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Ukraine Today: Orphanage staff struggles to cope with Ukrainian children traumatized by war

Hundreds of orphans from Donetsk have been evacuated and placed in the care of staff at this summer camp in eastern Ukraine. Staff says they need bigger workforce and supplies at the orphanage

Author: Ukraine Today, kyivpost.com Published: 2015-10-08 15-00-00 Viewed, times: 772
  
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Internally displaced children from Lugansk enjoy their new individual education kits provided by UNICEF in partnership with organizations Rubezhi/ Stantsia Kharkov. Copyright: UNICEF Ukraine/2015/A.Krepkih
© UNICEF Ukraine - A. Krepkih

Hundreds of orphans from Donetsk have been evacuated and placed in the care of staff at this summer camp in eastern Ukraine.

These children witnessed the war with their own eyes; an experience which sometimes causes long-term psychological as well physical problems.

There are a limited number of staff working at the center. They say they need supplies and volunteers to help take care of the kids, some of them as young as four.

The staff tells us that they've started administering sedatives to help the children sleep.

Iryna Matushenko, caregiver: "They were sleeping really badly, woke up and fought all the time."

The orphanage is also looking for specialists to help children and teens who've been deeply traumatized by what they have witnessed.

When the orphans were being relocated to a safer city under the government's control, the militants did not hand over their documents.

Galyna Demchenko, orphanage director: "We were getting the children out without documents and when we asked the militant leaders to give the children's papers, they denied."

This center is struggling to cope with the new arrivals. The toys are outdated and broken, but the staff believe their priority remains keeping the children safe.

Since arriving here several weeks ago, none of the younger kids have asked for anything, says one caretaker, adding that only the older ones are asking for help with studies.

Many of them plan for a better future for themselves and want to continue with their education.

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