Family center in Ukraine receives SSAB’s Christmas gift
Since 2012, SSAB have chosen to donate money to SOS Children’s Villages as a Christmas gift to their employees in Europe. This appreciated initiative continues and this year’s donation goes to a family center in Ukraine.
SSAB Europe, Special Steels, Tibnor, Merox, as well as the head office in Stockholm, are behind the new agreement and Christmas gift to SOS Children’s Villages.
“Our contribution goes towards the running of a family center in Brovary outside Kiev. The donation is enough to run a large part of the activity, the equivalent of 56 beneficiaries for one year,” said Kristin Nordström, global head of business ethical issues.
Nordström said that Ukraine was chosen because it is located relatively close to SSAB’s operations and because the family center was able to show examples of well-functioning programs. Village Brovary is located not far from the violence and chaos in the country. The country is deeply impacted by war and conflict, and many people have fled the war zone in an attempt to create a new life in the areas around Kiev and Brovary. SOS Children’s Villages provides support from the family center to families so they can stay together. This includes psychosocial support, trauma counseling, play therapy, parent education.
“The support is adapted to the needs of each family, and the aim is for children to grow up in a safe and loving family. In this way, we break the negative spirals and prevent child abandonment,” said Anna Magnard of SOS Children’s Villages.
The center has several different programs. One focuses on youths from the age of 16, on their way out into the community. The program has several steps, the first of which is to give them a mentor while they are still living at home.
“The mentor is a person who will be at their side to provide advice and support regarding education, choice of occupation, and more. In this program, they first try living together for a short time in a youth apartment, and then for longer periods,” said Magnard.
Another program is a family-strengthening program tailored to each family’s specific situation and needs. SOS Children’s Villages tells the story of Olena, who received help through the program for her and her family’s grief after the loss of a grown daughter. After the death of her daughter, Olena became pregnant but her husband didn’t want another child and the conflict ended in divorce. The boy who was born had developmental problems and after a while, the ex-husband moved back but with an alcohol problem. The situation therefore worsened. When Olena joined the family-strengthening program, she met psychotherapists, psychologists and other parents affected by grief. She came to understand that Bogdan, who had been born in an atmosphere of sorrow and loss, had closed himself off into his own world. A psychologist worked with Bogdan for two years and now he has managed to start school, and he has friends for the first time. At the same time, Olena’s husband received help and support in dealing with his addiction. “He and his son now have a good relationship,” said Magnard.
“To be able to give security and joy to a child feels like the best possible Christmas present,” said Nordström.
Photo: MAJA BRANDSara Blix