Priyanka Chopra says ‘there is nothing more powerful than a mother’s instinct to protect her own’©Getty Images

Priyanka Chopra says ‘There is nothing more powerful than a mother’s instinct to protect her own’

The actress is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

New mom Priyanka Chopra was moved by the “resilience” of a mom who fled the war in Ukraine. The Isn’t It Romantic star, 40, recently traveled to Warsaw, Poland for a UNICEF mission, during which she visited a Blue Dot space at the Refugee Accommodation Centre, where she met with mothers and children from Ukraine who are staying at the center.

In an Instagram post shared on Wednesday, the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador recalled meeting a woman named Svetlana and her four-year-old son Ilya. “With tears streaming down her face she told me how she left her husband, parents and home overnight because her son hid under the bed, terrified of the sounds of the sirens and explosions, that became an everyday occurrence in Kyiv. She said she had no choice but to protect her child,” Priyanka penned. “As a new mother I was so moved by her resilience. There is nothing more powerful than a mother’s instinct to protect her own.”

“To put this into context, the war in Ukraine is a mother and child crisis, with women and children accounting for 90% of the refugees fleeing,” the Quantico alum added. “I’ve seen it for myself across the various @unicef supported programmes during my visit to Poland.”

Priyanka admitted that every woman she met “deeply touched and inspired” her. “These women are putting their own trauma aside to nurture and protect children. They are mothers, daughters, caregivers, teachers, volunteers, psychologists and so much more… each shouldering the responsibility of their families while displaced from their homes,” she penned.

The actress also shared that “many told me how they try to smile through the pain just so that the children have a sense of hope. They said they don’t really have anyone to share their fears and feelings with, which is why psychosocial support is so important. The invisible psychological wounds of war are often the least talked about but the most devastating for a child.”

She continued, “As the war continues, and winter approaches, the number of displaced women and children could rise and the need for support will grow. We all need to step up to make sure that the women and the families affected by this war are not forgotten.”

Priyanka became a mother earlier this year with the arrival of her and husband Nick Jonas’ daughter Malti. The couple announced in January that they had welcomed their first child via surrogate. Months later, Nick revealed on Mother’s Day that their baby girl was “finally home” after “100 plus days in the NICU.” In his tribute to his “incredible wife,” the singer wrote: “Babe, you inspire me and every way, and you are taking to this new role with such ease and steadiness. I am so grateful to be on this journey with you. You are already an incredible mother. Happy Mother’s Day. I love you.”

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