Klitschko Foundation: children have the right to fulfil dreams in their native country

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It is essential for us to show children that we can realize our potential in Ukraine. It is not necessary to go abroad for this purpose. And if to go – that is for experience. But it is necessary to live and work here. The war will end, our country has prospects and we must give them a chance. — says Alina Nosenko.

The brothers, Vitaliy and Volodymyr Klitschko, started the charity project in Ukraine 15 years ago. Nowadays, the fund is successfully working to create opportunities for the development of children and young people. In Ukraine, it is known for its sporting, educational and scientific projects. The organization has helped tens of thousands of children so far and it does not stop there. Alina Nosenko, the Director of the Klitschko Foundation, tells more about this.

Klitschko Foundation: children have the right to fulfil dreams in their native country

What projects are you involved in now?

— We are focusing on the three main areas — sport, education and science. Pupils and students take part in the programs. We are carrying on our already well-known projects in Ukraine that we have been systematically implementing for more than 5–7 years.

General academic schools and sport sections participate in sports projects. And it does not matter whether children become champions; the most important for them is to learn to achieve great goals in life. Therefore, the conditions for classes are to be worthy, and teachers and trainers are to love their work.

Mostly small towns and villages win projects. People know each other well there, so it is easier to be united to achieve a common goal. For example, in the school yards of the winners, “Call Friends — Let’s Play Together”, we establish sports grounds. Nowadays there are already 191 of them in all regions of Ukraine. In the “Parcel of Success”, schools and sections receive 15 kilograms of sports equipment: football, volleyball and basketball balls, skipping ropes, bibs and stopwatches. The state gives not enough funds for the development of sports. Although, it should.

We also train sports diplomats. The “Team of Dream” is called the youth football team, which is going to represent Ukraine in the competition in Germany. They play soccer with children from 4-5 countries for two weeks. We are going there for the second year in a row. Children get toughen up — they live in tents, eat pasta and sausages. But they are satisfied — they see another country, another mentality, they unite and finally understand why they need to know English.

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Klitschko Foundation: children have the right to fulfil dreams in their native country

This year the fund has already organized the 19th International Tournament for Young Boxers — Klitschko Tournament. It has been attended by boxers from 35 countries of the world so far, who became known boxers afterwards.

“School of Success” is an educational project. For the past two years out of seven, we have organized separate schools for boys and girls. This provides a good result. More than 50 speakers come to meet the children. They also visit different organizations and enterprises: from IT companies to the Kyiv City State Administration and the Presidential Administration. It is important for us that children from small towns do not think that the whole world is in Kyiv, that they should move here and forget their town or village. We say: “The world is so globalized today that technology allows you to become a millionaire while working in your village”. We received 3900 applications for participation in the school, out of which only 100 children were selected. Now they have to organize such projects in their schools so that the other ones could participate and gain knowledge and skills.

We are holding the Falling Walls Lab Kyiv conference for the third time, where young scientists and innovators will appear. This year, the winners were the startups in the fields of physics and jurisprudence. Now they are preparing to present their ideas at the conference in Berlin, where they will compete with the representatives from 50 cities of the world.

There is also a well-known internship program for students in the fund

— The internship program is held twice a year. We take 20 students in the autumn and spring. These are 2–4 year students. After the internship it is easier for them to find themselves in life. They have the first experience at the office. When there is a vacancy, we always offer it to our trainees first. The system is constructed so that they graduate from the university and already have a serious basis. They all come from us and are ready to work in leading companies and organizations.

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When Klitschko brothers created a fund what main purpose did they have?

— Vitaliy and Volodymyr wanted to give children opportunities which they did not have. Most of the projects were made up by Klitschko brothers. This is the arrangement of the grounds, and educational programs, and international exchanges. They said that the idea appeared after travelling abroad. They were impressed by the level of organization and conditions in which athletes trained. Then they decided that Ukrainian children needed new equipment and safe facilities. Therefore, our main task is to inspire children to fight for their dreams, to believe in their own strengths. Not necessarily to be a champion in sports, the main thing is to become a champion in life.

Klitschko Foundation: children have the right to fulfil dreams in their native country

The fund has managed to invest over 78 million hryvnias in charity so far. This is not only the funds of Klitschko brothers’. Who else helps?

— We participate in the international grant programs. Ukrainian business assists. Significant amounts can be collected during charity evenings. Friends of Klitschko brothers’ come from all over the world to support us. Most of all, 3 million dollars were collected.

Partnership with major domestic and international players helps build the reputation of the fund. It is important for us to form trust of ordinary Ukrainian to charitable projects. Nowadays people are willing to give money for medicine, military support, but the strategic goals are not so popular yet. With foreign donors — on the contrary. They will rather support the development of sport, education, science, because they understand the value of preventive charity. In these areas are the future of Ukraine. We have the power to create it.

How many children’s dreams have you managed to realize for almost 15 years?

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— About 650 thousand children have participated in our projects so far. Most did not believe in their strength and did not know how to realize their dreams. I am sure that we managed to put at least one brick to build the dream of each of them.

Which of Klitschko brothers is a bigger ideological inspirator for the fund’s work — Vitaliy or Volodymyr?

— They are both very active. For the last two years, Vitaliy is neither a member of the management board nor a member of the supervisory board. But he participates in our projects, conducts lectures for children as the founder of a charitable organization. Politics is not involved in charity.

The desire and zeal of both brothers are very strong. They are attempting to put maximum time into each project.

Klitschko Foundation: children have the right to fulfil dreams in their native country

Share your plans with our readers

— In the nearest future we are planning to open the fund in Germany as well. We want to integrate more values from the western countries into the Ukrainian society, and after that — to disseminate ours, to introduce our children to the peers from other countries, so that it does not seem that we are separated from the world.

What mission do you set for yourself?

Ukraine has a biased attitude towards charity and foundations. We disseminate the value of openness – to partners, sponsors and colleagues — to anyone who is interested in fund activities and wants to implement projects together with us. We hold public events – a scientific conference, the opening of a sports hall or playground in the yard of the school. Everyone can visit, they all are free.

Foundations should be illuminators. People need to be explained why the social issue is important, and how they themselves can become drivers of changes. In December, we plan to invite young community organizations and charitable foundations. They all want to change the world, but they do not always know how. We will share the expertise and inspire them for systematic changes. Experience has to be shared.