Children and Ukraine

March 15, 2022
An 11-year-old's story provides a bigger picture of the war's impact on children.

My hope carried me on my way.

Hassan Al-Khalaf, an 11-year-old boy who fled Ukraine alone but was safely reunited with family in Slovakia.
  • Hassan Al-Khalaf travelled 620 miles across Ukraine to Slovakia by train and on foot, carrying just a plastic bag of belongings and with a phone number written on his hand. He was reunited with his older siblings upon arrival.
  • Big Picture: According to Save the Children, a charity which has staff currently in Ukraine, "Reports from the border suggest that some children are arriving unaccompanied after being sent by family members who were unable to leave Ukraine but wanted their children to be safe from ground attack and aerial explosions. Others have been separated from their families in the chaos of fleeing their homes. Many of the solo arrivals are under 14 and showing signs of psychological distress."

Why It Matters: Out of the nearly 3 million people who have fled Ukraine since the beginning of the war, an estimated 1 million of them are children.

For more about Hassan's story: 11-year-old boy escapes Ukraine by himself, safely reunites with siblings in Slovakia

by Jenna Lee,

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