Launch of interagency report on children’s mental health, education and integration

20 November 2023

On World Children’s Day, 3 international organisations working in the field of child protection in Poland – Plan International Poland, Save the Children Poland and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) – released a research report on the subjective wellbeing of children and adolescents living in Poland in the face of the war in Ukraine.

Sue Ellen Stefanini speaking at the launch event for the report.
Plan International Poland’s Sue Ellen Stefanini speaking at the event to launch the report.

This is the first research in Poland conducted by the 3 organisations that consulted children to obtain a better understanding of challenges faced by the refugee children and their peers from host communities and to identify opportunities to enhance their wellbeing.

The event gathered about 100 hundred representatives of national and international organisations, representatives of local government, and educational institutions.

While welcoming the guests, Sue Ellen Stefanini, Plan International Poland’s Head of Mission, Bujar Hoxha, Save the Children Poland’s Country Director and Dr Rashed Mustafa Sarwar, Country Coordinator for the UNICEF Refugee Response Office in Poland emphasised the importance of interagency collaborations and the obligation of all civil society actors to give voice to the communities that they serve.

Children’s experiences central to report

The floor was also given to the youth who participated in the study. The adolescents had a chance to share their experience and views on the consultations and present their recommendations to the decisionmakers.

Finally, after the presentation of findings and recommendations outlined in the report, the voice was given to 4 panellists:

  • Olena Hurnitska, psychologist;
  • Natalia Dębczyńska, psychologist;
  • Iryna Nadvorna, intercultural assistant;
  • Emilia Kędziorek, project manager at CEO.

The guests discussed the findings of the report in the context of their own work. They spoke about the role of intercultural assistants in schools, the potential for collaboration between specialists providing help to child refugees, and the need for systemic changes in education and the wider support network.