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Helping Ukrainian children build the social emotional skills and resilience to navigate the challenges of war and reduce the impact of PTSD
A year after the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine, Ukrainian children are suffering from significant emotional turmoil. Nearly all children have had their lives upended, including loss of their homes, families, and friends. The impact on their psychological growth is devastating. Displaced, either within Ukraine or as refugees throughout Europe, they need social connections and the skills and tools to recognize their emotions and channel them in a positive way. As the Director of Wellness for the Ukrainian Department of Education stated: “Adults weren’t ready for this war. Neither were the children.”
Joint cooperation efforts between our partner organizations:
Freeing Freddie the Dream Weaver - a mental health education resource for the Ukrainian public education system
Freeing Freddie the Dream Weaver
Freeing Freddie the Dream Weaver is an online educational program for children which teaches social and emotional learning and well-being. This is highly suitable to the Ukrainian children who are struggling to cope with their daily situations. Already in use in the United States, the Ukrainian version of Freeing Freddie will provide a way for Ukrainian children, no matter where they are, to learn about emotions while engaging with teachers and classmates.
The educational program is filled with avatars, games and activities, wrapped around a magical story that will bring joy and fun to the Ukrainian children who so desperately need it to address fears and anxieties.
Pilot Program Goal: To deliver the social emotional learning program, Freeing Freddie, to at least 10,000 Ukrainian children, ages 5 – 13, in their own Ukrainian language.
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View our Funding Proposal
Program Background and Development
Freeing Freddie the Dream Weaver
Exposure to conflict, violence, and insecurity can have major psychological effects on children, as detailed by Save the Children International: “Unless appropriate support is provided, their distress can last well beyond the end of the conflict. Specifically, the prolonged activation of stress hormones in early childhood can reduce neural connections in areas of the brain dedicated to learning and reasoning, affecting children’s abilities to perform later in their lives. In this way, conflict imposes a huge social cost on future generations.”
The pilot program, which will be available to 10,000 Ukrainian students, will deliver a Ukrainian version of Freeing Freddie – Adventures 1-6 that incorporates text, audio, and activities in the Ukrainian language. (Students will spend approximately 4-5 hours completing the online activities, games, practices, reflections, and more.) Note: Implementing the Freeing Freddie program is possible even though students are in displaced locations because of its online nature. Ukrainian students are continuing with their education through online learning, studying with their classmates wherever they are located.
Recognize and normalize their Emotions
For Ukrainian children to recognize and normalize their emotions and gain the skills needed to build internal resilience and capacity
Address their fears and anxieties
To help children address their fears and anxieties, while dreaming of a joyful future
Engage Parents and Teachers in the process
To engage parents and teachers in activities that benefit the family and community
Support to the Department of Education
To give support to the Ukrainian Department of Education which is concerned about the well-being of its students