Ukraine Relief Campaign Partner Spotlight: UNHCR
May 26, 2022 | As the war against Ukraine enters its fourth month and continues to force millions of Ukrainian children and families to flee their homes, The Toy Foundation (TTF) is supporting UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in their relief efforts.
Since the start of the war, UNHCR has reached hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced in Ukraine and are struggling to access to even the most basic needs such as food, water, and shelter.
To date, UNHCR has reached 1.01 million people in Ukraine with protection or assistance. The non-profit’s impact includes providing nearly 200,000 Ukrainians with protection assistance and information at border points and transit/reception centers; offering upwards of 450,000 people essential items ranging from bedding and hygiene kits to clothing and food assistance; and supporting 360,000+ individuals with cash assistance.
The overall goal of UNHCR’s response is to reach 4.3 million people by the end of August, while also establishing long-term, sustainable solutions for Ukrainian communities. The organization’s impact is contingent on the funding received from The Toy Foundation and other organizations around the world.
Children comprise approximately 40% of the refugees from Ukraine, many of whom have experienced traumatic events such as family separation and will require specialized child protection and mental health and psychosocial support.
UNHCR is focused on providing child protection services, safety, and stability through their Blue Dot approach. Jointly established by UNHCR and UNICEF, ‘Blue Dots’ are safe spaces where particularly vulnerable refugees, including children and families, can receive support and critical information. To date, 34 ‘Blue Dots’ are operating in seven countries, including Hungary, Poland, Moldova, and Romania, to serve as a welcoming place to rest, relax and let children play.
Daria, a 15-year-old who fled her home in Odesa with her mother and brother, was separated from her father, friends, and familiar life as she crossed into Moldova.
“Before the war broke out, I had a lot of friends. We’d go out, do homework together. Just have fun. But when the war broke out everyone had to stay in their homes and all of the schools closed,” shared Daria. “We left the day after the explosions started. I took a few things with me like shampoo and a pillow. We took a lot of food, and I took a toy with me – a small toy giraffe.”
UNHCR is continuing to expand its ‘Blue Dots’ and other programs to deliver assistance and services to as many refugee families and children fleeing Ukraine as possible.
The generosity of the global play community has raised more than $4 million in monetary and in-kind donations to date for TTF’s relief fund to help fund UNHCR’s and additional organizations’ life-saving work in Ukraine and Europe.
For those interested in making a contribution, monetary donations can be made here and product donations can be made via this form. Members can also reach out directly to TTF’s Executive Director Pamela Mastrota or its Director of Development John Fistolera.
Learn more about The Toy Foundation’s work at ToyFoundation.org.