“We are particularly proud of our work to help traumatised Ukrainian children, which was launched within one month of the Russian invasion in 2022.”
Maria Callias

Chair, Children and War UK

The war in Ukraine was a major focus for our activities in the year described in our Annual Report 2022, which has just been published.

Within one month of the Russian invasion, we had set up a training programme with an in-country partner and launched the first of 10 training courses for psychologists and others in Ukraine and neighbouring countries through the year. Trainings were delivered in Ukrainian or in English with interpreters provided by local partners. One of these was in traumatic bereavement, the first of its kind to be delivered to an active war zone.

These helped to cascade our life-changing Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT) programme to thousands of war-affected children in Ukraine or in exile, at no cost to the beneficiaries. Trainees attended online from Ukraine, Poland, Estonia, Romania and the UK, where we also held an in-person training event at the Ukraine School in London. An evaluation of our Ukraine programme can be read here.

To help Ukrainian children process their experiences, we collaborated with the Rucksack Project, which has created a storybook for preschool and primary age children about a boy who loses his possessions and memories. It is accompanied by a booklet for parents and carers written by our co-founder Bill Yule, our Ukraine lead Kateryna Yavna and Ukrainian psychiatrist Professor Dennis Ougrin. Any surplus funds raised by Rucksack will be donated towards our Ukrainian TRT programme.

During the year, two trainings were provided for staff of Barnardo’s in Northern Ireland, offering TRT with special consideration of the issues facing unaccompanied minors and children experiencing grief. Grief and trauma were also the themes of an international training course for professionals in Austria and the UK, including Arabic-speaking volunteers from an Austrian asylum support programme.

Meanwhile our research committee began to build its vital programme, in what was only the second year of our existence as a charity. We were delighted to welcome onto the committee three university professors working in child trauma, and they helped us to begin drafting a strategic programme of research that will support our field programmes. This is expected to include research on aspects of trauma that have been neglected to date, setting up a young people’s advisory forum, and continuing to monitor the effectiveness of TRT.

To raise the funds required for these high-impact but low-cost activities, our fundraisers were very busy in the year. Notable successes included a classical music concert that raised £8,000 and a half-marathon in the Royal Parks that raised £26,000. Meanwhile we launched our website, to promote our training to those who need it most and to encourage support from all those who care about our mission – providing psychological support for children traumatised by war and other disasters worldwide.

Read our Annual Report and Accounts for 2022

Read about our Ukrainian programme

What we do makes a difference

Now more than ever, children need help to cope with the trauma they're experiencing.

Children and War UK is working to give them essential tools to reduce the long-term effects of traumatic stress.

Thank you.