Since the conflict started in eastern Ukraine in 2014, over 14,000 lives have been lost and over one million people have been internally displaced. The lives of hundreds of thousands of children and families throughout the country have already been severely disrupted. The information below refers to the activities we have been carrying out in the country since 2003. The most recent military action threatens the entire country, and our activities are already changing to provide specialised assistance in this emergency situation. We anticipate that more families and more children will need our support. SOS Children`s Villages is carefully monitoring the situation, has emergency plans in place and is committed to continue to provide support.
High rates of domestic violence and HIV/AIDS
Children playing in their new home in SOS Children's Village Brovary(photo: SOS archives)
Brovary is a town with around 98,000 inhabitants, located approximately twenty kilometres from the centre of the capital city of Kyiv. Small manufacturing plants, industry and construction have traditionally been the main sources of employment in the area. Many people living in Brovary commute to Kyiv to work. In fact, in recent years, the proximity to the capital has attracted many people to settle in Brovary.
Life for children in this area is not always easy. Many children lose parental care due to complex social and economic circumstances which include alcohol and drug abuse, and AIDS/HIV. Ukraine has one of the highest rates of HIV in Europe and the capital city has a substantial concentration of people with the disease. Public health care is not always available. Many families who need medical treatment seek support from SOS Children's Villages because they cannot afford the necessary medication or treatment. Many children are at risk of losing parental care, including those who are brought up in low-income households alongside many siblings, those brought up by single mothers or those left in the care of elderly relatives.
Children often experience family violence. A recent survey found that nearly half of the Ukrainian population has been a victim of domestic violence and that around one third suffered violence when they were children.
Increasing support to vulnerable children
Many children who lose parental care continue to be placed in institutions. However, the Ukrainian authorities have been working towards placing children in families instead. There is an increasing emphasis on the early identification of families who may be struggling to care for their children. It is hoped that targeted support will keep the families together. SOS Children's Villages has a good working relationship with the state agencies responsible for the protection and care of children.
What we do in Kyiv Region-Brovary
A little girl in our care drawing during a celebration in the village (photo: SOS archives).
As stated above, the information below refers to the activities we have been carrying out in the country since 2003. Due to the current conflict, our activities are already changing to provide specialised support in this emergency.
Strengthening families: Our organisation works closely with parents in the area to determine the support they need in order to stay together. In collaboration with local agencies we ensure that children have access to essential educational, health and nutritional services. We also provide material aid and advice on parenting skills and income generation. We inform parents of their rights regarding housing and state allowances.
Education: We work closely with the local school and kindergarten to enhance the skills of teachers and we support individual children by offering them tuition in areas where they are struggling.
Care in families: Children who cannot stay with their families, find a loving home in one of the foster families, who receive support from SOS Children's Villages. The foster families have been selected and trained by SOS Children's Villages to ensure that the children are cared for to the highest standards set by SOS Children's Villages. In order to do this, we provide continuous social and emotional support.