You would be forgiven for thinking that when Russia invaded and war broke out, the ACET Ukraine team stopped working - but far from it - in March alone, ACET volunteers reached 950 teenagers in person with sessions on mental health and healthy lifestyles and ran 230 sessions online! 12 of ACET Ukraine’s youth clubs have also continued, providing a safe space for young people to have fun, learn skills and make new friends.
Online consultations have become even more vital during the war, with volunteers able to remotely support young people who have access to the internet from bomb shelters, underground stations, and refugee centres.
Psychosocial support is critical for emotional healing for these young people, many of whom have been displaced from their homes and experienced the bombing of their cities, and witnessed, or been victims of, violence and sexual abuse. Many are experiencing fear, anxiety, depression, grief, and even survivor’s guilt.
Young women that ACET work with are talking about suicidal thoughts because of the fear of sexual assault from the occupying Russian military and young men are dealing with extreme anger and bitterness about the violence they have seen while feeling powerless to do anything about it.
At a time when most teenagers are building a sense of who they are and thinking about what they want to do with their lives, Ukrainian teenagers’ identities have been stripped away without any ability to prepare themselves for it.
ACET coaches need to be trained with an updated program - to provide training for teenagers and their parents. The ACET team is strategically planning a new curriculum to provide trauma-informed counselling and mental health support to assist these young people as the war continues - and for the aftermath.
We want to raise £20,000 to enable them to do this - please will you click the button below to support us and ask your friends and family to do the same?
Watch the short videos below for more details.