A project supported by the International Rescue Committee

NestingPlay's Response to the Ukrainian Refugee Crisis

In response to the escalating humanitarian crisis stemming from the conflict in Ukraine, NestingPlay initiated a project aimed at mitigating trauma-induced developmental delays and improving the mental health of refugee children and mothers through the reinforcement of safe spaces. With a focus on providing protection, education, and well-being to displaced populations and their host communities, NestingPlay collaborated with local stakeholders to address the pressing needs of those forced to migrate from Ukraine to Hungary.

Project Objectives:

  • Supporting Displaced Children: Leveraging expertise in play-based learning and development, NestingPlay provided structured support to Ukrainian refugee children, offering social and emotional assistance within safe spaces and through various after-school activities, summer camps, and language classes.
  • Empowering Caregivers: Women and caregivers received tailored support sessions covering positive parenting techniques, protection considerations, cultural orientation, and access to essential services, ensuring they could provide a nurturing environment for displaced children.
  • Establishing Safe Spaces: NestingPlay identified and equipped safe spaces in strategic locations across Szombathely, Veszprém, Kisvarda, and Budapest, serving as hubs for community engagement and support for refugee populations.

Challenges and Adaptations:

Despite facing initial challenges, including difficulties in securing suitable premises due to heating restrictions and the need to establish effective communication channels with local actors, NestingPlay remained committed to its mission. By adapting its approach and collaborating closely with partners such as the International Rescue Committee (IRC), NestingPlay overcame obstacles and continued to deliver vital services to those in need.


Through the dedication of bilingual Ukrainian-Russian animators, trained in psychological first aid and learning through play, NestingPlay facilitated impactful interventions, reaching over 400 adolescent girls and women. Essential topics such as gender-based violence (GBV), protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), and psychological first aid (PFA) were addressed, empowering individuals with knowledge and resources to navigate challenging circumstances.

Looking Ahead:

As the project progresses, NestingPlay remains committed to its vision of nurturing resilience and fostering a sense of belonging among displaced populations. By leveraging its expertise in child development and community engagement, NestingPlay strives to create a brighter future for all those affected by conflict and displacement.

Together, we build hope amid adversity.