The outbreak of war in February shook the world of Nastya (12) from the city of Dnipro. Her father and brother enlisted in the army and went out to fight the invaders, and her mother took her on the long journey west, until they reached Warsaw.
The outbreak of war in February shook the world of Nastya (12) from the city of Dnipro.
Her father and brother enlisted in the army and went out to fight the invaders, and her mother took her on the long journey west, until they reached Warsaw.
"I said goodbye to everything I had," she says, "from everything that made me who I am: my home, my family, my friends, my homeland, my city - everything was left behind, and I came to a different city and country, with a different language, with people others, and for me it is very difficult."
For months, Nastya barely left the house.
"I didn't want anything - not to go out on the street, not to go for a walk. I just lay in bed and didn't even want to eat."
The help of a psychologist made it a little easier, but Nastya says that nothing could fill the big hole in her soul.
Nastya and a friend.
"Can't call him a 'toy',"
Then he entered - or rather, was introduced - into her life "Hybuki": an Israeli therapeutic doll, which was handled by the clinical psychologist Dr. Shai Chen Gal and his colleagues, against the background of the attempt to help large numbers of children in need back in the Second Lebanon War. Since then, Hibuki has been able to help children as well In the Gaza Strip to deal with the fears - and now it has also come to Ukraine, after an educational consultant from Ashdod, Dafna Sharon, offered Dr. Chen Gal to help them.
Since then at least 10,000 children have received the toy.
What is special about my hugs?
Deliberately long hands so that he can give the feeling of a hug, a sad face that is similar in appearance to a human, and large eyes in which the boy or girl themselves are reflected.
And what is he doing?
Helps the child to get out of the situation of a helpless victim.
"Its features allow children to call the doll," says Dr. Chen Gal, director of mental health at the "Amal and Transition" group, "you give the child the doll and tell him: take my hug, but treat him.
If your embrace is afraid, sleep with it at night;
If he is afraid to go alone, go to school with him.
Then, through the care of my hugs, the child takes care of himself.
He throws his anxieties and fears into my arms."
Dr. Shai Chen Gal. "The trauma in Ukraine is so strong that even the adults get attached to the doll,"
Since the beginning of the war, Sharon and Dr. Chen Gal have trained about 800 therapists who helped refugees in Ukraine and raised donations for the mass production of the dolls (also within Ukraine, which also helped a little with employment). Since then the project has grown and developed in surprising directions. For example, if previously designated For children aged 3-7, in Ukraine it is given even to 11-12 years old - which indicates the depth of the children's distress. On the contrary, according to Dr. Chen Gal, soldiers who gave the doll to their children suffering from anxiety testified that they found it difficult to part with it - "because it smells Like peace", according to one of them.
"In Israel, we did not see adults hugging the doll, not even in other places where we treated it," he shares, "the trauma in Ukraine is so strong that even the adults are helpless, and the doll, which is intended for children, manages to touch something deep. They said the doll comforts them."
He also managed to comfort Nastya Hibuki - and in fact became much more than a doll.
"I can't even call him a 'toy'. I found the soul that is always close to me. He is always with me."
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