AMURTEL Romania provides immediate safety and care to Ukrainian refugee children

140,000 refugees mothers and children in Romania already

I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures flooding the internet and TV. Already by March 3rd, thousands of Ukrainian refugees, primarily women and children are arriving traumatized in Romania, forced to flee with just the clothes on their backs, leaving behind burning buildings, the unknown fate of family and loved ones, and no idea when they will be able to return home.

“Mama, I’m ready. I won’t cry. Let’s go!”

Already over 140,000 people have crossed the border so far, and 18,000 are children, like Maya a four year old little girl who arrived with her 10 year old brother and mother today in an improvised shelter in a hotel in Siret where she met with Melinda, our volunteer emergency psychologist. Earlier this morning, Maya had been sheltering with her family in an underground metro station, listening to the frightening explosions and high-pitched whine of sirens outside. When suddenly the noises stopped, she put on her little jacket all by herself and turned to her mother, who was comforting her sobbing 10-year-old brother and said “Mama, now I am ready. I won’t cry. Let’s go!”

You can provide Maya with immediate trauma care

You can provide safety, protection and care to Maya and the other Ukrainian refugee children fleeing to Romania from the bombing by supporting the establishment of at least ten Child Friendly Spaces. We need your help to urgently set them up. The earlier children like Maya and their parents can receive safety and counseling the more that the harmful impact of such trauma can be reduced.

AMURTEL already on the ground at the border

Already today, our AMURTEL team has been busy doing direct assessments and began emergency psychological care at the border in Siret, where most of the refugees have been flooding into the country. Melinda, just met with four-year old Maya, only a half an hour after she crossed the border with her mother and brother. She drew this drawing of bombs and an explosion that looks like a flower as she talked about their flight with Melinda. Her older brother also drew this one of the bombing in Kyiv.

Guiding the setup of ten “Child Friendly Spaces”

Each center will help children like Maya whose lives have been so brutally disrupted to process their trauma and feel cared for and safe. AMURT/EL is using its extensive experience setting up these structures in disaster situations to provide expert guidance to fellow members of FONPC, (in English, Federation of NGO’s working for Child Protection). Our team will lead a “Train the Trainer” program starting next weekend for 200 + psychologists. The Federation has already committed to setting up at least 10 Child-Friendly Spaces in the border town of Siret, as well as Iași, Satu-Mare, Tulcea, Bucharest, Timișoara and Vaslui, Once trained, these members will then train Ukrainian refugee parents, teachers, and psychologists, empowering them to be able to run the spaces themselves. This ensures that Maya will be able to receive direct support in her mother tongue of Ukrainian and will offer the security of employment to refugees as well, which helps them to more quickly return to normal.

You can equip the spaces with art-supplies, therapeutic stories and more

AMURTEL plans to also put together CFS starter packets, which will include therapeutic stories, toys, art supplies, musical instruments, sports equipment and other things that make Maya and the other children feel welcome and able to connect with others.

Give shelter to refugee families at AMURTEL’s social apartment

In the meantime, AMURTEL is also opening the doors of its farmhouse and social apartment in Bucharest to receive refugee families. Already one family of five will be arriving this week. They will be safe. But the queue is long. Meanwhile many are staying in temporary improvised shelters like this one that our team visited today.

Thank you!

Thank you in advance for giving this important opportunity to vulnerable children, at this critical time. We are praying this situation will end soon, but in the meantime, we are all want to do the best we can for our sisters and brothers in Ukraine.

Please forward this appeal to friends who would like to help the children and mothers of Ukraine, who are innocent victims in this war.

You too can contribute to our mission! Donate now!

* We change the names of minors to protect their identity