With your support this year, we have connected people throughout the United States and throughout Ukraine who have worked together on a variety of projects that got citizens to be more involved and that made more voices be heard in conversations around the world. The post-Maidan generation is emerging, growing and learning. You make that happen when you make an introduction, participate in an event, and make a financial contribution.
CO-PILOT PROJECT (CPP)
In March, we kicked off the Co-Pilot Project (CPP). Surgeons from U.S. formed strong relationships with surgeons throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv, Lviv, Lutsk, and Odesa. Over a 3 month mission, they completed 40 major brain and spine operations with close to 10 different partners and became ever more convinced of the need to develop a fellowship program in Ukraine to supplement the woefully inadequate training that most young neurosurgeons receive.
Nearly $12,000 has been spent to date to help pay for implants and the costs of highly complex brain surgeries to help provide these life-saving operations for patients who otherwise cannot afford them.
We are also happy to announce that we have formed a partnership with Rutgers Medical School for a 2018 Neurosurgical Chief Resident Rotation program.
This summer, our Razom Toy Drive team partnered with the Big brother program of the Lviv Education Foundation. Razom volunteers organized a charity picnic in Central Park during which we collected $2,000 to fund ‘Big Brother’s’ social services programs. ‘Big Brother’ is a mentorship program for kids who lost their fathers in the war in eastern Ukraine.
The kids who participated in the program built chairs, which they got to take home, performed science experiments, went ice skating, did various arts and crafts, and learned useful skills like planning & reflecting on their days. Each child also received a goodie bag full of school supplies to take home with them. The mothers and mentors met with child psychologists to share ideas and discuss any challenges they face. Additionally, the kids, moms, and mentors volunteered together and helped a family in need with household chores like cleaning and painting.
Razom Culture brought a bewitching private performance of Dakha Brakha to Austin that benefited our Razom Partners. At a pop-up special night of outstanding Ukrainian music with Taras Chubai in September, a audience in New York enjoyed songs (and stories) that aren’t heard often (enough) and which are riveting – words written in the 1970’s in Ukraine and relevant to the US today.
Slava Vakarchuk, the frontman for the Ukrainian band Okean Elzy, and his compatriot, Fima Chupakhin, shared an intimate stage in New York performing a mix of jazz standards in a concert to benefit the Co-Pilot Project.
Razom Lounge at the St. George’s Ukrainian Festival attracted local New Yorkers with an interactive activity led by Sashko Danylenko, artist and TED Fellow, a chat with Fima Chupakhin about jazz from Kryvyi Rih to NYC, and a visit with Virlana Tkacz and actors from Yara Arts Group.
The Razom IT speaker series events featured Co-Founder and CEO of Ecoisme Ivan Pasichnyk discussing his path to the US market in the center of NYC, Hideez showcasing how they built a Ukrainian cybersecurity company that competes on the global market, and Volodymyr Potapenko discussing the challenges and opportunities of Ukraine’s IT outsourcing industry.
To give opportunities for Ukrainian startups and entrepreneurs to be placed front and center of the New York startup scene, Razom IT partnered with The Hatchery for the second time to bring a Ukrainian edition of a long-running NYC event “Are You Serious”. Five early-stage startups with Ukrainian roots presented their companies to a panel of investors tasked with giving their honest feedback about the startups’ technology, business, presentation, financial plan, marketing strategy, and more.
The Razom Think team launched a new report titled U.S. Policy on Ukraine: Challenges and Opportunities and held an event on Capitol Hill. Intended as a comprehensive survey for policymakers and their staff, the report offers both an analysis of current policy as well as concrete recommendations moving forward. The production team is composed of young policy professionals and graduate students with expertise in Ukrainian foreign affairs.
We held several discussions about modern Ukraine. Slava Vakarchuk and Olya Yarichkivska spoke about how to strengthen leaders in Ukraine through education. Activists-turned-bureaucrats-turned-activists Yulia Marushevska, Solomia Bobrovska and Lyuba Shipovich shared experiences of working as reformers in Ukraine.
Razomers guest taught a graduate school class at the School of International Training about activism for students from around the world including Burma, Brazil, Chile, Guinea, Yemen, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Afghanistan, and across the US including Massachusetts, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Connecticut, New Hampshire. For 4 hours, we discussed Razom’s history, goals and the motivations of individual volunteers.
As part of our Razom Partners program, we provided a $10,000 grant to the Support Hospitals in Ukraine project to deliver the fourth shipment of a container packed with medical equipment and supplies from the USA to hospitals in Ukraine.
In our second year of partnership with MathOlymp, we were very excited that the Ukrainian team placed 14 best in the world at the 58th International Mathematical Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro. Young mathletes received 1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal. Together we raised $8,500 to support the team’s travel expenses and participation fees.
We also fundraised $4,200 for Building Ukraine Together, a camp composed of volunteers from all parts of Ukraine, Russia and the US who help Ukrainians affected by the current crisis rebuild their homes.
Also, our long-running Partners program with Hromadske Radio raised $10,000 to support non-governmental and non-commercial radio programs that are heard throughout Ukraine on the airways and around the world through podcasts.
We are exited to launch Razom Ticket, an initiative with a mission to increase engagement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines among Ukrainian children. We strive to provide a head start for kids to the world of professional science, IT and entrepreneurship. In 2018 we plan to send students around Ukraine to participate in oblast and national academic olympiads. Over 15,000 was fundraised in 2017 for the program.
We will update the numbers and provide detailed financial overview when we close off our books in January 2018.
Thank you to our incredible volunteers and supporters who donated their time, smarts, and money to make all of this possible.