Natasha, 16, remembers the heavy fighting that forced her family to flee from their seaside village of Shyrokyne, in Volnovakha, Donetsk oblast, eastern Ukraine. She was 11 years old.

Natasha misses her old school, and her teachers and classmates. Today, Shyrokyne remains deserted, her school in shambles — one of 750 schools that have been damaged or destroyed since conflict erupted in the region in 2014. 

“Everyone grows up with a unique dream,” Natasha says. “The war takes it away and destroys the future.”

UNICEF is on the ground in eastern Ukraine, working on both sides of the contact line, to deliver health care, nutrition, education and protection to vulnerable children. The health and safety risks to some 400,000 children in the region are mounting while political tensions continue to escalate.

Help UNICEF reach children in need in eastern Ukraine. Donate today.