LVIV, Ukraine, 25 July 2014 – UNICEF Ukraine today released the latest in UNICEF’s OneMinutesJr video series, featuring stories by 14 internally displaced children 6 to 17 years old from Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The children, now living with their families in Lviv, all took part in a seminar led by UNICEF on telling their stories by video, and produced one video each.
“I never imagined that I could make a film on my own,” said 13-year-old Vlad, from Alchevsk. ”My film is about having to leave my home because of the fighting that’s happening there now. The seminar was such fun and I really enjoyed meeting the rest of the children who are now living in Lviv.”
UNICEF Ukraine Child Protection Officer Ruslana Sirman said it was important for displaced children to have their voices heard, to share ideas and dreams.
“The creativity, passion and energy of these children were absolutely astonishing,” Sirman said. “Through these one-minute films, they shared their anxieties, concerns, expectations, and hopes for the future. They became the voice of many children who have been displaced or who still remain in the conflict areas.”
Events in Ukraine over the past several months – military operations and political changes in Eastern Ukraine - have displaced tens of thousands of people. Economic constraints, lack of security, breakdown of social structures, violence, loss of loved ones, and direct exposure to violent acts deeply affect children, who might not yet have the skills to cope with or even understand the situation.
UNICEF with partners provides psychosocial support for displaced children and families. The aim is to reduce stress levels and help them integrate into their host communities. UNICEF is conducting individual and group counselling sessions, and helping to train psychologists, social workers, school counsellors and teachers to work with displaced children and families.