Play Hub in Ukraine
Why this project?
To date, almost 8 million Ukrainian refugees have fled to Europe and about 5 million have become internally displaced persons in Ukraine. 40% of them are children, which are in great danger of suffering long term mental health problems. Providing safe, welcoming, multi service spaces for these children and their carers is crucial to promote their psychosocial wellbeing and ensure their access to education, healthcare, protection and adaptation services in new communities.
With Porticus support, ICDI builds the collaboration with LHSI to open a first Play Hub in Ukraine in Kyiv. The Play Hud model was developed in 2017 and introduced already in at least 8 EU countries reaching 15.000 children and their parents, including the Play Hubs in Slovakia opened with UNICEF to support the Ukrainian families fleeing from Ukraine in the result of full scale Russian invasion in Ukraine in 2022 to provide refugees play and learning opportunities.
The TOY for Inclusion Play Hubs are community-based inclusive non formal educational spaces for young children and families. They especially make sure to include and engage young children (0—10 years old) from vulnerable, minority groups and growing up in difficult circumstances.
LHSI has worked with ICDI since 2010, in projects related to the deinstitutionalization of children and rehabilitation and reintegration of children affected by the conflict in Ukraine.
What will happen?
To run a Play Hub in Kyiv, where internally displaced (ID) children and families will receive psychosocial support, access to play and learning activities, access to opportunities of socialization, specialized support in education, health, housing, employment, etc., learn Ukrainian language, get to know their new community.
— to provide a safe, welcoming, multi-services spaces for Ukrainian refugee children and their caregivers
— to promote their psychosocial well-being
— to ensure their access to education, health and protection services
— to offer high quality early childhood education and care services to vulnerable groups, by building on equity and diversity, intergenerational learning, and service integration
The project plans to cover directly:
— 100 ID children and their caregivers,
— 100 non-ID children and their caregivers,
— up to 40 professionals from education, health, social and employment services, local authorities’ representatives, NGOs and CBOs.
ICDI and LHSI will establish and sustain a Play Hub in Kyiv, Ukraine, in the Centre Rodinniy Dim. This center is actively involved in supporting the needs of internally displaced children and has organized a bomb shelter for children downstairs. They are struggling to engage parents and other caregivers in activities and workshops, as it is seen mostly as a day-care center for children, while caregivers work or look for employment. Thanks to the Play Hub, the center will be able to offer an integrated and holistic solution to families and achieve parental involvement for the benefit of children, families and professionals.
The Play Hub will offer a safe and welcoming space for internally displaced children and families, where they will:
— socialize and make new friends,
— learn Ukrainian),
— express emotions and work with traumatic experiences,
— get to know their new community,
— be introduced to education and other services,
— receive specialized support in various areas through direct referral: education, health, housing, employment, etc.
— Training of specialists of the TOY for Inclusion approach project and the work of the Play Hub
— Adaptation and translation of the TOY for Inclusion manual and toolkit
—Organize a study visit for LHSI staff to the Play Hubs in Slovakia
— Arrangement and opening of the Play Hub
— Purchase of toys and educational materials
— Coordinate with other relevant services and stakeholders in the community
— Attracting customers and functioning of the Play Hub.