Priyanka Chopra Jonas is using her platform to highlight the plight of refugee children and women after visiting families who’ve fled the war in Ukraine.
The actress, entrepreneur and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador stopped by a “Blue Dot” space at the Refugee Accomodation Centre in Warsaw, Poland this week – a safe place which provides children and families with essential services, emergency items such as clothing and blankets, trauma counselling as well as kids play areas.
“All the children I met ache to be home,” Priyanka shares in a statement.
“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.”
Priyanka adds that “all children, everywhere, have the right to this kind of help, no matter who they are or where they’re from.”
According to UNICEF, nearly two-thirds of children are displaced either inside Ukraine or in neighbouring countries, with the largest number of these in Poland and over 90 per cent are women and children.
“The women I met deeply touched and inspired me,” Priyanka continues.
“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.”
Over two days, Priyanka visited a number of UNICEF-run programs supporting families including a summer camp where kids aged 5-16 get to play educational games, sport and take Polish language classes.
Sharing her experience with her 80.8 million followers on Instagram, Priyanka is calling for more global support for refugee children:
“When children are driven from their homes by war, conflict, or displacement of any kind, access to nurturing relationships with parents, caregivers, and peers are critical buffers to the effects of violence, distress, and other adverse experiences.”
(Feature Image Credit: UNICEF/UN0679515/Tremeau)