Ukrainian Children Receive Rehabilitation in Slovenia
The Ukrainian crisis erupted in 2014 and despite the Minsk Agreements signed in September 2014 and February 2015 respectively, violent clashes and casualties are still reported on a daily basis. Furthermore, as a result of an armed conflict explosive remnants of war pose a large problem, where approximately 7,000 km² of land is suspected of being contaminated. The situation poses a direct threat to human security, endangering human lives and leaving a large number of people in need of both medical as well as psychosocial assistance.
The developments in Ukraine, which caused instability and uncertainty, have the gravest impact on the most vulnerable members of the society – children. Children, affected by the violence, experienced traumatic events, lost close family members, were forced to leave their homes and/or live in a difficult economic and social situation. That not only directly impacts their safety but negatively influences their development, mental health and psychosocial well-being as well. Providing immediate intervention and support to children is therefore of crucial importance.
ITF, with financial support provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and in close cooperation with the Slovenian Red Cross and Ukrainian partners, has been implementing a project of providing psychosocial rehabilitation to the children affected by war atrocities. Since 2014, when the project began, 240 children have travelled to the Slovenian Red Cross Health and Youth Resort in Debeli rtič on the Slovenian coast. Most recently, from 17 to 26 August 2016, the Resort welcomed 80 Ukrainian children from Donbass region between the ages of 6 and 14, who were in need of psychosocial rehabilitation and support. The project included both individual and group rehabilitation sessions, carried out by qualified therapists. In addition, the children experienced a variety of activities, from hydrotherapy to sports activities, musical workshops, animation workshops (including drawing, board games, creative workshops and dancing) and a boat trip to Koper. Those activities help soothe and relax the children as well as improve their overall health and well-being. And finally, it allows them to have fun and be creative, without being burdened by violence.
Due to very positive outcomes, the project is planed to continue in 2017 and 2018, thus enabling the opportunity for additional 160 Ukrainian children to attend the rehabilitation summer camp.