‘They draw bombs, tanks and wishes for peace’: Ukraine’s child mental health crisis: Lorenzo Tondo in Lviv, The Guardian, 160322


Theatre workshops and art classes have sprung up to offer temporary respite from war as doctors warn of widespread trauma.

Beyond the train station, those who work in the arts have responded to the need for therapeutic support. Bohdan Tykholoz, director of the Franko Museum in Lviv, welcomes about 1,000 children every day to the theatre he runs with a team of child psychologists, artists, musicians and teachers. Children are engaged in art and music activities in order to offer them a bit of normality and a space to play.

“The idea was born when my two children and my wife had to leave the country and move to Germany, immediately after the conflict began,” says Tykholoz, who has named the project Fun for Courage. “My wife made a list of things she needed. The first was a hairdryer. The second: papers, markers and coloured pencils – anything they could use to create things they needed the most. When I realised the most urgent need for my children was to create, to draw, I immediately thought of this project. I told myself, ‘if I can’t help my children, because they are far away, I can help other children.’’’