Zurich is making a £500,000 donation to Hope & Homes for Children to help support the charity’s vital work in Ukraine, Romania and Moldova.
The Swindon-based insurance giant's donation will help the charty to provide emergency support in Ukraine.
In Kyiv alone, it is providing food, blankets and protection for around 3,000 children - including those from orphanages - and parents struggling to survive.
Before the Russian invasion began, there were already 100,000 children living in orphanages across Ukraine. Nine out of 10 of those children were not orphans, but were were placed in institutions because of a lack of infrastructure to support them to live in family homes.
Some of the orphanages have been subjected to shelling and missile attacks as the fighting continues.
Mark Waddington, the CEO of Hope & Homes for Children said: “Zurich has supported Hope and Homes for Children for many years. The company’s incredible generosity in supporting our work with children in Ukraine and the wider region is truly inspiring.
"This support will enable us to begin rebuilding the child protection and care infrastructure in Ukraine. It will also help to develop services that help the most vulnerable families to protect and care for their children, whilst also providing emergency support.”
In total, UNICEF estimates that two million children have now been forced to flee the country, including those separated from their families in the chaos.
Hope and Homes for Children is a British charity that works with children across the world, and tries to help them grow up in safe and productive environments.
The charity moves children out of institutions, like the ones mentioned in Ukraine, and into family-based care. They also try to keep together families who are at risk of falling apart due to the pressures of poverty, disease or conflict.
They are now working to support children impacted by the crisis in Ukraine, and in the long term remove the need for Ukraine’s orphanages.
Instead of funding going to these orphanages, Hope and Homes for Children hope that this money will got directly towards enabling children to either live at home with their families or in suitable foster care.
The Zurich donation will also help partner organisations in neighbouring countries. This includes the humanitarian effort co-ordinated by UNICEF to support unaccompanied children and refugees on the move across Europe at Blue Dot emergency hubs.
In the longer term, Zurich’s donation will enable Hope & Homes for Children to continue their work, providing emergency interventions for children and families at risk of separation; and creating family and community-based services.
Part of this ongoing work is their global advocacy, which tries to ensure that the invasion of Ukraine doesn’t undo years of progress in reforming the way in which children are taken care of. The charity also wants to make sure that the situation children and families are facing is central to the humanitarian response to this war.
Tim Bailey, Zurich UK CEO, said: “We're proud to be able to support Hope and Homes for Children’s vital work in Ukraine, Romania and Moldova as part of Zurich’s overall global effort to help those affected by the war.
“As well as providing emergency aid, Zurich’s support will help keep the 100,000 children who were in Ukraine’s orphanages at the beginning of the war safe. While ensuring that the long-term recovery effort puts systems in place for these children to grow up in safe homes.”
Gary Shaughnessy, Chair of the Zurich Foundation, said: “We're humbled by the work of Hope and Homes for Children and hope that Zurich’s donation helps at a time of great upheaval. We are honoured to be able to support families and children as they face the perils of this conflict. We hope that other organisations can come together and help wherever they can.”