Amid the ongoing crisis unfolding in Ukraine, parents are finding it difficult to try and keep their children informed and prepared about the current Russian attacks happening all over their country.
Kira Rudyk, a member of Ukrainian Parliament and leader of the Voice Party, went on CNN and described the heartbreaking “turtle game” that helps children in Ukraine know how what to do during these attacks.
“The most complicated thing is to explain to children what’s going on. So there is this little game that’s called the turtle game, to explain to them how to act during the attacks,” Rudyk said.
“So you tell them that you go down on your belly, you open up your mouth, you close your ears with your hands, and that’s how you pretend you’re a turtle. And we had to pretend that we are turtles quite a few times today.”
During the Cold War era, U.S. students would practice a similar way of preparation for potential attacks from the Soviet Union during “duck-and-cover” drills. These drills were often demonstrated in cartoons by a character named Bert the Turtle.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says that the attacks on Ukraine have profoundly impacting the lives and well-being of the country’s 7.5 million children.
“Humanitarian needs are multiplying—and spreading by the hour,” UNICEF says. ”Children have been killed. Children have been wounded. They are being profoundly traumatized by the violence all around them. Hundreds of thousands of people are on the move, and family members are becoming separated from their loved ones.”
Save The Children is also working to help the children in Ukraine who are caught in the middle of armed conflict and forced to flee their homes.
Save the Children is concerned for children caught in the middle of armed conflict, forced from their homes in freezing temperatures, and exposed to injury, hunger and cold.
Donations to both of these organizations can help provide children and families with immediate aid, such as food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support and cash assistance. You can donate to UNICEF and help the children of Ukraine directly here. You can donate to Save The Children here.