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Questions and Answers
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
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
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.