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03-Aug-2022 00:06:47
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas met refugee families in Poland who had fled the war in Ukraine and called for more support for refugee children. UNICEF

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1. Various shots, Chopra Jonas speaking with family about their situation and psychosocial support, Early Childhood Development Centre
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Priyanka Chopra Jonas, actress, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador:
“So, because this is the early childhood development center, the caregivers here focus on children's development, especially because they're younger kids right now. So, using art, using art to express themselves, using words, using tools to build, and actually teaching them songs, having them repeat rhymes, and actually giving them skills to be able to learn a lot more. Meet animals, go out in nature, name trees, and just… I think giving them a sort of sense of normalcy that these kids absolutely don't have right now. And I think when it comes to early development, what's most important is to be able to expose the children to as much as they can so that learning doesn't stop.”
3. Various shots, children, education hub, Priyanka speaking to local authorities
4. Various shots, Chopra Jonas being led by child through the centre, interacting with craft activities
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Priyanka Chopra Jonas, actress, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador:
“This summer camp hosts about 150 kids every two weeks so that they can reach as many children as they can through the summer. But also, this is probably…they have this camp in three cities, but this is probably the only camp in Poland or program in Poland that teaches Ukrainian children in Ukrainian. That have Ukrainian teachers that use Ukrainian curriculum. So that there is still a familiarity to where these kids came from and they do Polish classes so that it helps the children transition into the new school year, which probably will be in a Polish school.”
6. Various shots, Chopra Jonas with children at drawing table, Blue Dot Centre
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Priyanka Chopra Jonas, actress, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador:
“And, and it's an incredible haven that UNICEF has supported Unbreakable Ukraine to be able to have access to the materials that they need to provide these children with a safe haven that is amazing like this. The smiles on their faces, how excited they are, what they feel about their country, and how hopeful they are to go back one day and rebuild. Is very inspiring to me.”
8. Various shots, Chopra Jonas playing a kind of darts with child, Blue Dot Centre
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Priyanka Chopra Jonas, actress, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador:
“So, we are at a transit center in Warsaw, Poland. And this is one of the first few places where displaced people, refugees when they leave Ukraine, they come to. The Blue Dot Centre that we're at right now, which is provided by UNICEF and gives people information about access, where they can go, what they can do, how they can help find next steps, which I guess is the most important thing when you've fled your home because of armed conflict. Picking whatever little you had and your children and going to another country and hoping for the best. And I think the work that is being done here is God's work. I’m a little emotional, but it's really, really incredible to see children, at least having an opportunity to just…some sort of normalcy.”
10. Various shots, Priyanka interacting with kids painting, Ukrainian Summer Camp Unbreakable Ukraine
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Priyanka Chopra Jonas, actress, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador:
“When we think about playing, and we associate that with children. You know, people think that they're playing expending energy, but play in the Blue Dot Centres are used as a tool to be able to create a sense of normalcy for children. And when they have a sense of normalcy that evokes a sense of safety and a sense of safety, a sense of community, which all children need. Their basic fundamental right. To feel protected.”
12. Various shots, Chopra Jonas speaking with kids during crafts activities
13. Various shots, sports activities, cheering, hopping, and crawling races
14. Wide shot, kids offering Chopra Jonas a panting they made

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas met refugee families in Poland who had fled the war in Ukraine and called for more support for refugee children.

Chopra Jonas visited a “Blue Dot” space at the Refugee Accommodation Centre in Warsaw, meeting with mothers and children from Ukraine who are now staying at the centre, the largest in the country.

“All the children I met ache to be home,” said Chopra Jonas.

“The invisible wounds of war are often the least talked about but the most devastating for a child. It was incredibly heartening to see UNICEF's quick response and their work in partnership with the Polish people and government to provide children and their families with a sense of safety, catch-up learning, awareness of their rights, and mental health support. All children everywhere have the right to this kind of help, no matter who they are or where they’re from.”

Over two days, Chopra Jonas visited several programmes of UNICEF’s new response office in Poland, set up in the wake of the Ukraine war.

She spent time at a UNICEF-supported Education Hub, which, in partnership with the Warsaw Municipality, supports Ukrainian children with catch-up learning, language classes, soft skills, and other activities before the start of the new school year.

At a ‘Spynka’ Early Childhood Development centre, which provides support and childcare for Ukrainian refugees, Chopra Jonas met younger children and mothers, hearing directly about families' challenges.

Nearly two-thirds of children are displaced inside Ukraine or in neighbouring countries, with the largest number in Poland. Over 90 percent are women and children.

"This is a women’s and children’s crisis,” said Chopra Jonas.

“The women I met deeply touched and inspired me. Not only are they the mothers who had to flee war, leaving their husbands and loved ones behind, they’re now the sole caregivers. They’re the psychologists helping children and soothing their nightmares of war. They’re the teachers. The volunteers at the Blue Dots. They are putting their own trauma aside to nurture and protect children.”

Finally, at a summer camp organized by a UNICEF partner organization, Chopra Jonas spent time with enrolled children between the ages of 5-16 as they did catch-up learning, educational games, skills development activities, Polish language classes, and outdoor sports activities.

“Many of the children fleeing war in Ukraine have left everything behind,” said Rashed Mustafa, UNICEF Country Coordinator in Poland, responsible for emergency response.

“Their homes, their friends, even their pets and favorite toys. Our response in Poland has been to protect them, provide access to education and give them mental health support. In just 21 weeks, we’ve established strong programmes and partnerships across education, health, protection, mental health, early childhood development, and youth engagement, and we’re very thankful to Priyanka Chopra Jonas, as the first UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador to visit us, for shining a light on this vital work. With the colder months just around the corner and a potential increase in the number of refugees, we’re scaling up our response and strengthening our partnerships with central and local governments and civil society partners so we can continue to support these most vulnerable children.”

Access to education is a critical part of UNICEF’s response inside Ukraine and in the region as the war – and the destruction wrought on the education system – is having a dramatic impact on the lives and futures of the country’s 5.7 million school-aged children.

Every opportunity to continue their education is critical for the roughly 2.2 million Ukrainian children who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

UNICEF supports multiple pathways, including in schools, through distance learning, and through catch-up or language classes, to help children catch up with missed learning, and integrate into the national education systems of host countries.

To ensure that all Ukrainian refugee students are supported to integrate into local school systems ahead of the new school year, UNICEF is calling on:

1) Host country governments, humanitarian organizations, and donors to continue support for remedial and catch-up learning programs, including in the lead-up to the new school year.

2) Donors to support host country governments in scaling up mental health and psychosocial support programs and recreational activities, including schools.

3) Host country governments to ensure Ukrainian children, their families and Ukrainian refugee teachers have access to language and cultural support; and continue to prioritize integrating children into mainstream education systems as soon as possible, with qualified teachers to support learning and wellbeing.

4) Host country governments to ensure their teachers are equipped with skills to support newly integrated Ukrainian students in their classrooms through training opportunities on mental health and psycho-social support (MHPSS), inclusive education, and bullying/violence prevention in the classroom.

5) Host country governments to support the integration of Ukrainian teachers into the national system as teachers, teaching assistants, or cultural mediators to facilitate the integration of Ukrainian children.
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