On September 22, Olena Zelenska presented her Foundation during a charity evening in New York.
The Foundation's primary goal is to restore Ukraine's human capital so that every Ukrainian feels physically and mentally healthy, protected, and able to exercise their right to education, work, and build a future in Ukraine.
"Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, we have managed to do a lot. We have organised 20 convoys of life, which made it possible to evacuate more than 550 children with cancer to hospitals in Europe, the USA and Canada. We hosted the First Ladies and Gentlemen Summit to raise money and purchase more than 80 ambulances. We evacuated children from orphanages for their temporary stay abroad. We provided humanitarian aid to family-type orphanages. But every day brings more and more requests and needs. More funding is needed. That is why I am creating the Foundation. The Foundation will make it possible to significantly scale assistance to people and provide proper treatment and decent education to everyone who needs it," said Olena Zelenska.
The First Lady noted that global political and business leaders gathered this week for the 77th UN General Assembly in New York. They also became the guests of the charity evening on the occasion of the Foundation presentation.
In particular, the event was attended by: former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom James Cleverly, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera in New York Peter Gelb, American TV host and actor Jimmy Fallon, actor Matt Damon, actress Brooke Shields, as well as a wide circle of diplomats and businessmen. Ukrainian stars performed at the charity evening. The host of the evening was Andrii Biedniakov.
The President of Ukraine joined the charity evening remotely from Kyiv.
"We are fighting for freedom and protecting our people. We are doing everything possible to engage our friends – friends of freedom – worldwide who are willing to contribute to our struggle," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The Foundation has three key directions: medicine, education and humanitarian aid. Within these areas, it will provide targeted assistance, invest in reconstructing preschool and school education institutions, polyclinics and outpatient clinics, and provide grants for training and scientific developments.
"The Individual – and their wellbeing – is the centre of my Foundation. I believe that the restoration of a country must start with its people. If we can improve their lives and restore their strengths, the country will follow," said the First Lady of Ukraine.
For anyone interested in learning more about the Foundation, please visit zelenskafoundation.org for more information.
"The war goes on, but so does life. It paves its way to recovery even during the war. The task of the Foundation is to help life win. And for this, we need hospitals, schools, and education," said Olena Zelenska.
All guests of the charity evening on the occasion of the Foundation presentation could contribute to the reconstruction projects in Ukraine. As of September 23, the final amount of the contributions is still being calculated.
The evening partner was the Metropolitan Opera, which provided the venue for the event free of charge.