What Charities Do You Know in Ukraine?
We had many charities in Ukraine before the russian invasion, but after the events of February 24th, donations became a crucial part of social life for all Ukrainian citizens. In this article, I would like to talk about a popular charity organization called “Come Back Alive”, which was established in 2014 and has raised over USD 175 million to support the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Before discussing this foundation, it is important to understand the unique situation in Ukraine. Prior to the events of 24th February, most Ukrainian people were not accustomed to donating to charities, and it was not widely understood by the general public. However, when the invasion occurred, ordinary people started collecting money for various reasons. For instance, children would sing songs and collect money for the soldiers, while their parents would donate to charitable organizations. Nowadays, businesses are also actively involved in donations, allocating a percentage of their income and collaborating with foundations. Consequently, “collecting” has become a very popular term in Ukraine.
“Come Back Alive” is one of the most renowned organizations in Ukraine, known for collecting funds to procure different types of weapons, drones, and equipment for soldiers. Many people have been aware of their activities since 2014, but for some, they gained recognition after purchasing the first “Bayraktar” drone in Ukraine. Additionally, they provide training and rehabilitation services for soldiers in need.
The Ukrainian people have displayed incredible resourcefulness through their generous donations to support both the army and civilians affected by the conflict. Despite facing economic hardships and political instability, Ukrainians bravely demonstrate their willingness to help those in need.
Charities in Ukraine: Come Back Alive
Ukraine’s top military charity is the “Come Back Alive” foundation, which provides competent assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The Come Back Alive Foundation was born out of the russian aggression in Donbas and the illegal occupation of Crimea in 2014. Since then, its key goal has been to help the work of the defense forces, save military lives and systematically counter the enemy.
The foundation’s instructors train sappers, UAV operators, gunners and snipers. The instructors also teach pre-medical care and assist in conducting secret missions.
The foundation provides assistance in six main areas:
- aerial reconnaissance (quadrocopters, large UAVs (unmanned aerial systems, etc.)
- optics (day and night vision, mobile surveillance systems, etc.)
- communications equipment (walkie-talkies, satellite phones, routers)
- sniper equipment
- equipment of command control points (from power sources to large monitors, generators, etc.)
The largest one-time purchase was the Bayraktar TB2 complex, consisting of a ground control station, three aircraft and a certain amount of ammunition. The cost was close to $17 million dollars.
The foundation does not only work with the army. They also have a powerful Veterans Rehabilitation Department. They are the general sponsor of the Ukrainian national team at the Invictus Games, and work quite closely with the Ministry of Veterans.