15 years of Rinat Akhmetov Foundation: a million lives saved
At the beginning of August, one of the largest programs of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation — the Humanitarian Center — marked the anniversary of its creation. During even the most serious period, the most needy residents of Donbass received assistance.
– Simultaneously with the evacuation of people from hot spots, the first convoys of trucks with humanitarian aid from Rinat Akhmetov went to the Donbass. Thousands of tons of food and medicine were continuously delivered to the conflict zone by hundreds of vehicles. The geography of aid delivery was constantly growing. At the same time, the Foundation studied and analyzed the situation and needs of civilians. After receiving this data, Rinat Akhmetov instructed to create a Humanitarian Center. All resources – human and material, were thrown to help Donbass, - Natalya Yemchenko, a member of the Supervisory Board of the Fund said.
The lives of more than a million people on both sides of the contact line were saved during the operation of the Center. More than 12.5 million survival kits were delivered to people residing in the conflict zone. To do this, the Foundation together with the Kyiv International Institute of sociology conducted a large qualitative study, as a result, a scientific approach to providing assistance was developed.
- Opinion polls were conducted in all settlements of Donbass. Based on these data, the Fund conditionally identified three groups, depending on the complexity of the situation. It is clear that first aid was delivered to places where people could not survive without it. They hid in basements without light, water, or food. And our volunteers, despite the attacks, made their way to people and delivered the most necessary things, - Natalya Yemchenko explained.
Volunteers, including those from Avdiivka, played a special role in the work of the Humanitarian Center. Everyone here knows what pain and suffering are.
– There was a period when there was no water or electricity in Avdiivka, shops were not working, and the nearest ones were in another city, at a distance of several tens of kilometers. Then Rinat Akhmetov's Humanitarian Cebter came to save Avdiivka residents. The aid was delivered even in the most difficult times for the city, Borys Karmazin, Director of Personnel and Social Affairs of Avdiivka coking plant recalled.
Rinat Akhmetov's aid remained in the memory of the region's residents. People remember queuing up for food packages, including women with babies – such as Natalya Andrienko from Avdiivka, a mother of three children. The youngest, the son Eldar, was born after the beginning of the armed conflict.
– It was the most difficult pregnancy for me. The stress was constant because of the shooting. The birth of a baby has further aggravated the situation, because newborns require special care and nutrition. Then Rinat Akhmetov Foundation became a real friend of our family. Thanks to Rinat Leonidovich for the constant support, - Natalya said.
Thanks to Rinat Akhmetov's aid, a ray of hope shone for those who survive in the "grey zone" and on the contact line. The Foundation's work is the ability to warm people with its warmth and love in the most terrible days. To give confidence that no one will be left without aid. This is a unique experience of rescue in an armed conflict. About 12.5 million survival kits were delivered to the region's most needy residents. This is more than 134 thousand tons of products. These were more than 6,700 loaded trucks, the convoys of which would stretch for almost 100 kilometers. A million lives saved thanks to the power of help of one person's – Rinat Akhmetov.