RAPID RESPONSE IN UKRAINE
At INARA we know what war can do to children, and how deeply it can affect every aspect of their being. In February 2022, when the Ukraine crisis had just begun, we knew something had to be done. INARA’s founder Arwa Damon was able to carry out a needs assessment on the ground and identified the gaps INARA could fill in access to care. We were able to raise $56,620 from our loyal supporters and expanded into Ukraine to start implementing new programs and share our expertise with other NGOs on the ground. As we grow our programs, we will be applying for additional funding and reaching out to you.
With 7 million people forced to flee their homes, children and teenagers continue to be one of the most vulnerable groups affected by the hostilities in Ukraine.
Our first program in Ukraine consists of conducting training and workshop sessions in the field of Mental Health and Psycho-social Support (MHPSS) on mental health guidance for the nationwide hotline consultants, psychologists, and psychotherapists of local partner La Strada Ukraine by INARA’s in-house mental health expert.
We successfully carried out a pilot training session in partnership with Caritas Moldova, providing teachers, social workers and any volunteers in contact with children at their four centers with tools, information, and training they need, to help support these children and facilitate their integration into the society they have been welcomed in. The next series of sessions will be held in 2023 on predefined topics.
On the 29th of November, INARA also facilitated a training workshop for 10-12 hotline consultants from La-Strada Ukraine who attended the 2-hours meeting on experience exchange on anxiety and stress during the war.
Witnessing the trauma they’re going through and knowing really well the impact of war on children has pushed INARA to create new ties in this community and launch our second program in partnership with our local Partner Mariupol Youth Union to create a safe space for the children and their families. INARA is building this safe space for children based specifically on the recommendations of frontline workers and community members from Mariupol. Through this safe space they will be able to receive ongoing educational, social and psychosocial support and assistance to recover and integrate their new communities. In speaking to those on the ground, it became apparent that this space is needed not just to conduct MHPSS activities for the children but also to serve as a daycare. This would allow mothers – as many of the fathers are elsewhere volunteering or fighting – the time to be able to work and provide for their children. It would additionally allow mothers some breathing space in an extraordinarily intense situation.
As always, INARA seeks to identify the gaps that need to be filled and build programs very specific to local needs. We are slowly implementing our programs hoping to make a difference and help families and children victims of this ongoing conflict that has uprooted them.