Goodwill Ambassador, Orlando Bloom, greets 4 year old Ksyusha at a community support centre in Svyatogorsk
The actor traveled to conflict-hit eastern Ukraine as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador to raise awareness of the global education crisis that children in humanitarian emergencies face.
See actor’s impressions after the trip
“A lot of the families fled during the conflict and most of the children are struggling with education. It is understandable when you think of the fear that they lived trough. The fear for their lives.“
“It’s been very revealing. It is strange to me that here we are in Europe and there are children who have been fighting and caring for their lives in basements just a few miles from here. When you think that only two percent of humanitarian aid goes to education, it is just simply not enough. Children need education for their future. Children need education for a sense of community, a sense of belonging, a routine and a possibility of a life.”
“Our attention can not be drawn away from a crisis just because it is no longer in the news. There are people who live a life that is beyond challenging and they really need us to be aware in order to be able to support them.”
“I met some sweet young boy named Artem who created this picture book of ninjas. There was one ninja who was golden, he can do anything. There was a green ninja who was like the environment, a blue ninja, and a red ninja. And they all had different superpowers. And he was the gold ninja which can do anything and give the ultimate protection. It doesn’t take a psychologist to understand that when he draws images of stick figures with guns – it’s war, and the ninjas saving the world… this is happening in Europe, it is happening in our doorstep, so it is something that has left me feeling like we still go a long way to go.”
We met this really remarkable girl Liana. Liana is the daughter of one of the school care takers. So Liana found herself in a basement of her school for 10 days. No running water, very cold environment. It was really meeting Liana and seeing this very sweet and innocent child who is in exposed to atrocities of war and who had a knock-on effect of that in her life. Her ability to focus and learn. Her ability to absorb information. She felt disconnected and afraid.
“Education is providing children in Eastern Ukraine with the building blocks to rebuild their lives in a safe and supportive environment.”
In eastern Ukraine, and in emergencies across the world, UNICEF is working around the clock to get children back to learning – to keep them safe and secure their futures. UNICEF so far has supported the repair and rehabilitation of 57 schools in Eastern Ukraine and has supplied hundreds of thousands of children with vital supplies like schoolbooks, desks and pencils, as well as psychological support and catch-up classes. UNICEF has also reached nearly 280,000 children with information on the risks posed by land mines and unexploded ordnance, which litter communities near the frontline.