Protecting Ukrainian refugee children: what we did so far in Romania


Since the beginning of the war in 2022, Terre des hommes Romania has strived to respond to the immediate needs of children, youth and mothers arriving in Romania in terms of protection, mental health and psycho-social support, as well as individual assistance tailored for different situations. 

By May 2022, we have created child-friendly spaces in two transit areas (bus station and train station in Bucharest) and we are also active in two residential centers managed by state authorities where we organize child-friendly activities, group therapy sessions with children and psycho-social support (for mothers and children).

Firstly, we try to foster a safe and playful environment for children, away from the worries of adults. We facilitate play between them and together with volunteers, we use specific methodologies and pay extra attention to their emotions, so that recreation guarantees inclusion and participation.

On the other hand, we inform and assist parents, we offer different type of individual kits (like for hygiene), but also psychological first aid when needed.

As hundreds of volunteers have jumped in all over Romania to help from the very beginning of the crisis, Tdh also noted that volunteers needed guiding and we provided specific training material not only to our volunteers, but also published free online resources available to everyone. Educators are also trained in Movement, Game and Sports, a methodology Terre des hommes has developed in war affected areas.

Context (May 2022)

  • Approx. 300 children per week are using the child-friendly spaces in the transit centers and 20 children per week in the semi-permanent center
  • 920.356 people from Ukraine arrived in Romania since the begging of the war
  • 88.065 people are still in Romania, and 21.373 have requested temporary protection

The project is being implemented with the financiar support of Crisis and Support Center of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, the City of Zurich, Oak Foundation, Z Zurich Foundation, and Swiss Solidarity Foundation.