#HelpUkraine AVSI’s response in Ukraine

Since the start of the war in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, millions of people have fled their homes to avoid bombings and sought refuge in safer areas within Ukraine or abroad. AVSI immediately sought to help them.

Date 20.02.2023

AVSI's intervention: emergency aid, child protection, and education

AVSI has been working in Ukraine since 2014. Thanks to our cooperation with the local organisation Emmaus, when the war broke out AVSI immediately sought to provide assistance in Ukraine and in the other countries where refugees were arriving (Poland, Romania, Moldova, and Italy).

AVSI’s team entered Ukraine on March 10, 2022, thanks to its partner Caritas Spes’ support in Lviv. Since May 1, 2022, AVSI has had a permanent group of staff in the country. Today, 4 expats and 130 local professionals are working in 5 Ukrainian regions (in the oblasts of Lviv, Poltava, Sumy, Kharkiv, and Dnipro).

Emergency assistance to IDPs in reception centers in Lviv and Poltava

We immediately distributed life-saving food and non-food products, personal hygiene kits, COVID-19 protection kits, money, and winter kits.

In reception centers (5 in Lviv and 28 in the Poltava region), we helped coordinating volunteers, took a census of families, identified particularly vulnerable individuals or people with special needs (women, separated or unaccompanied minors, disabled), and referred them to competent professionals.

Moreover, we equipped 28 centres in the Poltava region with electric radiators and trained the educators of 5 centers in Lviv on parenting support.


Emergenza Ucraina distribuzione pacchi alimentari AVSI WFP
Emergenza Ucraina distribuzione pacchi alimentari AVSI WFP

Child protection

During the first days of war, we set up child-friendly spaces in temporary, short- or medium-term reception centers for internally displaced persons (IDPs). We offered psycho-social support to children, their parents, and the people taking care of them (relatives, teachers, etc.) to help them cope with the trauma of war, together.

Child-friendly spaces were set up in some schools, too. Around 100 teachers and educators were recruited to organize recreational activities in 17 areas in Kharkiv, Sumy, Vysokyi, Romny, and Pisochyn. All of them were provided with educational and leisure materials (board games, toys, and sporting equipment).

Attività ricreative bambini ucraini
Un momento di un’attività ricreativa pensata da AVSI e Helpgroup.


Schools have been closed all over the country. Therefore, we distributed learning material for distance education, but for many children, especially in rural areas, also attending lessons online proved to be difficult due to power outages and the lack of internet connection. We set up, where possible, Digital Learning Centers and organized educational activities in safe learning areas.

We supported teachers by providing incentives to volunteers, along with specific training on psycho-social support and on helping children and teenagers cope with war trauma.

We have been involved in light rehabilitation of school facilities with a focus on equipping bomb shelters.

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AVSI in Eastern Ukraine - the map

Thanks to the collected funds, we helped more than 170,000 people in Ukraine

  • 127,500 families received food
  • 6,500 people received cash to purchase essential goods (via cash transfer)
  • 75 parents and caregivers were involved in emergency psycho-social support activities in 5 IDPs centers
  • 28 schools underwent light renovation processes
  • 100 volunteer teachers were trained, received teaching materials and incentives 
  • 2,000 children participated in leisure activities
  • 5,000 children received learning materials
  • 2,200 minors and 800 adults received psycho-social support
  • 25,000 people were involved in awareness campaigns about gender-based violence (GBV) and explosive ordinance (EORE)
  • 3,400 people received winter kits (blankets, electric heaters, thermo containers, power banks, and firewood)

Steps to ensure access to education

In addition to immediate assistance for teachers and students, we: 

  • set up 10 digital learning centers to facilitate access to distance education
  • equipped 28 schools with necessary material and, especially, with functioning bomb shelters

What we can still do together

People in Ukraine still need a lot: a year after the beginning of the war, we can still help by providing essential goods and psycho-social support to thousands of people traumatized by the war. We also want to continue upholding the right to education and schooling for children and teenagers.

Donate now for Ukraine
Support the right to education of Ukrainian children and youth affected by the war in Poltava, Sumy and Karkhiv
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AVSI in Ukraine today

Areas of intervention: 5 regions (oblasts) - Lviv, Poltava, Sumy, Kharkiv and Dnipro

Operational capacity:

  • 2 offices (Lviv, Poltava), 3 warehouses (Sumy, Poltava, Kharkiv)
  • 134 staff members (4 expats,130 Ukrainian professionals)

Local partners: 6 Caritas Spes (Lviv), Help Group (Poltava), Emmaus (Kharkiv), A-Help (Kharkiv), You too (Kharkiv), Development of public initiatives (Sumy)

International partners: 1 Save the Children

Sectors of intervention

  • Education
  • Child protection
  • Emergency humanitarian assistance: cash transfer (MPCA - Multi Purpose Cash Assistance), distribution of winter kits (Winterization), distribution of food and essential goods (NFI – non-food items)

Donors: World Food Program, OCHA, Education Cannot Wait, AICS, Emilia-Romagna Region, Lombardy Region, Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region, companies and private actors

Ongoing projects: 7

Total projects since the beginning of the war: 13