Children of Hope and Love is a charitable foundation providing guidance and developmental support to children and families who suffered as a result of the armed conflict in east Ukraine.

Our story begins in the spring of 2015, when a group of volunteers from Kyiv and Milan organized a joint initiative directed at aiding afflicted families that, as a result of military operations, were forced to relocate from east Ukraine to the Kyiv area. Volunteers collected and delivered produce, clothes, medicine, and offered basic assistance to the refugee families.

The families of military personnel—those serving in the war zone in the east — also needed support. They were suffering from psychological and financial problems. Many of the children from these families lost one or both of their parents.

After several months of volunteer work, it became clear that humanitarian aid alone would not cover the needs of these families. What they needed were things like acceptance, solidarity, friendship, and hope for a better future. This was especially true for the children, who were often isolated, and living with anxiety. These children needed constant care, support, attentive guidance, as well as help with their education.

So as to find answers to these calls, the Children of Hope and Love Charitable Foundation was founded in April 2015. In the fall of 2016, the Children of Hope Center began operating at the St. Thomas Aquinas Higher Institute of Religious Sciences.

Children of Hope and Love - Our Children

Our Children

Today, through the projects and events of the foundation, we provide support to about 60 Ukrainian children and teenagers aged 6 to 19, and to their families.

Predominantly, these are children of refugees who were forced to leave their homes located within the zone of the armed conflict in east Ukraine and migrate to Kyiv, to the Kyiv area, and to Kharkiv, as well as the children of military servicemen and women — those mobilized into the ATO zone, including those wounded and the deceased. Expanding the member target group, in 2017 we also began helping children whose families are experiencing social and/or financial difficulties.

We noticed, especially at the beginning, that the refugee families and the families of military personnel often had opposing political views, and not infrequently felt antipathy towards one another. And yet, they shared common material and moral difficulties. We believe that we must all undertake reasonable measures to avoid deepening the schism between categories of suffering people, and tend to the seeds of trust and hope growing in Ukrainian communities.

Some of the children we work with are dealing with deep psychological trauma. They need a program that will help them rehabilitate, adapt, and integrate into society, to improve their personal future prospects, and those of their families. Other children require basic social support, which would allow them to feel safe and secure presently. All of our children yearn to develop, to search for and to find positive and trusty markers along their life paths, and to discover new, bright possibilities.

Family involvement is a fundamental principle of our work—we are convinced that any support, adaptation, development, and education of a child should be undertaken only within the context of his or her family.

Children of Hope and Love - Our Mission

Our Mission

Together with children and their families, we endeavor to transform the difficult experience of war in Ukraine; to rediscover our own dignity; to deepen our faith in beauty and in the value of life; to gain trust in others, and hope in a positive future; to grow together; to develop our talents; to find friends and confidence in the present.

We believe that, supported by people of good will, in Ukraine and abroad, who want to share their positive views of life, their knowledge, their experience, and their friendship, our children will be able to see hope not only for their own families, but for Ukraine, and the world at large.

Children of Hope and Love - Our Mission

The Children of Hope Center

The Children of Hope Center is a place where the young children, teenagers, and their parents, to whom the Children of Hope and Love Charitable Foundation provides care, can, together with a team of colleagues and volunteers, share their experiences of life's beauty, trust, friendship, learning, and creativity. Relationships between the people at the Center are fostered through acceptance, goodwill, and a confidence in the positivity of the present.

Today, the Center is frequented by children and teenagers aged 6 to 18. Throughout the entire academic year, regular meetings are held here three times a week. We aim to offer an interesting program for all of our members, taking into consideration the children's ages, predispositions, and interests.


help with schoolwork;
activities within the "Creative Workshop";
language lessons (Italian and English);
cultural studies activities, covering Ukrainian and other cultures;


interactive discussions and lectures on culture, the arts, music, religion, and philosophy for the entire family;

meetings with interesting people (learning about professions, developing new skills, networking);

talks for parents on child rearing;

individual consultations with a psychologist for parents and children;

and field trips.


children with refugee status;

children whose parents are military servicemen and women (ATO zone*);

and children whose families are encountering social and/or material difficulties.

"The Children of Hope Center is the place where I love to be." (Nikita, 14)

The Children of Hope Center

The Bridges of Hope Camp

The Bridges of Hope Summer Camp has been in annual operation since 2016.

The participants of the first five-day camp in the village of Lishnya (located in the Kyiv area) were the children of refugees and of those in military service, who were preparing for a rehabilitative trip to Italy, as well as some of their friends and relatives who, at that time, needed support, and could not afford a vacation during the holidays.

Fifty children and teenagers aged 6-17 from Kyiv, the Kyiv area, and Kharkiv, took part in the camp. Besides entertainment, the children were receiving elementary lessons in Italian, and working on trusting and overcoming prejudices towards people of other cultures and nationalities. Art therapy sessions and psychological training sessions were organized to help heal the deep traumas and fears they experienced as a result of the war. An important aspect was the children's experience of living communally with volunteers, educators, and camp coordinators, who had gathered from different parts of Ukraine, as well as from Russia and Italy. This helped teach us to view each other humanely, to become acquainted and begin friendships with others, without erecting linguistic, cultural, or political barriers.

During the summer of 2017, the second Bridges of Hope Camp took place. This time, it served as the final stage of the Children of Hope Center's activities for the 2016-2017 academic year. Sixty children from Kyiv, the Kyiv area, and from Kharkiv participated, as well as volunteers and educators from Ukraine, Russia, Italy, France, Poland, and Great Britain. These visible ties of international solidarity for the sake of children, peace, and mutual understanding within the context of military conflict helped camp participants let go of prejudices, place greater trust in others, and to feel safety, trust, and openness towards the world at large.

The Bridges of Hope Camp - Summer Camp

The Summer Holidays Together
(other initiatives during the summer holidays)

During the summer, together with our friends and partners, we organize adventures for the kids through picturesque areas of Ukraine. Also, in cooperation with our partners abroad, we offer trips outside of Ukraine for rehabilitation, recreation, and the fostering of cultural dialogue between Ukraine and the world.

During the summer of 2015, thanks to our cooperation and friendship with the Taizé Community (France) and the Famiglie per l'Accoglienza Association (the Families for Hospitality Association, Italy), 15 children had the opportunity to visit Italy and France during their summer holidays.

During the summer of 2016, 46 children spent the summer with Italian families, all found thanks to the Famiglie per L'Accoglienza. Meanwhile, seven children aged 6 to 11 attended the Green School in the Ukrainian Carpathian mountains, thanks to the support of another one of our partners — the Open Politics Foundation (NGO). And nine teenagers aged 14 to 19 experienced life in the Laurentiuskonvent (Die Gruppe Laufdorf) and Die Kommunität Imshausen communities in Germany.

The goal for the children's trips in Ukraine and abroad is not only to help with their rehabilitation after the stress they endured due to the war, but also to allow for the possibility of experiencing forgiveness and friendship anew. Returning home, our children report back to their families about the hospitality and friendship they encountered in other places, in Ukraine and in Europe; this gives their families hope. For these Ukrainian families, the children's trips abroad become concrete signs of international solidarity; experiencing hospitality in different parts of Ukraine helps reveal the variety of the cultural and natural heritage of their homeland, and to rediscover Ukraine in all its beauty.

The Summer Holidays Together
Children of Hope and Love - Donate