15. Apr. 2024
SOS Children’s Villages Denmark (SOS DK) has initiated a new project to help reform the childcare system in Ukraine in partnership with SOS Children’s Villages Ukraine (SOS UA), the Villum Foundation, Viessmann Foundation, Grundfos Foundation, Bitten & Mads Clausen Foundation, the VELUX Group, Somfy Foundation, DOVISTA, Flügger, VELUX Ukraine, Kromann Reumert and the Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO).

Today, SOS DK launches its Children’s Living Places project – a new project that seeks to promote and improve alternative care in Ukraine through the creation of new family-based care environments in Ukraine as an alternative to the many institutions in the country. Even before the war erupted in February 2022, Ukraine had one of the highest rates of children living in institutional care in Europe, with about 100.000 children living in some form of residential care facility.

"The ongoing war in Ukraine has affected millions of children, leaving many of them without parental care, protection, and a safe space to call home. Our priority has always been to ensure children around the world have their needs and rights met to enable them to grow up in a caring home, thrive and become their strongest selves. Through this project, we want to inspire better ways of caring physically, emotionally, and socially for children without parental care and help move toward de-institutionalization by demonstrating new, holistic solutions for alternative care environments"
Mads Klæstrup Kristensen, Managing Director of SOS Children’s Villages Denmark

The physical project infrastructure will comprise a cluster of buildings across Ukraine in three different locations. Each cluster will feature homes for foster families, shared recreational and social spaces for both inhabitants and local communities, and social centres that provide a range of mental health and social support for foster families as well as families in the surrounding area.

The buildings will be built following the Living Places concept developed by the VELUX Group, EFFEKT architects and Artelia engineers. The concept demonstrates how affordable homes can be constructed with a significant reduction in CO2 footprint and a first-class indoor climate and follow five key principles: that homes should be healthy, adaptive, simple, shared over time, and scalable.

Building damaged by shelling behind a flag pole with the Ukrainian flag.

The World Bank estimates that over 10% of the total housing stock in Ukraine is either damaged or destroyed by the war and that close to 2 million households are affected. Foto: Grundfos Fonden.

The clusters will be built within existing local neighbourhoods to better integrate the new families, ensuring openness toward and from surrounding communities. In addition to the physical infrastructure, the project includes the provision of comprehensive support services such as mental health and social support tailored to the specific needs of children and caregivers as well as families in the surrounding area to prevent family separation and placing of children in alternative care.

"It is estimated that over 10% of the total housing stock in Ukraine is either damaged or destroyed by the war and that close to 2 million households are affected. The total cost of damage to the housing sector is estimated to be $55.9 billion and the need for recovery and reconstruction of the housing sector is estimated to be $80.3 billion."
Source: the World Bank