Three teenage Ukrainians this week won the International Children’s Peace Prize for their development of two apps that help children and teenagers cope with refugee situations. The award is given to young people fighting for children’s rights around the world, and has previously been won by Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg.
This year’s winners were made up of Sofia Tereshchenko, Anastasiia Feskova, and Anastasiia Demchenko. Drawing on their own experiences leaving the Ukraine in recent years – the three met online and developed two apps to help children who find themselves in a similar situation.The first app is called Refee. It is aimed at four to eleven year olds and tries to explain in a child friendly way the situation and deliver all the information they could need to help settle into a new country and new life.
The second app – SVITY – is a social discovery app of sorts for older children. It’s a place for refugees to join groups that connect them with their host community. There they can ask questions anonymously, have conversations, and meet others in their area. It creates virtual safe spaces for refugees to connect, share and be welcomed.
There is a social discovery app out there for everyone that can help improve social lives and combat loneliness. Ones specifically designed and tailored to refugees around the world are an absolutely fantastic idea. The app from the three teenagers can be downloaded on the Google Play Store. Anastasiia, Sofia and Anastasiia, on reception of the award in an event held in London, said:
“The International Children’s Peace Prize highlights that the voices of child refugees will be heard across the world. Giving us all further strength to fight for our rights and safety in the face of danger.”
Marc Dullaert, Founder and Chair of the KidsRights Foundation said:
“Currently, nearly 10 million unaccompanied child refugees are trying to find safety. The amazing initiative of the young Ukrainian International Children’s Peace Prize winners provides an essential need, but it also exposes an embarrassing problem and urges governments to protect child refugees around the world.”