Orlando Bloom is sharing snippets from his recent trip to Ukraine, his first visit to the country since 2016.
The “Lord of the Rings” actor announced he had arrived in Ukraine on Sunday as part of a trip with UNICEF, during which he would learn more about how the ongoing conflict with Russia has affected the children in the country.
Bloom shared photos and videos from his trip on Instagram, saying he visited the UNICEF supported Splino center and was “fortunate to hear children’s laughter” there.
“Spilno means ‘together’ in Ukrainian and there are over 180 of these centers here. The one I visited today was built deep down in the metro to ensure their safety,” he wrote.
“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.”
“There was also lots of art supplies and craft materials, which allows them to creatively express themselves, away from the pressures of growing up in a war zone. Children in Ukraine need their childhoods back,” he continued.
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While in Ukraine, Bloom also visited the home of a family living in Demydiv.
The family consisted of five children between the ages of eight and 27, as well as four additional children who the parents, Natalia and Yuri, took in between the ages of four and eight.
It is unclear under what circumstances the four siblings were taken in by the family, but Bloom warned in his Instagram caption, “more parents to follow in the footsteps of Natalia and Yurii and take these children into loving homes” as the war causes more children to become orphans.
“They are super humans. They told me that this war has taught them one thing…that family matters most,” Bloom wrote about Natalia and Yuri. “When they had to flee their home after the war escalated last year, they took very little as they said they don’t need anything except their children.”
Bloom’s fiancée Katy Perry commented on his social media posts, praising the actor’s actions writing “you are one of a kind my love,” and “family matters most.”
During his visit, Bloom also had a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in which they discussed the future of the country, and what more can be done to support the children who have been displaced.
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“So encouraging, I mean, in so many ways, to see just the remarkably stoic nature of the people of Ukraine,” Bloom told Zelenskyy. “And of course, your messaging, that I think is reflected in their courage and in their determination and in their perseverance and resilience is just… To see the children, to see in their eyes — it’s palpable, the anxiety — and yet the strength of the Ukrainian people is something that is really awe-inspiring, in truth. And of course, you know, your messaging is the reason for that, so it’s remarkable to see how you are holding this country.”
Zelenskyy then thanked Bloom for his visit, telling him that him using his platform to raise awareness and get the message across to his fans meant a lot to him and the people of Ukraine.
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According to Zelenskyy, school aged children are unable to go to school, because many of their school buildings have been destroyed, leaving “almost 2.7 million Ukrainian schoolchildren” to study online.