From the beginning of the whole-scale war in Ukraine, the War Childhood Museum in Ukraine has directed its activities to support children, their parents, as well as everyone working with children directly during this difficult time. We understand how difficult it can be to talk to children about war or tell them about losses. For this reason, during the last few months, the Museum has organized 15 workshops held by psychologists.
The said workshops were provided by the CBT (European EABCT standards) therapist Inna Strogova who has more than seven years of experience working with adults and children. During the meetings, Inna would introduce the participants to the peculiarities of loss in the war, stressing which words and actions could add to the children’s distress, but, even more importantly, what adults can do to help children live through the loss. Participants would frequently ask many questions and share their personal situations on which Inna could provide insights and suggest ways of solving them.
The meetings were only for pre-announced participants and were not recorded so as to ensure a safe, comfortable atmosphere. For individuals who cannot attend these workshops, WCM Ukraine also provides resources and helpful information that can be found on the website (in Ukrainian):
- How to talk with teenagers about the war: the psychologist’s tips
- How to help children express their war experience
- How to talk with children about the war: the psychologist’s tips
Organizing various activities for children is another way to positively impact their resilience, as this provides them with the opportunity to interact with their peers, while also functioning as a welcome distraction from the realities of life in wartime. Through discussions and creative activities children develop the ability to express their emotions and be empathetic toward the experiences of others.
Following this line of thought, WCM Ukraine has been holding online reading sessions featuring different Ukrainian children’s writers. As of now, 9 online readings and one hybrid meeting for PTAK Humanitarian Aid Center for refugees from Ukraine were held. These meetings are held for a small group of children (up to 10), which ensures that each child has the opportunity to talk to writers, in addition to doing different creative tasks. Most of the workshops are designed in a way that children can create in written or visual form, and reflect together afterward.
All broadcasts of the readings are saved and made available on the WCM Ukraine Facebook page, so that our audiences can watch them at a time most convenient for them (also in Ukrainian).