“It feels like I’m in a bubble”: how war affects teenage girls

In October, Masha Yefrosinina's "Masha Fund" launched the "Brave" project. The program teaches self-defense and provides psychological assistance to teenage girls.

The first pilot group of “Brave” has already started training. These are ten girls aged 12 to 18. Most were forced to leave their hometowns and homes due to the occupation. In the “Brave” program classes, they not only take a self-defense course, and work with professional psychotherapists, but also socialize and communicate with their peers. Which is very important for ordinary teenagers and especially for immigrants.


– At the meetings with the psychologist, the girls described their condition as being in a “bubble”. – says Iryna Krasilnikova, manager of the “Brave” project. – They behave like adults, try to digest their experiences on their own and not to disturb their mothers.


The participants of the program who left the occupied cities are more traumatized. There, at home, they hardly left their homes. But during the trip to the free territories, they saw terrible things, such as severed limbs and shot cars. During the sessions with the psychologist, the girls open up, get out of the bubble, and start talking about what they experienced. And after self-defense training, they become more self-confident.

 R– “Brave” is a project about support, about the ability to protect oneself both physically and psychologically, – says the head of the Masha Fund, Tetyana Muratkina. – The goal of the program is to prevent violence among teenagers. We want to teach girls to notice the first “bells” of any form of violence and fight it back. Therefore, we will not stop at groups in Kyiv and are already working on the expansion of “Brave” in various regions of Ukraine.


About the project:

“Brave” includes a self-defense course (12 classes) and 5 group sessions with a psychologist for teenage girls. The program is designed for girls aged 12 to 18. In the first place, the place will be given to those who suffered the most from the Russian-Ukrainian war: those who have losses in the family, cannot return home due to the danger of shelling/loss of housing, witnesses of war crimes and resettled girls from Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson regions.


If your daughter or a teenage girl you know needs the help of psychologists, if she wants to become stronger and learn to fight back, fill out the application form for participation in the “Brave” project from the “Masha Fund”:

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