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With love to children. BLOG by Rimma Fil, Coordinator of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Centre


It all seems to begin just yesterday, although 17 years have passed since the first charity event “Rinat Akhmetov to Children!” The event has become an annual one and is held for the 17th time already.

I remember the campaign of each year. From the very first one. I remember the tears of grown-up men which was impossible and pointless to hide. I remember happiness in the children’s eyes, the deaf mute girl’s “song” and congratulations of children with ICP. I remember visiting family-type children’s homes and large boarding schools. Gifts, hugs, poems and tears...

The campaign started long ago, in 2001, when Rinat Akhmetov and his friend Ihor Krutoi, began to attend boarding schools and hospitals in Donetsk on St. Nicholas Day. For many years the businessman and the composer have been helping the institutions financially and greeting the kids with holiday presents.

The campaign grew wider every year and has become a grand event and a necessary national action. It is so much necessary, because it attracted attention to orphanhood which began to be gradually eradicated.

These days, the event format has changed, but its goal has remained the same - giving every child warmth and joy. And this is especially important now for the children of Donbas, who have become a new generation of war-affected children.

This year the holiday packages will bring joy to more than 100,000 of children, including nearly 6,000 orphans and pupils at boarding school and family-type children's homes Donetsk region. Also, gifts will be given to children who received medications and treatment under the Foundation’s “Targeted Assistance” programme.

For example, representatives of the Foundation will greet 12-year-old Anzhelika Hlobina at home. The girl has a severe bronchial asthma. The Hlobin family moved from Donetsk in 2015 due to hostilities. The child nearly died three years ago when the Donetsk airport was attacked - her school was just nearby. During the shelling, the family hid in the basement.

Today Anzhelika with her mother and grandparents live in Mariupol. Mom cannot work because of the girl's illness. Grandfather's heart is weak. Now Anzhelika studies remotely and dreams of going to school. She does not receive medications under the state program, so Rinat Akhmetov Foundation’s staff are the only ones who help her.

In addition to gifts, the children will receive a true New Year's holiday. The festive events for children from family-type children's homes start on December 18 in the “Avangard Hall” of Kramatorsk. Five hours of merry morning performance, creative workshops, games and family competitions are waiting for boys, girls and their adoptive parents.

Festivals with gifts within “Rinat Akhmetov to children!” campaign will also be held for the small residents of Sviatohirsk, Mykolaivka and Mariupol on the New Year’s Eve.

Only ‘inner circle’ will come to celebrate the holiday in Kramatorsk - those to whom the Foundation helped and still helps till the present day. The Karnaukh family is also invited. “They are heart-born," says the Mom, Nadiia, about her children. There are 10 children living in this family-type children's home at the moment. Volodymyr and Nadiia Karnaukh decided to create a FTCH in 2010. The initiative came from their eldest daughter.

The Foundation has repeatedly provided support to this family. Even before the military conflict, they used the money donated by the Foundation on St. Nicholas Day to buy the children's furniture. When the hostilities began, the Foundation helped to evacuate the family-type children's home, and later, when all state payments ceased, it was the product packages and financial assistance from the Foundation that helped the family to survive.

Over the past three years, more than half a million children received Rinat Akhmetov’s gifts within the campaign.


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