Art therapy workshops for Ukrainian children

More than a year after the start of the devastating war in Ukraine, according to the official statistics, in Bulgaria there are more than 40 000 Ukrainian children. Many of them are situated in the regions along the Black Sea coast. Away from their homes, these children are in need of support and attention that makes it difficult for their mothers to start work and effectively integrate in the country. That is why all initiatives for day care centres for children are so vital at the moment. Luckily, there are many volunteers and organisations that initiate various activities for children fleeing the war in Ukraine. IOM Bulgaria is one of them.

Ukrainian children with "martenitsi"

An essential part of IOM Bulgaria's Ukraine Response is the organisation and support of psychosocial activities for children. For the 1st March the IOM team members joined forces with local volunteers in various locations around the Black Sea in organising art workshops for children. The theme, naturally, was Baba Marta - a traditional festivity in Bulgaria, related to the coming of spring. It is a time of joy and elation, accompanied with exchange of "martenitsi" - peculiar pieces of adornment made mostly from red and white yarn. 

Ukrainian children with "martenitsi"

With the support of IOM Bulgaria, the Ukrainian children in Burgas and Varna region enthusiastically engaged in the creation of handmade martenitsi. The martenitsa-making process is very simple but in the same time really enjoyable for the young ones. Such creative activities are undoubtedly beneficial for the psychological wellbeing of these kids, who went through a lot during the past year. 

Ukrainain refugees during a martnitsa workshop

IOM Bulgaria's Ukraine Response activities are realised with the support of The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the U.S. Department of State, UK Aid Direct, funded by the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

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