War becomes everyday life
In Dnipro, eastern Ukraine, attacks are more frequent. The city was recently shocked by a missile strike that destroyed an apartment block and took the lives of 46 civilians. A teacher in a suburban kindergarten in Dnipro told Save the Children air raid sirens are now a way of life for her pupils:
“They get dressed, go outside, go around the institution, and go down to the shelter… It takes about 3 minutes for the children to get ready to go down,” — says Svitlana*, the teacher, who along with colleagues must evacuate around 200 children — many of them with special needs every time the siren goes off.
To reduce the stress of the sirens, teachers have at times created playful drills to prepare children for emergencies and trained them to promptly take shelter.
The institution’s basement is now equipped for drawing, playing, and dancing. Also, every pupil has a stall with an emergency backpack full of water, snacks, warm clothes, and favourite toys.