Nurturing wellbeing: IOM's psychosocial activities for elderly people displaced by the war in Ukraine

In the wake of the ongoing war in Ukraine, the importance of psychosocial activities for elderly refugees cannot be overstated. While these activities are often targeted towards children, it's vital to recognize that elderly people are equally in need of psychological support and opportunities to enhance their wellbeing. IOM Bulgaria has taken a proactive stance in addressing this need.

An IOM staff member and elderly people from Ukraine drawing

In relation to the above, IOM has recently initiated a collaborative effort with the Ukrainian Hive center in Sofia. Every Friday, a psychologist from the IOM Bulgaria team visits the center, where they meet with individuals over the age of 65 who have been displaced by the war. These sessions offer a secure environment for participants to share their stories and take part in various creative activities.

elderly woman drawing

Last Friday, five elderly women participated in a creative exercise, drawing their "defense shields." These symbolic drawings served as a canvas for them to express what holds significance and value in their lives during these challenging times. Through their artwork, these women had the opportunity to delve into their inner worlds, sharing their thoughts, memories, and hopes within a friendly and relaxed environment.

elderly women drawing

The purpose of these activities extends beyond mere expression; it's about helping elderly individuals explore their inner resources for coping with their situation. These creative endeavors offer not only hope and a sense of community but also a means to discover and utilize their own strengths.

elderly women drawing

IOM understands the importance of psychological wellbeing for elderly refugees and remains committed to providing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) activities. These endeavors offer hope and a sense of community to those who have endured so much, helping them on their journey to recovery.

IOM staff member showing a drawing

These sessions are open to all individuals aged 65 and over who have been displaced by the war in Ukraine.
Japan logo

These activities are implemented with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.