The Voices of Children Charitable Foundation spoke about the problems of Ukrainian children at the OSCE Headquarters. Diplomats of 40 OSCE member states were present at the briefing in Vienna, which took place on March 1.
First of all, we must counteract russian propaganda, that is why it is important to cooperate with and support Ukrainian non-governmental organizations, such as the Voices of Children. They work directly with children and families affected by the war started by Russia. We have to teach psychologists and teachers how to work with children in different circumstances.Yevhen Tsymbalyuk, permanent representative of Ukraine at international organizations in Vienna
Olena Rozvadovska, Head of the Board of the Voices of Children Foundation, spoke about the difficult situation of Ukrainian children and the importance of supporting them:
Every day we fight and pay a very high price. During this year, our Foundation provided psychological and psychosocial support to about 5,000 children. But we understand that millions of Ukrainian children need such support. We must provide a long-term program for the next 10-20 years. To work with the consequences of life in war, in bomb shelters, in occupation, loss of relatives.
The co-founder of the Foundation, Azad Safarov, told the story of how the teachers of an orphanage in the Kherson region hid 55 children during the occupation, saving them from the forced deportation by Russian soldiers:
The Russians still took 15 children from this orphanage. We don’t know where they are or what has happened to them. We do not know what is happening to more than 16,000 Ukrainian children who were abducted by the Russians. And this is only the official data. There are countless stories of deportation and other Russian crimes, and we must stop it.
At the OSCE briefing, the annual monitoring report of Russian crimes against Ukrainian children, which was prepared by the Voices of Children Foundation together with the Kharkiv Institute of Social Research, was presented. The human rights defender of the Foundation also appealed to international institutions for assistance in returning the children home.
We must document all Russian war crimes against our children. We will support the establishment of an international tribunal for Russian war criminals. We ask you to continue to support Ukraine and help us get our children back.Andriy Chernousov, member of the Board of the Foundation, human rights defender
The participants of the briefing highlighted that russia is committing genocide against Ukrainians, and emphasized the importance of uniting for the sake of returning childhood to Ukrainian children and protecting the freedoms and values of democracy.
Besides participating in the briefing, the team of the Voices of Children Foundation organized a presentation of the unique book War through the Voices of Children and an exhibition of illustrations created by well-known Ukrainian and foreign artists in the OSCE headquarters. So that the whole world heard the voices of Ukrainian children living in war conditions.