What We Do

Save the Children is providing essential emergency aid to the most vulnerable children and their families in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine.

Our programs have reached over 433,657 people, including 274,621 children (138,861 girls and 135,760 boys). We are helping children surviving and recovering from the crisis by providing them with safe and protective environments, and access to quality education, food, warm clothes, shelter and healthcare.

 

Education 

Save the Children is working hard to improve access to quality education for internally displaced children in Ukraine. Children and youth’seducational opportunitiesare supported through renovation of schools and classrooms, provision of teaching and essential learning materials, psychosocial support in schools and building teachers’ capacity and skills.

We have supported children access education in conflict-affected areas by distributing learning and teaching kits, rehabilitating schools, classrooms and kindergartens that have been damaged by the conflict, providing psychosocial support for children in schools and building teachers capacity (in psychosocial support, conflict sensitive education, child-centred methodologies etc.)

Since 2017, we piloted and scaled up the Schools as Zones of Peace approach in 11 schools in GCA and NGCA to address conflict-related safety issues in schools, involving children, teachers and parents. Schools as Zones of Peace aims to secure safe learning environments in conflict and post-conflict settings, raise awareness among communities, school management and children, and build local and national level engagement to protect education. This work is complemented by child-led advocacy and advocacy at the national level for the endorsement of the Safe Schools Declaration by the Government of Ukraine.

Save the Children is co-leading the Education Cluster at both national and local levels in both GCA and NGCA.

Since 2014, Save the Children has reached over 104,000 people with education programmes, of which 101,000 are children (50,000 girls and 51,000 boys).

 

Child Protection 

Humanitarian crises, such as war and conflict, have terrible repercussions for children. Many children in Ukraine have witnessed violence, been displaced from their homes and may be suffering from the loss of their loved ones.

We provided children and their caregivers affected by the conflict with safe and caring Community Centers where they received structured psychosocial support. The most isolated children along the contact line received psychosocial support through mobile outreach teams visiting children twice a week. These activities allow children to get support, play, learn and deal with their emotions. Children participated in the HEART (Healing through Education and Arts) and Journey of Hope signature programmes to develop positive coping strategies, while youth and caregivers took part in Life Skills and Resilience programmes. Parents developed positive parenting skills and learnt how to better support their children thanks to the Positive Parenting programmes. We also conducted Mine Risk Education in schools and kindergartens to raise awareness on the dangers of mines and ERW. 

To fill in the gaps in the social system, we established Case Management Units and delivered case management for child protection services to provide individual support to the most vulnerable and most at risk children living along the contact line. This initiative specifically targets children at risk of violence and neglect, and is viewed highly by social services and donors, and was mentioned as best practice by the Ministry of Social Policy at the Parliamentary Committee on Family, Youth Policy. We strengthened child protection systems by building the capacity of different actors on child protection in emergencies, case management etc., and reinforced coordination and referral mechanisms with local authorities and humanitarian actors to ensure effectiveness of the overall response in the targeted areas.

Since 2014, we have reached over 75,000 people with child protection programmes, of which 58,000 are children (31,000 girls and 27,000 boys).

 

Child Poverty and Health

We provided life-saving medical equipment and consumables for maternal and new-born health in conflict-affected hospitals on both sides of the conflict. We conducted breastfeedingand vaccination awareness sessions in our community centres. Water and sanitation facilities were rehabilitated in 11 schools across Ukraine.

We supported the basic needs (food, shelter, clothing and medicine) of the most vulnerable families in GCA and NGCA during harsh winters and with distributions of coal, non-food items, multi-purpose cash grants, food parcels. We rehabilitated 680 homes that had been damaged by shelling.

Livelihoods for vulnerable families were supported through cash for work (rehabilitation of schools and hospitals), employability and entrepreneurship trainings, and micro-grants to start/restart businesses. Livelihood opportunities were developed to support internally displaced and unemployed households and youth acquire skills and earn an income, which in addition to financial support, provide beneficiaries with a sense of dignity, skills and confidence.

Since 2014, Save the Children has reached over 174,000 people with child poverty programmes, of which 68,000 are children (33,000 girls and 36,000 boys); and 45,000 people with Health programmes, of which 22,000 are children (12,000 girls and 10,000 boys). 

 

Advocacy

Since 2017, Save the Children has been advocating with the Government of Ukraine for their endorsement and implementation of the Safe Schools Declaration. The Safe Schools Declaration and the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict are the only international documents dedicated exclusively to the safety of schools, children and teachers in the context of armed conflicts. Save the Children, in cooperation with the Education Cluster and UNICEF, has organised several roundtables on school safety in eastern Ukraine, influenced key decision-makers at the national and international levels and gathered “allies” to jointly advocate for the endorsement and implementation of the Declaration. Despite public support for the Safe Schools Declaration by high officials of the Government of Ukraine, Ukraine has not yet endorsed the Declaration. 

We have also supported advocacy initiatives on raising awareness internationally on the conflict in Ukraine, on the issue of birth certificates for children born in NGCA, and has supported the implementation of the Humanitarian Country Team Protection Strategy.