Jill Biden meets Ukrainian refugee mothers and children in Romania

First lady Jill Biden made what she called a “heartbreaking” visit Saturday to Ukrainian refugee children and their mothers at a school in Bucharest, Romania that has opened its classrooms to kids fleeing the Russian invasion.

“The teachers are the glue that helps the kids deal with their trauma and deal with the emotion and help give them a sense of normalcy,” Biden, a longtime teacher, told reporters.

“Wasn’t it heartbreaking?” she asked. “You can see it, those children really have suffered.”

She and Carmen Iohannis, the first lady of Romania, watched as the children cut hand shapes out of paper printed with Ukrainian and Romanian flags and pinned the hands to a cork board.

One little girl, 7-year-old Mila from Kyiv, wrote a note on her cut-out: “I want to return to my father,” a teacher translated.

Biden is two days into a four-day trip to Romania and Slovakia that the White House billed as a Mother’s Day tour of refugee centers serving some of the more than 5.5 million Ukrainians who have fled the bloody conflict.

First lady Jill Biden is visiting Romania and Slovakia to meet with displaced Ukrainian parents and children, aid workers, US service members and embassy personnel.
First lady Jill Biden talks with a student as she visits the Școala Gimnaziala Uruguay, or Uruguay School, in Bucharest Romania on May 7, 2022.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool

“We stand with you,” Biden told Anastasia Konovalvoa, a teacher who described how she fled to Romania in March with her 3-year-old son. “I think you are the amazing ones, really.”