As of March 2023, more than 13 million people remain displaced by the escalation of the war in Ukraine – with 8 million people currently recorded across Europe and another 5 million internally displaced. Almost half of them are children in need of protection. In collaboration with UNHCR and further local partners, the FCSA educated 36 Young Coaches from within as well as outside Ukraine who are working with children affected by the war.
Suceava, Romania and Warsaw, Poland
April, 2023 – July, 2023
Our gallery gives you the opportunity to browse through a selection of pictures of our work in response to the war in Ukraine.
Up until 2023, the war in Ukraine has led to the displacement of approximately one-third of the country’s total population – across international borders as well as internally. With men being bound to martial law and not able to leave the country, an estimated 90% of refugees are women and children.
Forced displacement and the exposure to traumatic events has a strong impact on any person’s mental and emotional well-being. However, children are particularly affected: Being torn out of familiar structures such as school, day care and other support networks and being separated from loved ones at such a young age often leaves them lost in dealing with their situation. Additionally, unaccompanied minors as well as persons with a disability are particularly vulnerable and at heightened risk to experience violence, exploitation and abuse.
Having inclusive and safe spaces where children can play, meet new friends, relief stress and simply “be a kid” is thus essential. It can help support their psycho-social well-being and facilitate their integration into the host communities. For this reason, the Football Club Social Alliance (FCSA) in collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and further local partner organisations implemented a Young Coach Education in neighbouring countries of Ukraine. 36 committed young adults from Ukraine, Poland, Romania and Moldova got equipped with pedagogical tools to work with children affected by the war. They learned how to provide structured and educational football activities and thus to create a space where children feel safe and can create new friendships while being away from their homes.
Our Young Coaches are community leaders and role models in less privileged societies. They commit themselves to support the children of their communities by conveying important social topics (psycho-social well-being, conflict resolution, inclusion, social cohesion etc.) through football. Each of the Young Coaches represents a unique personal story.
Adrian, originally from Moldova, initially had no specific interest in football, whether it was participating in trainings or watching the sport. However, when the war in Ukraine started, he understood that sports can be a powerful tool for coping with stress, especially for refugees. He believes that redirecting attention towards something beloved, such as sports, can make a significant difference. He now implements football tournaments for both Moldovans and refugees from different nationalities.
Artem started his football career at the Youth Academy of FC Shakhtar. Recently, he held significant responsibilities as manager for the First Tier of Cyprus. When he returned to Ukraine to prolong his working visa, he found himself in the middle of a war. He now harnesses the social power of football to support the displaced Ukrainian community.
Maryna is a PE-teacher from Chernivtsi, a city in the west of Ukraine that has been the destination for many internally displaced persons since the war has started. With her sport activities, Maryna tries to integrate the new children at her school and at the same time help them coping with their trauma from the war.
Kateryna is 27 years old and originally from Lviv. She has always had an immense passion for football. From the beginning of the war in Ukraine and from contact with so many children fleeing from other cities, she has learned how important the value of life is and how helpful football can be in overcoming trauma.
Participating partner clubs
Main local partners
Further partner organisations