Greetings! March 16 marked one year since Russia bombed a large theater in Mariupol where residents were seeking shelter in the basement, killing hundreds of people despite giant painted letters on the ground outside the building clearly indicating there were ‘children’ inside (you can see the Ukrainian word for ‘children’ in the picture above).
HOW IS THE WAR AFFECTING UKRAINE’S CHILDREN?
Tragically, children are caught in the crosshairs of this conflict. Since the war began on February 24, 2022, a generation of children has experienced 13 months of violence, fear, loss, and tragedy. There is not a single aspect of children’s lives that the conflict has not impacted, with children killed, injured, forced from their homes, missing out on critical education, and denied the benefits of a safe and secure environment.
An economic crisis, with 50-70% of Ukrainian families living below the poverty line, and an energy crisis triggered by the war have devastated the well-being of children and families. The poorer a family is, the greater the proportion of its income it must spend on food, leaving less for children’s healthcare and education. The steep rise in child poverty will also leave them more ‘at risk’ of violence, abuse, and exploitation.
The war is also having a devastating impact on the mental health and wellbeing of children. An estimated 1.5 million children are at risk of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health issues, with potential long-term effects and implications.
UNICEF says. “Children need an end to this war and sustained peace to regain their childhoods, return to normalcy and begin to heal and recover.”
HOW CAN HART’S COMMUNITY HELP?
For the past 30 years, the primary focus of HART’S ministry has been on children and youth. So, in this wartime era, we are more than committed to responding to the needs of children suffering from the effects of war. If we don’t intervene, the result will be lost lives, lost learning, and lost futures.
Over the next several months, we will be highlighting many HART programs/projects geared toward helping children heal and recover. Many of these will be familiar to you, while others are new and created in response to the needs of this generation of war children.
For example, we are presently forging partnerships with manyChristian childcare ministries serving children suffering from various war-related issues. One of our newest partners is the Calvary Church in Kherson, a city liberated from the Russians in Nov 2022, but still under intermittent shelling. Their Pastor (Paul) sent a letter to HART asking for our assistance with their child-care ministry. He gave us an overview:
“The center’s main task is to create a safe space for children in the dangerous city of Kherson. Thanks to the work of our team, which consists of Christians with specialized social, educational, and psychological education, 30 children have the opportunity to spend time learning, having fun, and getting to know God’s love every day. For this purpose, the basement of the church, which provides safety from shelling, is equipped with classrooms for children, a dining room, showers, and toilets.”
The Pastor’s request is for financial support to provide three meals daily for the children at their center, which is about $2,500CA/month.
Greetings! Just to give you a sense of how serious the need is, Paul described the situation this way: “Our specialized child-care center is just a ‘drop in the bucket’ because I believe over 5,000 children in Kherson alone need to be in facilities like this.”
Please consider supporting Child-Care ministries through ourChildren & Youth Fund. YOUR support will allow us to partner with and serve many children’s ministries whose impact and importance cannot be overstated.
Together, we are changing hearts – restoring hope – and saving lives during this crisis in Ukraine.
Heartfelt thanks to YOU!
…from a Cerebral Palsy children’s ministry
My name is Liudmyla Myslitska, and I am the director of an NGO called “Tserebral” (Cerebral) in Kyiv. We have 520 children registered in our NGO.
I received your financial support for the disabled children in our ministry. We used these funds to buy food, hygiene products, and medicines.
Every month, many of these children need medicines that prolong their lives. Some are orphans, and others are half-orphans (having one parent alive but who’ve been abandoned). The children we serve live in orphanages, foster homes, or with a caregiver. They all need food and hygiene products; many of these impoverished children often have head lice. Sixty bedridden children need diapers which is a considerable cost.
There are so many problems due to the war. We thank the Lord, Mr. Lloyd, and HART staff and sponsors that impoverished families can get help in this difficult time of war. We are truly grateful for that.
May God bless you. Sincerely, Liudmyla
For accurate, up-to-date info on the war in Ukraine
THE KYIV INDEPENDENT
Russia’s Theft of Children in Ukraine is Genocide
Moscow is out to destroy a people.
Here are specific prayer points that can help guide our prayers for the situation in Ukraine. Please share these with your friends and family:
- Pray for the physical protection and provision for Ukrainian children in harm’s way. Supernaturally, and otherwise, minimize the suffering and loss of life, Jesus. Keep the bombs away, and food in their stomachs.
Pray for children who are seeing things no child’s eye should ever see. Jesus, you are a great King and healer. By whatever means you chose— loving parents, a direct work of the Holy Spirit, fellow believers… protect the hearts, minds, and imagination of children.
- Pray for and ask to see God’s glory amid this great struggle. Pray that He would be glorified through the Christians in Ukraine who are being his hands and feet during this terrible tragedy.
- Pray for God’s peace to be a source of strength for the thousands of Ukrainian workers/volunteers who are serving refugees who need to hear of God’s love for them.
- Pray for God’s protection for soldiers and civilians caught up in this conflict.
- Pray for the residents of cities and towns who are under heavy shelling, and have lost their heat, lights, and water.
- Pray for the civilian and military prisoners of war who are subject to torture and death at the hands of their captors.
- Ask God to comfort the many families that have lost mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters during this Russian invasion. The pain and heartache are overwhelming for most families.
- Pray for the frustration of all evil plans of the enemy.
- Ask God to intervene. Pray for wisdom for world leaders. Pray that God would move in their hearts and guide their steps and plans to end this war.
- Pray for the President (Zelensky) and the leaders of Ukraine to know God’s truth and peace and be transformed by his Holy Spirit so that they would seek to lead their country in the way of peace.
- Ask that this conflict would open doors of opportunities for the gospel. Pray that He would make his name known across Ukraine, Russia, and all the European countries that refugees are fleeing to due to this conflict.