Children in Australia invited to share compassion for Ukraine through hearts campaign
Children across Australia are being asked to be part of an ambitious project, the Magic Hearts For Ukraine Project, which hopes to send one million Magic Hearts with messages of love and support to fellow children affected by war in Ukraine, letting them know children from the other side of the world love and care for them.
More than half of the 7.5 million children living in the Ukraine have been displaced as a result of the conflict, leaving campaign organisers The Magic Coat Foundation (formerly Make A Difference WA) concerned about feelings of hurt and abandonment for this vulnerable group.
Hearts received for distribution will be paired with a copy of a new book: The Magic Coat for Ukraine which is translated into Ukrainian and offers coping strategies for young people to process the trauma experienced.
For Magic Coat Foundation Director, Tom Emery, the cause is a meaningful and tangible one. In March 2022 he travelled to Europe to assist Ukrainian refugees to safely cross the border into other countries, and has been involved in helping to convert an old hotel into an orphanage for Ukrainian children in Munster, Germany.
After seeing firsthand the atrocities that Ukrainian people are facing, Tom asked the Foundation’s CEO, Di Wilcox, to write a book specifically for the children of Ukraine, to help support their mental health and well being.
Magic Coat for Ukraine is based on the popular book The Magic Coat – Creating Calm, Confident and Caring Kids which was written by Ms Wilcox for Australian children to help them to recognise and manage emotions.
The Ukrainian edition includes a new character The Magic Heart which appears on every page and is designed to let Ukrainian children know they are loved, wherever they are.
10,000 copies have already been printed in Poland and distributed by volunteers in the Ukraine, Germany, Poland, and other neighbouring European countries.
The book is now being used by parents, teachers, and psychologists on the ground to teach the children important strategies to help them cope with the devastating challenges they are currently facing.
“I have seen so many people emotionally affected by the atrocities in Eastern Europe wondering how they can do their part. I just knew there had to be a way to establish a connection between these people and the young victims of war, so we started the Magic Heart for Ukraine project,” Ms Wilcox said.
“This is just the beginning, and we are desperate for more help so that we can make a difference for an even greater number of children.”
In addition to producing more books, The Magic Coat Foundation is encouraging children across Australia to create their own Magic Heart and write a message to a child in Ukraine to let them know they care.
To participate, Magic Hearts can be uploaded via the Magic Heart for Ukraine page at www.themagiccoat.com.
Services and larger organisations are also encouraged to take part. Expressions of interest to support the campaign can be made by emailing [email protected]
Donations to the Foundation are being accepted here, and readers are encouraged to follow the The Magic Heart for Ukraine Facebook page, where there are photos and videos of the Ukrainian children receiving The Magic Coat Book for Ukraine.
Pictured: Ukrainian children who have already received a copy of the book and words of support.
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