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New study examines wellbeing of children living in Poland amid Ukraine war

20.11.2023 13:00
A new report on the wellbeing of children and youth living in Poland, in the face of the war in Ukraine, was released on Monday by organisations including the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).  
Photo:Mirek Pruchnicki from Przemyśl, Sanok, Polska, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The study was unveiled at a conference in Warsaw, to mark UNICEF's World Children's Day.

Authors asked more than 100 children from Ukraine and Poland, who currently live in three Polish cities, Warsaw, Kraków and Wrocław, to share their experiences of life in Poland through words and photographs.  

The aim was to "gain a deeper understanding of the challenges that refugee children from Ukraine and children from host communities face" and to "identify opportunities to enhance their wellbeing."  

Key findings include that children from Ukraine express "feelings of nostalgia for the people, pets and places they had left behind."

More than half of the participants from Ukraine said they would like to talk to “someone professional” about their mental health.

Meanwhile, "those who attend a Polish school reported that although they face many challenges such as language barriers and adaptation to a new educational system, going to school provides some routine," the report said.

The authors put forward a set of recommendations for Poland's central and local authorities, UN agencies and NGOs to help address these issues.

These recommendations include ensuring free mental health care services for refugee children from Ukraine; deploying more Ukrainian intercultural assistants in Polish schools; and funding extracurricular activities that enable children from Ukraine to build meaningful relationships in Poland.

The new report, entitled It is cool here, no doubt about it... but home is home,  explores "the subjective wellbeing of children and adolescents living in Poland in the face of the war in Ukraine. It was was drawn up by UNICEF and the charities Plan International and Save the Children.

World Children's Day is a day of action for children, by children, held annually on November 20 to mark the adoption in 1989 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Source: UNICEF Refugee Response Office in Poland, Save the Children