Few charities exclusively helping Ukraine can boast a track record that’s longer than the former Soviet republic’s existence as a nation. One of them is the Children of Chornobyl Relief and Development Fund, which will close its doors on Feb. 14.
The date is exactly 22 years since medical supplies were first airlifted and designated for children affected by the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear disaster.
“We’ve ‘run out of steam’ is what [co-founder] Nadia Matkiwsky said,” said country director Alexa Milanytch. “Besides, a charity exists to aid, not sustain. … It’s time for Ukraine to do it itself and there’s absolutely more than enough philanthropy (here) to take our place in Ukraine.”
Nobody knew in 1990 that 32 medical aid cargo flights and 18 sea shipments would follow, worth more than $63 million.