Actor Orlando Bloom, known for his roles in "The Lord of the Rings" and "Pirates of the Caribbean," visited Ukraine on March 25 as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador.
Bloom spent time at the UNICEF-supported Spilno Children's Center in Kyiv. It was Bloom's second visit to the country since 2016 when he traveled to eastern Ukraine, visiting Sviatohirsk, Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, and Mariupol.
“I would have never expected the war to have escalated throughout the country since I was there,” he wrote on Instagram.“But today, I was fortunate to hear children's laughter at a UNICEF-supported Spilno center, a safe, warm, and nurturing space for children to play, learn and receive psychosocial support.”
The Spilno project operates over 180 centers across Ukraine, offering support to internally displaced children and families, low-income families, families with children with disabilities, and those affected by domestic violence, among other vulnerable groups.
Among the centers' goals is to provide a sense of normalcy for children, allowing them to play, learn, and express themselves creatively.
“For a few hours every day, parents can drop off their young children and give them a sense of normalcy to play games and just be kids,” the actor wrote.“Children in Ukraine need their childhoods back,” Bloom said.
Russia’s ongoing in Ukraine has had a significant impact on the country's children. Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office reported that since February 24, 2022, at least 465 children have been killed and 942 wounded due to Russia's attacks as of March 26. Additionally, thousands of children from Russia-occupied territories in Ukraine are believed to have been forcibly deported to Russia.