Two years of operation of the Spilno children’s centers: a new space for families opened at the station in Odessa

Два года работы детских центров «Спильно»: новое пространство для семей открылось на вокзале в Одессе

Center “Spilno” in Lviv, Ukraine. Two years of operation of the Spilno children’s centers: a new space for families opened at the station in Odessa Humanitarian aid

Ukrainian Railway and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) opened the Spilno children’s center at the Odessa railway station. This new space provides free services to support the development and leisure activities of children and adolescents, as well as support for their parents and carers. This is the fifth such center at Ukrainian railway stations, and its opening coincides with the second anniversary of the start of this landmark UNICEF initiative.

Help to families on the road

Hundreds of families arrive at the Odessa station every day, including those who were forced to leave their homes because of the war. Well known among parents, the Spilno points are designed to help children and their families during their journeys, which are difficult for both children and adults. Children’s corners offer support such as medical advice, housing assistance, a place to stay warm during the cold season, and a place to relax and study.

The children’s center at the Odessa railway station has an information and development area equipped with bookshelves, drawing sets, coloring books, board games, a slide and a pool with balls, as well as a comfortable space for parents with special booths for changing diapers, changing clothes and breastfeeding. The center is adapted for people with disabilities.

Multifunctional centers

“The first children’s center Spilno was created two years ago, at the beginning of a full-scale war,” says UNICEF representative in Ukraine Munir Mammadzade. – By expanding the Spilno network of points, we strive to create a safe and supportive environment for children, which helps relieve stress and anxiety caused by the war, supports the development of children and helps them realize their talents and do what interests them. We are currently developing an updated format – multifunctional centers “Spilno”, where children and their parents will have access to a wider range of psychosocial and educational services.”

In multifunctional centers Spilno will offer psychosocial support for children aged 4 to 15 years and their parents, formal and informal learning and interactive lessons for children using digital equipment.

The future of children’s corners

Since 2022, people have used the services of Spilno children’s points located in 22 regions of Ukraine about three million visitors. In addition to vital support such as mental health counseling and landmine awareness sessions, children were able to learn origami, painting and embroidery, active play, early learning activities, interactive lessons, leadership development training and more.

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Currently, Spilno children’s centers operate at five railway stations in Ukraine – in Kyiv, Dnieper, Lvov, Kharkov and Odessa. The largest center with an area of ​​more than 700 square meters operates at the central railway station of Kyiv. In 2024, UNICEF plans to begin the gradual transfer of children’s spaces into the ownership of local authorities. These points will be transformed into multifunctional centers “Spilno”.


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