Voices of Children: Organisation helps children cope with horror of war in UkraineComments
In a quiet street in the Ukrainian capital, children try to forget the stories they hear about the war. To help them cope, every Saturday, group sessions are organised by the Ukrainian NGO Voices of Children.
“It’s a kind of fairy tale world that is created here for an hour where the children don't feel the stress,"says psychologist, Iryna Zhadik. "It’s mainly about releasing psychological pressure."
The children can also consult the psychologists privately. Anna is worried about her future.
"Everything is somehow blurred and I don't know how to plan my future at all," she explains. "I can't plan anything because I understand that something can fall near my home at any moment because I live between two military bases."
The centre’s psychologists were internally displaced from the war-torn eastern regions of the country. Being displaced only increases distress, says Liudmyla, who came to Kyiv with her son after fleeing their home in Luhansk.
Psychologists say emotional trauma is on the rise among the population, especially in the occupied regions.
"More people are coming to see us since the autumn. More people with depression. We now call itthe 'anniversary syndrome' We realize that it’s because of the anniversary (of the invasion), but there's no light at the end of the tunnel,” says Liudmyla.
I asked one 10-year-old boy, Nazar, what was his biggest dream?
"The biggest one is to go back home, for Ukraine to be free, and for Russia to...die," he says. "My main dream is to return home. I miss it a lot. It's really painful. For both my soul and my mind.”