InvestSolutions 13:32 11 Oct 2023

Big businesses that prioritize philanthropy: five cases during the war

Ukrainian entrepreneurs cover the urgent needs of Ukraine’s armed forces, provide humanitarian aid to displaced persons, and help hospitals and clinics with medicines and medical supplies. They are also funding projects to rebuild housing and infrastructure that Russian occupiers destroyed. Rubryka has compiled five examples of Ukrainian companies continuously investing in Ukraine’s victory.

What is the problem?

Although the full-scale aggression shook Ukrainian businesses, it did not completely break them. Despite this, numerous companies managed not only to withstand the challenges but also to find an opportunity for charity. As stated in the "Business in Ukraine" report on Diia.Business, nearly 90% of Ukrainian enterprises are involved in supporting Ukraine's armed forces or participating in volunteer work.

What is the solution?

We are of one blood

бізнес і благодійність

"We are of one blood" is charity merch from Ukrainian brands and illustrators

FUIB, also known as the First Ukrainian International Bank, is a prominent bank in Ukraine and a peer of the country's independence. Since the beginning of the war, providing assistance to defenders and the wounded has been one of the main focuses of the bank. At the beginning of the war, 45 armored vehicles were handed over to Ukraine's armed forces to evacuate seriously wounded soldiers from the battlefield and deliver ammunition and food to the cities on the front line. In the past year alone, FUIB has allocated over 94 million hryvnias to purchase body armor, helmets, radio equipment, thermal imagers, tactical backpacks, clothing, footwear, helicopters, vehicles, medical supplies, and fuel for the defenders. Additionally, FUIB has donated 5.5 million to reputable charitable organizations for kamikaze drones.

In July 2022, FUIB launched a social project called "We are of one blood." This project aims to acquire hemostatic agents for the Ukrainian army, fund and publicize blood donation initiatives, and promote patriotic Ukrainian art. "We are of one blood" is a significant collaboration project with over 30 partners already involved. These include public organizations, illustrators, brands, retailers, event planners, and even a professional soccer team.

FUIB donates half the price of every purchase of patriotic items made by Ukrainian manufacturers to the DonorUA, Blood Agents, and Hospitaliers NGOs. Since its foundation, the "We are of one blood" initiative has collected 5 million hryvnias.
Funds were allocated to: 

– Delivering blood to 55 hot spots, resulting in more than 80,000 lives saved;

 – Purchasing two freezers for storing blood plasma at low temperatures;

 – Providing over 3000 tactical medical supplies (hemostatic bandages, tourniquets, occlusive stickers, hemostatic bandages, etc.);

 – Acquiring four patient monitors for paramedics.

The "We are of one blood" project promotes a donation culture. Over 1,500 Ukrainians have become donors through the project, providing hope for recovery to 4,500 people. Overall, the project has involved over 10,760 Ukrainians and has supported Ukrainian businesses and artists with a total of 13,000,000 hryvnias.

Free bionic prostheses

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As part of the program from the BGV Charitable Foundation and the Estonian government, Ukrainians with severe injuries receive state-of-the-art biotic prostheses. Photo: BGV Charity Fund

The BGV Charity Fund works with both Ukrainian and European businesses to find, acquire, provide legal assistance, and coordinate the transportation of humanitarian aid to Ukraine. This aid is directed towards children, vulnerable members of the population, the military, medical facilities, and volunteer groups. During the year of the large-scale war in Ukraine, the BGV Charity Fund provided over 300 truckloads of humanitarian aid from Europe, totaling nearly 6,000 tons and valued at around 300 million hryvnias.  As of today, the Fund has received about $10.5 million in support for Ukraine, including direct funding and commodities. The Fund's humanitarian initiatives have reached 23 regions across the country. Over 250 institutions and organizations in Ukraine have received goods from the BGV team in Europe.

The countries partnering with the fund are prepared to offer assistance not only on a humanitarian basis but also with the rehabilitation of Ukrainian service members and civilians. At the beginning of the year, together with the government of Estonia, the foundation launched and is implementing a program for free prosthetics and rehabilitation of Ukrainians who lost their limbs due to the war in Ukraine. Severely injured Ukrainians, primarily military personnel, receive prosthetic treatment in Tallinn at one of the country's most extensive medical facilities – Ida-Tallinn Keskhaigla (East Tallinn Central Clinical Hospital). The program provides patients with cutting-edge bionic electronic prostheses, enabling them to run, play sports, and maintain an active lifestyle. 

The cost of one such prosthesis reaches 70-80 thousand euros. But for the prosthetics program participants, it is free of charge: all the costs of manufacturing, installation, rehabilitation in the Tallinn hospital, and logistics are covered by the project initiators.

"Today, thanks to the joint program of the BGV Charity Fund and the government of Estonia, nine Ukrainians who lost their limbs due to hostilities received prostheses. Additionally, we plan to send 12 more guys to Estonia by the end of this year," project coordinator Nadiia Stechyshyna says

Learn more about the prosthetics program and the stories of those who have already received a new limb in the special project of Rubryka and BGV Charity Fund, "Faces of Strength."

Medicines for Ukraine

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Since the beginning of the war, the Darnytsia pharmaceutical company has been providing Ukraine with charitable aid in the form of medicines

The Darnytsia pharmaceutical company follows the principle that every responsible business should not only operate but also find ways to support those who defend the country and require assistance. 

Following Russian forces' destruction of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, Darnytsia promptly provided Kherson hospitals with medicines valued at nearly 300,000 hryvnias. The Darnytsia team also collected and delivered much-needed supplies for the victims, including food, blankets, clothing, hygiene products, animal feed, wheelbarrows, rubber boots, canisters, ropes, shovels, sacks, and extension cords.

Overall, since the start of the war, the company has donated 2.6 million medicine packages worth 233 million hryvnias. Numerous charitable organizations supporting individuals and groups, including in recently liberated areas, have been given high-quality Ukrainian medicines, with a total of over 90 recipients.

Moreover, with the signing of the Ukraine Business Compact agreement, Darnytsia has become part of the group of companies committed to aiding in the overall reconstruction of Ukraine, specifically by supporting the growth of the healthcare industry.

"Participation in the Business Compact is our declaration that we are ready to support our native country by all means, not only during the war but also in its revival after victory, in its pursuit of modernization, building a stable and flexible economy. Helping those who need it has always been part of our corporate culture, and at a time when this support is necessary for all of Ukraine, we cannot stand aside," Andrii Obrizan, CEO of the Darnytsia pharmaceutical company, says.

Save children from war

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The young participants of the "Childhood without War" project

During times of war, Ukrainian orphans face particularly challenging circumstances. Without the love and support of parents, they do not feel fully protected, even in times of peace. A key initiative of the charity fund, established by Ruslan Shostak, co-owner of Varus and EVA networks, was the "Childhood without War" project. 

"The idea of the project arose at the beginning of the war, when I pondered: "How exactly can I help the country in this difficult period?". Children are the future of Ukraine. And for us to have a future, it must be preserved now. Children should not see war because it scares, cripples, destroys. It kills children's dreams, and we – adults – cannot allow this. We have to save children and give them faith in the future," philanthropist Ruslan Shostak says.

Just one month after the full-scale invasion began, the Ruslan Shostak Foundation successfully rescued 159 children from the front-line areas and brought them to safety in Türkiye. Overall, the foundation successfully evacuated nearly 3,000 individuals as part of its "Childhood without War" initiative, marking the largest evacuation of orphaned children in Europe since World War II. By having the children evacuated, the foundation showed its dedication to providing for their needs, education, and care. The project received backing from the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine and Türkiye and is coordinated by the offices of the First Ladies of both countries.

"One of the main tasks of our team is not only to provide our wards with a temporary safe home but also to create comfortable conditions for their stay in Türkiye. How long the war in Ukraine will last is unknown. The "Childhood without War" project will continue to save as many Ukrainian children as possible. All of us want one thing – to bring back all the Ukrainian children to a secure Ukraine," Ruslan Shostak comments.

To ensure that there are no parental claims from Türkiye, Ambassador of Ukraine Vasyl Bodnar, and his Turkish counterpart signed a permit for each group of children from boarding schools. This document guarantees that all children will be returned to Ukraine after the war ends. It also explicitly states that legal processes for adoption and citizenship will not be pursued for the evacuated children.

The foundation still offers a safe home for orphaned children as part of the project's second phase. During the summer, over 350 orphans and their guardians were able to travel to Türkiye for recovery, with the foundation covering the expenses. As part of the second phase, the foundation is prepared to welcome 1,000 orphans from Ukraine for rehabilitation.

Education is about the future

бізнес і благодійність

The first graduates of the "Generation Tech" project

SoftServe is one of the biggest software development companies in Central and Eastern Europe and is ranked among Ukraine's top IT service companies.

In 2014, SoftServe formed the Open Eyes Corporate Charitable Fund. Starting February 24, 2022, the fund's primary focus shifted to assisting individuals affected by war. The fund has successfully delivered over 500 tons of humanitarian aid from 11 countries to Ukraine

The fund sent 55 fully equipped ambulances and 52 cars to evacuate the wounded to the front line. 30,000 sets of medicines were delivered to medical institutions, and more than 20,000 personal protection units were provided to the military. Additionally, the military, public, and government organizations were furnished with 6,800 pieces of equipment, including computers, modems, and Starlink devices.

The Open Eyes Corporate Charitable Foundation revealed in June 2023 their new educational initiative for military children and children of IDPs called "Generation Tech." This charitable project is set to be rolled out in nine cities throughout Ukraine to provide a solid foundation in information technology for participants. As part of this project, SoftServe employees who have volunteered as mentors will teach programming and basic cyber security concepts, teamwork, and public speaking to students in grades 8-10. This will give the participants an initial exposure to the IT industry, enhance their skills, and help them determine potential career paths for their future. The sessions will take place over a period of two to three months.

According to Victoria Mishchuk, the director of Open Eyes Corporate Charitable Foundation, "Generation Tech" represents the evolution of the "IT-Student" project, which began in 2017. In the years since over 300 students with limited opportunities for paid education have received their initial exposure to IT and have been able to enter technical universities with a solid foundation. One of the participants in the project even secured a job at SoftServe after graduating from university.

"For me, this is not only an educational project – it is a platform where children who are fleeing war, who are starting to build their lives and future in another city, who are left without friends and beloved mentors… have the opportunity to receive mentorship from an adult. Become familiar with the industry and stay updated on the latest technologies. Immerse yourself in the field, connect with peers, and possibly expand your social circle. Get grounded and start anew. This project is about shaping our future together," Victoria Mishchuk says.


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