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Monday, June 29, 2015

Helping children traumatized by war in eastern Ukraine

Just as I was leaving for Toronto and Ukraine, I received an email message about a project called Helping Hand for Ukraine and an upcoming training seminar for health care professionals dealing with children traumatized by the war in eastern Ukraine.

The message was from Oksana Oliynyk who works with HOPE worldwide Ukraine, which is one of many such organizations affiliated an international NGO recognized by the United Nations and operating in 75 countries on all six continents.

HOPE worldwide of Canada is raising funds here in Canada to support the Helping Hand for Ukraine programme. This project will train some 300 psychologists, social workers and teachers to help war-traumatized children and parents, as well as deliver humanitarian aid to internally displaced persons (IDPs) who live  in temporary camps (Cherkasy, Korostyshiv, Kurakhove, Komsomolsk, Kremenchuk).

I hope to have someone from the organization on Nash Holos to discuss this project in more detail, and how Canadian listeners can help.

Meanwhile, here is an English translation of the press release she sent out about the training seminar.


Kyiv, May 25, 2015 – The first training for trainers for the “Helping Hand for Ukraine” project of “HOPE worldwide Ukraine” Charity Foundation took place in Kyiv on May 22-24, 2015. Ten practicing psychologists and psychotherapists participated in the training.

During the three days, participants learned how to use the manual and program: “Children and War: Teaching Recovery Techniques” in their work with traumatized children, particularly with those traumatized by the war in eastern Ukraine.

Conducting the training were professional trainers and supervisors Ms. Lyubov Loriashvili (practicing psychologist, leading specialist at Kyiv City Center of Social Services for Family, Children and Youth) and Ms. Nataliya Podolyak (trainer of “Children and War: Teaching Recovery Techniques” program, practicing psychologist and psychotherapist at “Dobrobut” Medical Network).

The “Children and War: Teaching Recovery Techniques” program was developed by the Center for Crisis Psychology (Bergen, Norway) and the Institute of Psychiatry (London, Great Britain). In Ukraine, the manual has been translated and adapted by experts from the Ukrainian Institute of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Lviv, Ukraine).

In June-July 2015, the newly trained trainers will use the acquired knowledge and practical skills during the pilot stage of “Helping Hand for Ukraine” project in Korostyshiv. They will conduct therapy sessions for children, who witnessed and survived the war in the Eastern Ukraine. Within the framework of the project, the trainers’ team will also teach psychologists, social workers and teachers all over Ukraine how to work with the “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques” program and manual.

Snizhana Volokh, training participant, practicing psychologist: “Each training day was intense. We learned different techniques to work with memories surrounding traumatizing events. We tried all of the techniques on ourselves working with images and visions. We were trying to understand that we could control them in our imagination. Every participant also got a chance to try out the role of the trainer. At the moment, we are full of emotions and new knowledge which will soon be used in our further work with children”.

Lyubov Loriashvili, trainer and supervisor of the “Helping Hand for Ukraine” project: “I think everyone in Ukraine has to learn this program – schoolteachers, kindergarten educators, parents, volunteers. If the children do not get assistance now, in future the state will have to spend a lot of money for their treatment and therapy, work with their future kids and families. Therefore, I am convinced that everyone, everyone in our country needs to learn this program”.

About “Helping Hand for Ukraine” Project

The “Helping Hand for Ukraine” charity project includes the training of 300 psychologists, social workers and teachers how to work with traumatized children using the “Children and War. Teaching Recovery Techniques” program and manual, therapy sessions for children and parents to acquire skills and capacities to deal with their traumatic experience, delivery of humanitarian aid to internally displaced persons (IDPs) who live  in temporary camps (Cherkasy, Korostyshiv, Kurakhove, Komsomolsk, Kremenchuk).

About “HOPE worldwide Ukraine” Charity Foundation

HOPE worldwide Ukraine” Charity Foundation is a non-governmental charitable organization, performing its activities in Ukraine, which aims at improving the quality of life for children and adults who live in difficult socio-economic conditions. The Foundation has been registered in 1998 (Certificate #0108-98 issued by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine).

The main activities of the Foundation include providing humanitarian aid to the IDPs (internally displaced persons) from the Eastern Ukraine and psychological assistance to children, traumatized by war in the Eastern Ukraine; fostering social adaptation of orphans with disabilities who live in orphanages and boarding schools in city of Kyiv and Kyiv oblast; assisting state elderly care institutions in sustaining physical and emotional needs of the elderly; promoting healthy lifestyles among adolescents and youth; promoting voluntary blood donation and recruiting blood donors.

Media relations: Oksana Oliynyk (activebookproject at gmail dot com)

About “HOPE worldwide of Canada” Charity Organization

HOPE worldwide of Canada – is a registered non-profit charity, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario and is affiliated with HOPE worldwide Ltd, a non-profit charity, headquartered in Philadelphia. We share HOPE worldwide's mission, which is as simple as its name: “to bring hope to a hurting world”. HOPE worldwide was founded in 1991 with just three simple programs. Now it serves the poor in 75 nations on all six inhabited continents. With over 100,000 committed volunteers, HOPE worldwide annually serves more than 2 million needy people worldwide.

Media relations: Taras Kulish, taras.kulish @ hopewwcanada dot org

About “HOPE worldwide

HOPE worldwide is a recognized non-governmental organization in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. HOPE worldwide of Canada has been recognized by municipal, provincial and federal governments for its programs and committed volunteer base.

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