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15 animated short films "War Through the Eyes of Ukrainian Children" have been created

The Children's Hospital Foundation has created 15 animated short films from the drawings made by Ukrainian refugee children, where they express their experience in the war and optimistic hopes for the future.

The authors of the drawings are Ukrainian children who have found asylum in Latvia and received psychological support from the Children's Hospital Foundation employee, child psychologist Natalia Urus from Ukraine, at the refugee support centers. Through these drawings children have expressed their traumatic experience in the war, their fear and insecurity, but have also added a positive ending to the story. The authors are children aged 4 to 12. Their experience in the war differs, but the unifying element in all stories is fear and insecurity, as well as hope that the conflict will end as soon as possible and they will all be able to return home in peace.

The shorts films were created with the aim of providing support to all Ukrainian children who have gone through the traumatic experience of war. The narrative of these stories reminds us that it is an experience that no child should go through. The animation of these films was also entrusted to the Ukrainian refugees who have found asylum in Latvia. One of the volunteers involved in the project carried out his work while in Ukraine, and despite electricity disruptions caused by Russian attacks fully participated in the creation of the animated short films. 

“Each of the films was created with a huge sense of responsiblity and respect for its little author, because we are immortalizing both their personal story and testimony of the war in Ukraine. This time it is not some adult's interpretation of the child's feelings and experience - it is their own narrative. This is a unique project and we sincerely hope that both the films and children's stories, as well as the happy endings will help other Ukrainian children as well - those, who still experience the horrors of war in Ukraine, and others who have left the country to seek asylum. Perhaps these stories will help adults better understand children's emotions, and help to preserve hope, as well as to imagine the happy ending of this war story,” says Children's Hospital Foundation chairwoman Liene Dambina.

The author of the idea is child psychologist Natalia Urus, who works for the Children's Hospital Foundation since her arrival in Latvia and has provided support for hundreds of Ukrainian refugee children and their families. "Children's drawings were made during psychological support sessions, which were based on the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) methods  - in these drawings children illustrated their perspective on the war, their feelings an emotions, and this process helped to release their emotions and trauma, to talk about their fears and hopes. While drawing, they could control what happens in the story. It was an important stage of therapy which acts as the foundation for further psychological work with these children and helped them to smile again," psychologist Natalia Urus explains.

Playlist of all animated short films in English:


Playlist of all animated short films in Ukrainian:

The project is financially supported by the Society Integration Foundation with the funds allocated from Latvian state budget. The Children’s Hospital Foundation is responsible for the content of the films. #NVOatbalstaUkrainu