Charitable Foundation Zaporuka is
13 ongoing projects including psychological assistance, physical rehabilitation, improvement of hospital conditions, provision of medical equipment, funding diagnosis and treatment abroad, education and leisure in the hospitals, Winners’ Camp for cancer survivors, providing free accommodation at the Center Dacha for families with children who receive treatment at the National Cancer Institute, training for doctors, etc.
Dacha Center is a house for kids with cancer from all over Ukraine.
In the developed countries, such houses are at every hospital but in this country Dacha is the only place where families can live for free during treatment.
Zaporuka — is...
During the 12-year existence of our Foundation, we have made sure that trust is a guarantee that even in turbulent times one can do their job successfully.
WHAT CHARITY IS FOR US
Charity for us has definitely nothing to do with alms and pity. However, it has to do with active involvement and a sincere desire to do good. Therefore, the first thing we always talk about when we help children with cancer is that childhood cancer is curable. It is not just a belief in a miracle; it is our convincement as humans and professionals based on many years of experience.
Therefore, when organizing charitable assistance to children with cancer, it is unacceptable for us to show a child in a miserable condition. Kids will be kids even if they are on an IV; they will still smile when they see a clown, enjoy a new toy, worry about a fairy tale characters, model in clay or draw enthusiastically, or just really want to watch cartoons. In other words, even during this difficult period, they continue to live their lives with all its small and big joys.
Unfortunately, our society is still afraid to talk about cancer, and even more so about childhood cancer. We don’t want to scare it still more. In fact, we want to change the attitude towards it. We are convinced that fear is a bad motivator to help children with cancer unlike the sound belief that help will not be in vain.
Twice a year we organize the Winners’ Camp where children from all over Ukraine gather to show the public “those boys and girls who have beaten cancer, so there is a chance that it will be possible for those who are undergoing treatment now, those who need your support”. In the last days of the camp, the survivors traditionally meet with future survivors. These are very warm meetings after which sick children do not need platelets transfusions in order to raise their blood counts as they are so strongly motivated by communicating with those who managed to defeat cancer.
WHERE EVERYTHING STARTED
Our charitable foundation for children with cancer was founded in 2008. Its creation was preceded by the event that is usually called fateful. It really was fateful, to be honest. One day our current president, Natalia Onipko, a graduate of the Department of Foreign Languages Philology, who at the time dreamed of a career in the fashion industry, agreed to help with translation at a meeting of an Italian charitable foundation with the Cancer Institute. As she later admitted herself, until that day she did not know at all that children could also have cancer.
Yet it was not this that struck her most of all but her friends’ attitude to the topic of cancer when she decided to share her impressions after the meeting. As it turned out, talking about children with cancer is an absolute taboo for them. Those who know Natalia can easily imagine how she felt in those days. It made her so angry that she vowed to do everything possible to radically change the situation.
The first thing that Natalia did was volunteering for the Italian foundation to learn systemic charity. As it turned out that charity is basically no different from business. The only difference is that in this case one doesn’t make money for themselves.
It took three years for Natalia, her team, and her Italian partners to lay the groundwork for the children’s charity foundation in Ukraine, working according to the European principles.
PROFESSIONAL CHARITY IS...
Those who are just starting to help children with cancer express their desire with the words like: "I want to save their lives." However, professional and honest charitable assistance to children with cancer does not do it.
We cannot guarantee that we will save someone’s life but we will definitely be able to help with treatment, make their life easier, and always be there for them. Understanding this was the first lesson we learned thanks to our Italian teachers.
Professional charity happens when there is a strategy, there is a plan that is implemented step by step. This plan includes not only fundraising for a specific child, it also includes the organization of basic services, without which the assistance for this very child will not be complete, namely, psychological support and rehabilitation. The launch of these services was for us the first major breakthrough towards civilized charity.
Our children’s charity foundation operates according to the classic European fundraising scheme. This means that we attract a variety of donors not only from Ukraine but from all over the world. There are large companies among them. When dealing with businesses, with partner organizations, one cannot do without monitoring, reporting and budgeting. We have also learnt all this from our Italian colleagues.
With each passing year, the charitable assistance to children with cancer is becoming more and more conscious. That is, when it is important for the donor not only to give money but also to understand where it goes and how effectively it was spent. It makes us happy because it means that our donor does care what kind of assistance they give to children with cancer, it means that they are involved, it means that just like us they are interested in the result. This is a true partnership.
Since the start of our work, 76 companies have become our partners. Most of them have been with us for over 10 years. Their trust in our foundation can hardly be overestimated. Thanks to them, we managed to survive 2020 – the year of total lockdowns and closed borders – without any particular shocks.
Reports that we do once every 3 months need lots of effort but we always enjoy preparing them. That’s because only then we see how much has been achieved by our small team. Each time, after calculating all the numbers and the facts, we are surprised: “Have we really done all this?!” Well, it’s so nice to realize that we have a cool team.
HEART of ‘ZAPORUKA’
‘Dacha’ is the main project of our foundation, Its heart. After all, this project is about “being there for kids and their families”, and this is the essence of our mission. Dacha is more than an alternative to a hospital ward and even more than a temporary family house. This is a space with a powerful therapeutic force that is felt not only by all Dacha kids and families but also by their numerous guests.
After coming to our Dacha, people change. It is always for the better because it restores faith in humanity, in unconditional goodness, in mercy and sincere compassion - all that is difficult to discern in a “healthy” life.
‘Dacha’ is also a symbol of that Ukraine we all dream of, when it does not matter where you are from, what faith and political views you have. Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Muslims live peacefully here. The family from Luhansk are friends with the family from Chernivtsi and the language they use for communication is not a problem. The first question that most often can be heard from the ‘Dacha’ families when they meet their new neighbors is not “Where are you from?” but “What is your blood type?” So, all our ‘Dacha’ kids, former and current, are brothers and sisters by blood because they are all donors.
We don’t want to conclude that people are ready to unite only in difficult times. Although it is then when things fall into place, when kindness, mercy and compassion come to the fore.
SIMPLE WAYS TO HELP CHILDREN WITH CANCER
All charitable organizations to help children with cancer need regular donor support, so the best way to help us is to:
We Are Grateful
Fondazione Soleterre has been the main partner of Zaporuka Foundation since 2008. They pay administrative expenses of the Foundation and take an active part in planning the activities and development of our organization.
Друзі та волонтери фонду
Supermarket Chain Furshetfurshet.ua
NGO Beauty Savesfb.com/beautysaveslviv
IEVP Sun Lionsfb.com/Sunlions
Group of Companies Greenvillegreenville.ua
Vulyk Idei – Club of Smart Childrenvulykidej.com.ua
Publishing House Chas Maistrivchasmaistriv.com.ua
Katunina’s Massage Patrolfb.com/massagepatrol
Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraineman.gov.ua