Art therapy for the children from Ukraine

The past ten months haven’t been easy for the children from Ukraine. The ongoing full-scale war in their home country affected the lives of millions of them and the psychological damage is yet to be evaluated. It is a known fact that children are especially susceptible to emotional stressors as they haven't developed the skills to cope with difficult situations. The horrors of war have in various degrees undoubtedly affected in a negative way most of the Ukrainian minors.

children from Ukraine with presents from IOM
Among the many activities of the International Organisation of Migration, one of the key areas that IOM focuses on is the psychological wellbeing of migrants. In the current situation we do our best to make the children who have fled the war in Ukraine feel safe and secure. With regard to that, the IOM Bulgaria representatives in the city of Varna - the third largest in the country - organised art therapy sessions for children, temporarily accommodated in various hotels on the northern part of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast where there are currently thousands of children far away from their homes and some - away from their loved ones too.

a group of children with artworks

Art is valuable because it allows children to process their world, to deal with sometimes scary emotions in a safe way, and because it gives them critical sensory input. Children often may not be able to articulate thoughts, sensations, emotions or perceptions, and art is a means to convey what may be difficult to express with words. It helps them visually express and record experiences, perceptions, feelings and imagination.

a group of children with artworks

Furthermore, artists will tell you that art is important for its own sake—as a source of beauty and expression, as well as simply for the process of creating. Above all, it is fun and brings joy. What better result of any activity than a smile on a child’s face.

a group of Ukrainian children with school supply kits from IOM Bulgaria

The IOM Bulgaria team provided all art materials and furthermore delivered more Christmas presents and school supply kits to the children.

IOM Bulgaria supports people fleeing the war in Ukraine thanks to The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the U.S. Department of State and UK Aid Direct, funded by the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being