ukr-aid
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Questions and Answers

 

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What is Ukr-Aid?

Ukr-Aid is a charitable trust, based in the UK, whose purpose is to support underprivileged children in Ukraine. The charity  was founded in 2006, when it became apparent that there was a need to provide an efficient and co-ordinated route for funding, and to highlight the growing need for support in Ukraine.

 

Why help children in Ukraine in particular?

Ukraine is in a uniquely difficult situation in that, not being part of the EU, it does not receive much in the way of aid from western governments. It is not a high profile cause like Africa or the Third World, however it is a country that needs as much support as possible to get on its own feet. We are endeavouring to raise the profile of Ukraine’s plight in the Diaspora communities as well as our own, and hope that our funds may help Ukraine in some small way, as it makes the lengthy and dangerous transition to a fully fledged democracy.

 

Why did you set up this charity?

Ukraine is facing considerable economic and social difficulties as it adjusts to a market economy, and many of the poorest and most vulnerable people are being adversely affected. Some of the main victims are children. Pressures on families mean that many children find themselves abandoned on the streets, where they are very vulnerable and in danger of abuse and exploitation. In Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, there are children living on the streets. The right of a child is a fundamental edict of a civilised society, and in our view even one child on the streets of Kiev is one too many, and it is one of our goals to help change this.

 

The communities that we support fulfil a vital role, by taking in these children and providing a loving and caring environment where they can thrive. However, they struggle to cope, not only with the number of children who need help but also with escalating costs, and increasingly they need to look outside Ukraine for support.

 

We have set up the charity in honour of the generation of Ukrainians who were taken forcibly from their homeland during World War II, and who eventually settled in other parts of the world, including the UK and USA. These people left a rich heritage, and a philosophy of selflessness and generosity. Many were themselves exploited as young people during the war, albeit under different circumstances.

 

What are the main activities of the charity?

 

We raise awareness of the children’s plight, and engage in fund-raising activities and appeals for charitable donations. We issue grants to particular orphanages where a need has been identified, such as the supply of clothing and school equipment, repair and maintenance of school buildings and the furnishing of dormitories. We liaise directly with, and supply grants to, other charities who are undertaking similar work.

 

We raise the profile of Ukraine’s difficulties in Ukrainian and other communities, and hope that our funds may help Ukraine in some small way.

 

Why do orphanages need charitable assistance? Doesn't the State take care of it? If I donate, doesn't that just let the State off the hook?

 

These communities benefit greatly from outside help, and our aim is to provide assistance as directly and effectively as possible. Most of the orphanages we are presently supporting are associated with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Western and Central Ukraine. The State has not proved to be entirely reliable, since it is itself in a period of transition. At such times the most vulnerable people in society such as the children, who do not have a voice to represent them, end up at the bottom of a never-ending queue. Because of the country’s economic difficulties, many of the state-run orphanages also need support, and for this reason, we will not exclude these organisations, but assess each situation individually.

 

The children look well cared for and I have seen much worse situations elsewhere

The images on our website are selected to respect the right of individual children to have their dignity protected. We work only with established communities that have a proven record of giving the children reasonable lives.

 

How is the charity run?

The charity is run on a voluntary basis by its Trustees, who are members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Independent Advisers have been appointed on the basis of their interest, knowledge and professional background. Actions are made by delegated responsibility and mutual agreement.

 

Openness and transparency are important aspects of our work, and a copy of the charity's governing document is available from the Charity Commission. The Trustee’s Annual Report, which describes the charity's activities and financial accounts, is available on request.

 

Ukr-Aid’s policy is to allocate donations to projects as quickly as possible and not to retain large reserves.

 

How can I be sure my donation will be used for good purposes?

Ukr-Aid is registered with the Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. The charity operates on a voluntary basis. We do not deduct our expenses or charge for administration, and 100% of any donations go directly to the children in Ukraine.

 

Accountability is an extremely important element of our work. For this reason, we have Independent Advisers and Observers who witness our activities. Carrying out charitable work in Ukraine is difficult, and the main risk is that the funds are not used as intended. For this reason, the nuns and priests who work with the orphans are personally known to us. We visit the homes on a regular basis to discuss their needs. We seek documentary evidence, as a matter of course, to show that the funding has been used properly. We review their individual situations regularly, as circumstances change and in some cases funding may no longer be required.

 

How can I help?

We are appealing for donations to support Ukr-Aid's work. We are grateful for all donations and / or help in raising awareness of the plight of Ukraine’s children.

 

If you would like to hold a fund-raising event in your own community, or raise money through sponsorship, we can provide you with an information pack, or offer support on the day.

 

We are always pleased to hear suggestions, or views on any aspect of our work.

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Copyright © 2006-2007 www.ukraid.org Charity Commission Registration 1122375 All rights reserved.

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