we were able to purchase important goods for a newly built reception center that can accommodate up to 150 people. In addition, we are building child-friendly spaces and mother-baby areas so that children can be children.

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Over 2.96 million people have already been forced to flee across the border to Poland.*

Lithuania

In Lithuania there is a temporary migrant centre in Alytus (city between the Polish border and Vilnius): This is the starting point for migrants who do not know where to go. In this migrant centre, Save the Children works with other NGOs, the Ministry of Interior, with the border police as well as the local municipality. Migrants can stay here for a short time, sleep, receive food and necessities. Furthermore, A call centre has been set up so that refugees who are at a loss can get in touch.

Save the Children has the official mandate to care for children and pregnant women. Among other things, child-friendly rooms are set up for this purpose. In Alytus, there is a local day-care centre for children, which is run by Save the Children.In Marijampole, a second migration centre is planned by the government.

Another child-friendly space is opened in Kaunas. Save the Children works in all six registration centres. The team distributes essential non-food items and provides social and referral services.

Switzerland

Due to the ongoing humanitarian situation, the Swiss government expects several 100’000 Ukraine refugees to arrive. Already in mid-March, several thousand refugees from Ukraine got registered in Switzerland. The rapid increase in refugee arrivals and the uncertainty regarding the duration of the war put considerable pressure on the Swiss asylum system. This has implications for the protection and well-being of all refugee children, whereby children with special needs and unaccompanied by their parents being particularly vulnerable. Save the Children supports refugee children from Ukraine in Switzerland with the following activities:

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1. Empowerment of refugee children through creative activities Many parents speak about their children feeling restlessness, being afraid and experiencing further psychological stress due to their experiences and the current situation. Unfortunately, asylum centers often lack places for children to play or relax. Thus, Save the Children Switzerland supports asylum shelters in Switzerland with family kits (learning & play instructions, pencils, etc.), information materials in Ukrainian or Russian (relaxation exercises, etc.) and with trauma kits.

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2. Strengthening child protection and child-friendly accommodation Currently, new temporary shelters are being opened at a rapid pace, but sometimes in buildings that are not suitable for children. We strengthen child protection by conducting consultations on making facilities more child-friendly and provide material and technical support for the implementation of the improvement measures.

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3. Professional support For host families that accommodate minors and families, there are no binding national standards that could be implemented or verified in such a large number of host families and in a short period of time. Therefore, we support organizations, who accompany host families or establish further accommodation or care services, with our professional expertise.

Further, our aim is to respond to the needs of all refugee children and their families by expanding our work in the coming years with regard to child-friendly accommodation and care standards in the asylum sector (e.g. accompanying the establishment of child-friendly spaces and activities, and strengthening low-threshold parental work in the asylum sector) as well as develop minimum standards for all refugee children in Switzerland. This will benefit Ukrainian as well as all other refugee children and their families.

*Source: UNHCR – http://data2.unhcr.org/en/situations/ukraine