During a visit to Ottawa (Canada), the First Lady of Ukraine met with the founders of the Temerty Foundation, James Temerty and Louise Temerty,s well as the Managing Director Leah Temerty-Lord, President at Temerty Group Mike Lord, and the Director of Ukrainian Initiatives at the Temerty Foundation Krystina Waler.
During the conversation, the philanthropists expressed their gratitude to the team of the Olena Zelenska Foundation for helping the residents of the de-occupied Kharkiv region and providing them with essential goods. They announced another charitable donation of $1 million to support the Foundation's projects.
James Temerty is one of today's most prominent Ukrainian philanthropists. He was born in Ukraine to a family that was "dekulakized" during the Stalinist repressions. His father died in Siberia. The family emigrated to Canada after World War II.
"Konstantin Ilkovich (now James) received an education and became a successful businessman, but he never forgot his Ukrainian roots and homeland, and came to its aid in its darkest hours," noted Olena Zelenska.
She thanked the Foundation and its founders for the fruitful collaboration with the Olena Zelenska Foundation – a charitable foundation established by the First Lady of Ukraine to support large foster families, internally displaced persons, medical and educational institutions in the country, as well as schoolchildren and others.
"You were among the first to believe in my Foundation and provide the initial financial support that was quickly directed to meet the urgent needs of the residents of the de-occupied territories. Your Foundation's charitable contribution of $500,000 to help Ukrainians has been channeled to help the people of the de-occupied territories in the Kharkiv region. We managed to provide over 2,000 internally displaced persons, whose homes were constantly under fire, with essential goods, and they had to relocate to 13 dormitories in the Kharkiv region. Thanks to your charitable contribution, many large families and Ukrainians displaced by the war were able to get through the winter with warmth, hot water, the ability to cook, and temporary shelter. Your donation enabled the purchase of high-priced generators ranging from 5 to 140 kilowatts, which were distributed among local communities for the uninterrupted operation of hospitals, educational institutions, and critical infrastructure in three districts of the Kharkiv region (Kupiansk, Loziv, and Chuhuiv districts). In total, this benefited 354,000 residents," shared the First Lady Olena Zelenska.
She shared with the Temerty Foundation and its founders the primary challenges faced by the Olena Zelenska Foundation and those under its care. Specifically, the Foundation continues to assist internally displaced Ukrainians who need help starting a new life in temporary housing.
One of the priority directions of the Foundation's assistance remains the support of large foster families. These are ordinary families where parents raise between 5 to 10 orphaned children or children deprived of parental care. In 2023, the Foundation launched the "Room for Childhood" project for such families who lost their homes due to the war.
The Foundation continues to provide students and teachers with gadgets for remote learning. Overall, gadgets are needed by more than 516,000 Ukrainian students and over 80,000 teachers. In addition, the Foundation is setting up shelters in educational institutions that need them.
The comprehensive restoration of the Izium Hospital in the Kharkiv region remains one of the Foundation's significant projects. Today, the hospital, which was destroyed by the occupiers' missiles, operates at 10% of its capacity.
"Our Foundation continues to implement large-scale projects aimed at protecting education, providing access to medical services, developing, and supporting family forms of upbringing. We are glad that they have found support among Canadian philanthropists, and specifically the team at the Temerty Foundation. People and foundations like Temerty reinforce the belief in solidarity, support, and the triumph of humanity better than a thousand words," remarked Nina Horbachova, the director of the Olena Zelenska Foundation.