Ukrainian writer and poet Serhiy Zhadan tells about first steps of the eponymous charitable foundation and shares the peculiarities of helping families of Ukrainian heroes and working in frontline areas.
Helping the families of Ukrainian servicemen
Serhiy Zhadan Charitable Foundation was officially registered only a month ago, but the team has been working together since 2014. The foundation is focused on providing humanitarian help to Donbas. This week the fund raised its first UAH 100,000. The money that has been raised during the presentation of Zhadan’s audiobook “Tampliers” and his concert in Kharkiv will be handed over to the families of Ukrainian servicemen killed in action. This was reported by the writer himself during Skype presentation with Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “All these funds will be forwarded to the families of the deceased. We try to approach every case individually, communicate with people without unnecessary formalities. The recipients are selected based on personal meetings. Our fellow volunteers and servicemen tell us about such families, then we found these people and do our best to understand what exactly do they need. It’s not about some formal distribution, when the money is blindly divided among some number of families. We want our help to be targeted and effective, someone needs a washing machine, another one needs a refrigerator, some people need their rent paid,” – says Serhiy Zhadan.
Working in the conflict area
Other projects of the foundation include: helping a boarding school in Kostyantynivka; conducting a competition in Ukrainian literature for children in Stanytsia Luhanska district; cooperation with culture center in Stanytsia Luhanska, residential facilities in Donetsk and Kharkiv regions, libraries, schools; concerts for Ukrainian servicemen and locals. Next concerts are to take place on March 13 and 14 in Pokrovske and Avdiivka. “We appreciate the feedback, the initiatives of people living or doing their job there. We always suggest that representatives of local administrations, activists, inhabitants of Donetsk and Luhansk regions were active, showed their initiatives and ideas, did something themselves, and we would assist them or carry on their ideas.” – explains the writer.
It’s not money that matters
But it is not about the financial aid, it’s more about supporting the ones who lost somebody in this conflict. “Many of the people who lost somebody need psychological and moral help rather than financial one. We tend to forget that there are people around us who lost their loved ones or family, and this cannot be replaced by any money. They are our fellow citizens, and what kind of a society would we be if we forgot about our deceased ones and people they left alone?”- asks Zhadan.