As of January 2023, there were 6.2 million internally-displaced people (IDPs) in Ukraine. The United Nations estimates that more than 3.5 million children across the country have “severe to catastrophic levels of needs”.
Approximately 75% of parents have reported that their children have symptoms of psychological trauma as a result of the war with impaired memories, shorter attention spans, and a decreased ability to learn.
Every child wants the same thing: a normal childhood. What’s more normal for kids than a McHappy Meal?
On November 28th I’ll be starting a journey in Edmonton that will conclude with travelling across Ukraine. I’ll be there to help host events at McDonalds for displaced kids, called McJoyful Parties. Thank you so much to all who have donated to help a child enjoy a Christmas they won’t forget.
For only $10CAN you will help provide transportation to McDonalds, a McHappy meal and a presentation of the Christmas story.
Plans are to host 3,000 children.
There are many helpers in Ukraine like Olena Rozvadovska. She founded the charity Voices of Children, and speaks with children in Ukraine. She hears what they’re most hoping for as the war in their country continues.
Many want their fathers to return from the frontlines. One wishes for a belated birthday party. One wants a puppy but must wait until the fighting ends.
Ukrainian children are growing up against the backdrop of war. They’ve endured more than 19 months of escalating violence, trauma, and loss.
One of the last victims of the war among children was a 10-year old: the girl died during the shelling of her house in Kryvyi Rih, the homeland of Volodymyr Zelensky.
I’ll be travelling to Kryvyi Rih in December. In fact, I spent a couple of hours last week working with a church leader from Kryvyi Rih. Tanya was my translator for two one-hour Zoom sessions with Ukrainian pastors. I was honoured to meet them. So many are young. These pastors lead church plants throughout Ukraine. To the media they are invisible. To a child they are angels.
If children don’t get help processing the experiences they’ve been through, the long-term health consequences will be devastating. Children seeing the war unfold around them are at high risk of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health disorders. Churches in Ukraine are a source of hope for kids. They are offering food, clothing, school supplies, and activities for children.
Please share this post on your Facebook page and tag #KidsUkraine Join the conversation and post a comment below. Thank you.
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