Location and general information

Location Poltaa and Sumska oblasts, Ukraine
Start date 01/01/2024
End date 12/31/2024
Cost of the project €1,019,850
Foundation funding €150,000
Project identifier 200230654
Partners United Around Football
Categories Access to Sport - Children with disabilities - Conflict victims - Gender Equality - Healthy lifestyle - Infrastructure and equipment - Personal development - Strengthening partnerships


Since the start of full-scale war in February 2022, the children of Ukraine have experienced violence, trauma, loss, destruction and displacement, not to mention the stress of constant air raids and shelling. The living conditions, everyday news and general situation take a toll on their mental and physical health. According to official sources, by the morning of 29 November 2023, 511 children had been killed and more than 1,148 physically injured.

Recovery through sport is the ethos of PORUCH, a joint initiative by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and UNICEF Ukraine to use sport, in particular football, to provide psychosocial support to children, teenagers and families affected by the war. They have teamed up with the Ukrainian Association of Football, foundation partner United Around Football, and Football Development in Ukraine, another charitable foundation.

Physical education teachers (sports coaches), psychologists and healthy lifestyle coaches (medical volunteers) engage participants in a form of play that will hopefully lead to regular physical activity and help them develop a range of skills and values in a positive, holistic way. This approach is considered effective in supporting psychological recovery after a traumatic experience and overcoming fears.

A similar project was implemented in 15 oblasts between March 2022 and May 2023, reaching 90,417  vulnerable children and 34,663 parents and guardians (indirect beneficiaries).

Project goals


  • Provide group psychological support to vulnerable children and teenagers through sport


  • Develop the methodology and materials for targeted psychological support through sport
  • Deliver group psychological sessions to 25,000 vulnerable children and teenagers in 2 oblasts (Poltava and Sumy) in central and northeastern Ukraine
  • Boost the capacity of professionals to provide targeted psychological support


Project content

Sports grounds will be divided into three zones or stations, where children will take turns playing mobile games with a football, working with a psychologist, and learning from medical volunteers about healthy lifestyles and what to do in case of injury.

  • Zone 1 – Sports coach
  • Zone 2 – Psychologist
  • Zone 3 – Medical volunteer

Approximately 30 children affected by war will participate in each session, in three groups of ten. Each group must visit each station twice.


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