The work of Kek Vonal, the child helpline in Hungary, is significantly impacting the lives of Ukrainian children in Hungary who are struggling to cope with the effects of war. Kek Vonal is one of the child helplines that participate in the Ukraine Crisis Response Project of Child Helpline International, which is funded by UNICEF Europe and Central Asia. During my recent visit to Kek Vonal in Budapest, I had the opportunity to speak with Ivett, one of the counsellors at Kek Vonal, and her dedication to helping these children is truly admirable. Ivett shared some heartbreaking stories of Ukrainian children who have lost their families or homes due to the war in their country and how Kek Vonal has provided them with much-needed emotional support and resources to help them cope and rebuild their lives.
As a counsellor at Kek Vonal, Ivett provides essential mental support to children and their families. She and her colleagues work tirelessly to create a safe and non-judgmental environment where children can share their problems and receive the support they need. This is especially important given the stigma attached to seeking mental health treatment in Ukrainian culture. It’s inspiring to see the positive impact that Kek Vonal is having on these vulnerable children.
Ivett shared that Ukrainian children and young people in Hungary struggle to integrate into their new environment and make new friends. Many children who call Kek Vonal deal with loneliness, bullying, and difficulty adjusting to a new school.
She also reminded us that child helpline counsellors are always there to listen and offer solutions where possible, spreading care and help to those who need it most. And although Ukrainian culture may have taboos around seeking mental health support, Ivett urges people to seek help before problems become more severe and to prevent worse outcomes.
Kek Vonal currently only offers Ukrainian and Russian counselling on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 16.00 to 20.00. They are working to hire more dedicated counsellors like Ivett so that they can receive calls from Ukrainian children, youth, and caregivers on a daily basis. While they are receiving Ukrainian and Russian calls, they are also waiting for Hungarian-speaking children to contact them anytime they need any support.
Ivett is a dedicated child helpline counsellor who is passionate about helping children and young people. If you are struggling and need someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to reach out to Kek Vonal’s helpline. Counsellors like Ivett are human beings who are always ready to lend a helping hand. Remember that the child helpline is a safe and anonymous space where you can share anything and receive mental support wherever you are.
Communications Officer – Ukrainian Crisis Response