New scheme launched to help house children in Ukraine

SOS Children’s Villages Denmark (SOS DK) have launched a new project to provide homes for children in Ukraine – a country that was found to have one of the highest rates of child homelessness even before the war began.

Today, 15th April 2024, SOS DK have launched their new initiative, which is otherwise known as the Children’s Living Project. The idea, which was made possible through the support of 11 charities and organisations across Denmark, is to create new, sustainable homes for children in Ukraine. 

blue and yellow building

The project couldn’t have come at a better time. Even before Russian military forces entered Ukraine in 2022, research from Save the Children found that the country had one of the highest rates of children living in institutional care in Europe, with around 100,000 living in some form of residential care facility. However, since the war began, the problem has tragically escalated. 

To help the ongoing crisis, the new project from SOS DK will see a cluster of buildings created in three different locations across Ukraine. Each cluster is set to feature homes for foster families, shared recreational and social spaces for both inhabitants and local communities, and social centres that will supply a range of mental health support for foster families as well as locals living in the surrounding area. 

Commenting on the news, Mads Klæstrup Kristensen, managing director of SOS Children’s Villages Denmark, said: ‘The ongoing war in Ukraine has affected millions of children, leaving many of them without parental care, protection, and a safe space to call home. Our priority has always been to ensure children around the world have their needs and rights met to enable them to grow up in a caring home, thrive and become their strongest selves.  

‘Through this project, we want to inspire better ways of caring physically, emotionally, and socially for children without parental care and help move toward de-institutionalization by demonstrating new, holistic solutions for alternative care environments.’ 

According to SOS DK, the new establishments will be constructed within existing neighbourhoods to help better integrate new families and make children feel as at home as possible. 

Lee Petersson, CEO of the VELUX Group – one of the partners of the new project – claimed that the scheme will hopefully help inspire other organisations and authorities to act, as no one should have to experience what individuals in Ukraine are, especially children. 

‘With the war causing unprecedented destruction across the country, we want to contribute with a more sustainable way of rebuilding homes in Ukraine,’ Lee said. ‘With our Living Places concept, we demonstrate that it is possible to build healthy homes with a low carbon footprint – and we are happy to contribute to this impactful project that helps secure a more promising future for children without parental care in Ukraine.’

Lee added: ‘Our contribution is small in the grand scheme of things, but the children who will be living in the new homes will grow up in an environment that promotes health and their wellbeing. We hope that this project will help inspire others to take action – both in terms of supporting the rebuilding of Ukraine, but also to transform the building industry.’

Image: Marjan Blan

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