During a visit to Ottawa (Canada), the First Lady of Ukraine met with the founders of the Temerty Foundation, James Temerty and Louise Temerty, as well as with Managing Director Leah Temerty-Lord, Chief Executive Officer Mike Lord and Director of Ukrainian Initiatives at the Temerty Foundation Krystina Waler.
During the conversation, the benefactors thanked the team of the Olena Zelenska Foundation for their help and providing the residents of the de-occupied Kharkiv region with essentials and announced another charitable contribution of $1 million to support the Foundation's projects.
James Temerty is one of the largest Ukrainian philanthropists of our time. He was born in Ukraine into a family that was subject to dekulakization during the Stalinist repressions. His father died in Siberia. After World War II, the family emigrated to Canada.
"Constantin Ilkovitch (now James) got an education and became a successful businessman, but he did not forget his Ukrainian roots and homeland and came to its aid in the most difficult time," Olena Zelenska noted.
She thanked the Temerty Foundation and its founders for their fruitful cooperation with the Olena Zelenska Foundation, a charitable foundation established by the First Lady of Ukraine to help IDPs, medical and educational institutions in the country.
"You were one of the first to believe in my Foundation and provide the first financial support, which was quickly directed to meet the priority needs of the residents of the de-occupied territories,” the First Lady said.
The team of the Olena Zelenska Foundation used the $500,000 donation from the Temerty Foundation to meet the needs of people from the de-occupied territories of Kharkiv region. They managed to provide essentials to more than 2,000 internally displaced persons who were forced to move to 13 dormitories in Kharkiv region due to constant shelling of their homes.
"Thanks to your charitable contribution, large families and Ukrainians internally displaced by the war were able to survive the winter in warmth, with warm water and the ability to cook and set up temporary housing. Your charitable contribution made it possible to purchase expensive generators with a capacity of 5 to 140 kW, which were distributed among local communities to ensure the smooth operation of hospitals, educational institutions and critical infrastructure in three districts of Kharkiv region (Kupyansk, Lozova and Chuhuiv). In total, it is 354 thousand people," the First Lady said.
She shared with the Temerty Foundation and its founders the primary challenges for the Olena Zelenska Foundation. In particular, the latter continues to take care of internally displaced Ukrainians who need help starting a new life in temporary housing.
One of the priority areas of the Foundation's assistance remains the support of large foster families. These are families in which foster parents raise 5 to 10 orphans or children deprived of parental care. In 2023, the Foundation launched the "Address of Childhood" project for such families who lost their homes due to the war.
The Foundation continues to provide students and teachers with gadgets for distance education. In total, more than 516,000 Ukrainian pupils and more than 80,000 teachers need the gadgets. It also equips shelters in educational institutions that need them.
The comprehensive restoration of the Izyum hospital in Kharkiv region also remains one of the Foundation's important projects. Today, the hospital, which was destroyed by the occupiers' missiles, is operating at 10% of its capacity.