Apr 27, 2022
Hibuki Puppets Bring Comfort to Displaced Ukrainian Child
For nearly 20 years, Hibuki, a frowning stuffed puppy with extra-long, made-for-snuggling limbs, has brought comfort to more than 100,000 Israeli children traumatized by war, rocket explosions and terrorist attacks. Now this unique mental health tool, created by Federation overseas partner the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, is bringing relief to Ukrainian children running from war. Although the situations surrounding the children’s trauma are very different, their fears and anxieties are the same. As they bond with Hibuki, whose name loosely translates to “Huggy” in Hebrew, they project their feelings onto him and realize they aren’t alone. Soon enough, the children focus their attention on caring for the puppy rather than their own trauma. Numerous studies have proven the benefits of Hibuki in lessening the anxiety and depression in the children who receive them. While a puppet factory in Lviv has agreed to manufacture the puppets, in a remarkable act of chesed, Israeli parents are passing on their children’s Hibukis to a new group of children in need.