Ukraine mothers have their child’s life in their hands

As ongoing Russian military operations push thousands of families in Ukraine from their homes, distressed children and mothers have been forced to leave fathers and husbands behind after authorities ordered Ukrainian men aged 18-60 to stay and fight. 

Nearly 16 million people have now crossed the Ukraine borders seeing refuge. “Although we’re seeing mothers have a sense of relief that their children are safe, they are terrified to be doing this alone, said Gabriela Alexandrescu, CEO of Save the Children in Romania. "With husbands and fathers remaining in Ukraine, mothers are the ones who have their child’s life in their hands.”

Your donation to Save the Children’s Children's Emergency Fund can help provide children and families in Ukraine and around the world with immediate aid to ensure they have the support they need to get through crisis.

The Realities of Caregiving on the Front Lines of War

Ukrainian mothers and children crossing the border into Romania to escape conflict.

Ukrainian families and children crossing the border into Romania to escape conflict. Photo credit: Camelia Iordache/Salvati Copiii (Save the Children) Romania

Anna*, 29, has fled to Romania with her four-year-old daughter Daryna* and two-year-old son Danilo*. 

 “We fled because we were scared," Anna said. "There was bombing in the area. The airport had been bombed, and fighting was getting near to a nuclear power station.

“On the way, we saw planes overhead, and the roads were very busy. We saw rockets being fired and destroying buildings. Sirens were constantly blaring. My husband stayed behind. He drove us to the border before going back. We could only bring a few clothes and some medicines.

“The children don’t understand what’s happening. But we feel very bad.”

Anna told Save the Children about the reaction of her daughter Daryna: “Sometimes when she heard bangs, she’d say she was scared. When we were running to hide in the cellar, she said she was scared and talked about tanks coming. We just hope the fighting will end, and we can return home.”

Anna hopes they can continue onto the Czech Republic, where they have friends who can help them.

Anna and her children stayed at a temporary camp before moving to a Reception Cener where they are now staying and where Save the Children runs child-friendly spaces, where children can play and recover from the traumatic experiences they have been through.

Save the Children also provides families like Anna’s with advice and information, as well as food and other essentials.

How to Support Ukraine Women and Families

Save the Children is calling for an immediate end to violence in Ukraine, as this is the only way to protect children. 

As the crisis continues to escalate, however, our teams are supporting children and families with psychosocial support. We are distributing winter kits and hygiene kits, and providing cash grants to families so they can meet basic needs such as food, rent and medicines. Please give now to the Children's Emergency Fund to help our lifesaving relief efforts in Ukraine as well as those around the world.  

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