“Children in wartime are the most vulnerable and need protection” - Yuriy Denysovets
Earlier this month, Lumos held a special event to mark our donation of interactive equipment worth almost UAH 1 million (approx. £22,000) and other educational materials to 28 Inclusive Resource Centres in the Zhytomyr region of Ukraine. These materials will be used by professionals who are providing essential psycho-social support for some of the most vulnerable children affected by the ongoing war, including children with disabilities.
We’ve been working in Zhytomyr since 2019 to support care reform and to develop community support services so that children can grow up in families rather than in orphanages. Since the war began in February 2022, we've been providing emergency aid including vital food, medicine and psychological support to children and families in the region.
The event was attended by the Lumos Ukraine team, specialists from the 28 Resource Centres, and a number of representatives of the Zhytomyr Regional State Administration, including Deputy Governor Yuriy Denysovets. Speaking at the event about the significant need for such equipment, Denysovets said:
"Children in wartime are the most vulnerable and in need of protection. And children with special educational needs are twice as difficult to endure such events".
As the war continues, the education of thousands of Ukraine’s children has been disrupted. It is crucial for their development as well as their emotional wellbeing that their learning can continue. As Denysovets pledged: “Although the war takes away their peace, we will not allow them to be deprived of their childhood or safety!” He also added that teachers, and particularly the specialists who work at these Inclusive Resource Centres, have become “centres of psychological support for children and their parents”, particularly those who have been internally displaced because of the war.
This donation is a continuation of Lumos’ support for the Inclusive Resource Centres as we aim to build their capacity and reach more and more children who are in urgent need of help to improve both their immediate situation and their longer-term life chances. In 2022, 82 specialists have received training to work with children (including those with special educational needs) who have experienced trauma, and we’re delighted that many more will now benefit from this donation of specialist equipment and educational resources.