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An Update on the Emergency Support for Ukraine Initiative on the One-Year Anniversary of Russia’s Invasion

February 23, 2023
Update on the Emergency Support for Ukraine Initiative


Today, February 24, marks one year since the Russian Federation's unlawful invasion of Ukraine. Since the start of the war, American Councils has stood in solidarity with Ukraine and continues to provide support through several ingoing initiatives. This includes the Visiting Fellowship Awards for Ukrainian Displaced Scholars, activities from hundreds of alumni, and the Emergency Support for Ukraine initiative that has so far raised over $50,000 to support Ukrainian refugees, internally displaced people, and other communities impacted by the war.  


Through the Emergency Support for Ukraine Initiative and the generosity of hundreds of donors, American Councils has funded projects ranging from providing clothing, food, and other essentials to displaced people near Kyiv to purchasing medication for hospitals. Recently, the emergency initiative provided financial support to these two critical projects in Ukraine with the help of our alumni network.  


Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital of Ukraine 

Okhmatdyt Children's HospitalFrequent attacks on medical facilities have made providing essential care to the people of Ukraine extremely difficult. Ukraine’s largest children’s hospital, the Okhamatdyt Children’s Hospital, located in Kyiv, has been dramatically impacted by the Russian War against Ukraine. The hospital has remained open since the war started, helping the sick, wounded, and displaced children despite ongoing challenges to funding and operations.  

Dr. Valentyna Buyalo, a 2014 alumna of the Open World program, is a treating physician at the Girls and Adolescent Gynecology Department at the Okhamatdyt Children’s Hospital, specializing in OB.-GYN and ultrasound diagnostics. Through the Emergency Support for Ukraine Initiative, Dr. Buyalo secured funding to purchase diagnostic and supportive equipment to continue providing quality care to the women and children of Ukraine. American Councils supported the purchase of a colposcope, a gynecological examination chair, an examination light, and diagnostic software to replace older equipment. “Because the equipment will serve the hospital for many years, thousands of young female patients from around Ukraine will get better care, and the quality of future motherhood will improve, in many cases, supporting Ukrainian population development and a healthy future for Ukraine,” writes Dr. Buyalo. American Councils is proud to support the Okhamatdyt Children’s Hospital’s mission to improve medical care for women, children, and future mothers of Ukraine through the emergency fund. 

The Open World program that Dr. Buyalo participated in is funded by the United States Congress and is operated by the Congressional Office for International Leadership. 

Generators for Lviv City Council  Generators for Lviv City Council

On October 10, 2022, Ukraine suffered a massive missile strike largely aimed at critical infrastructure. Several powerful explosions were heard in the territory of Lviv, which caused damage to energy facilities. As a result, about 90% of the City of Lviv was without a power supply. Lviv saw a temporary lack of mobile and landline communications, issues with water access, and disruptions in the operation of thermal power plants. Though Lviv made extraordinary efforts to ensure the restoration of the city’s public services, the threat of another attack requires alternative infrastructure for Lviv.  

Olena Gunko, a Director of Information Technology for the Lviv City Council and alumna of the Professional Fellows Program (PFP), organized the purchase of five gasoline generators with assistance from the initiative. The generators will be used in “Unbreakable Points”—specially equipped social infrastructure buildings where residents of Lviv can access power when there is no electricity in the city. The generators have been installed throughout the city so when power is disrupted residents can visit the Unbreakable Points to access heat, charge their cell phones, and use the internet to communicate with their families. American Councils is grateful for the work of Olena and the City Council to support the people of Lviv. Read more about Olena’s work assisting internally displaced people in Lviv here.  

The Professional Fellows Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 

American Councils is incredibly grateful for the community support implemented by these generous alumni and the many individuals who contributed resources and time to the Emergency Support for Ukraine Initiative in the past year. Thank you, also, to the many individuals who have donated to this campaign to provide essential aid to Ukraine and its citizens affected by the war. 

By contributing to the American Councils Emergency Support for Ukraine Initiative, your U.S. tax-deductible donation will directly benefit efforts led by American Councils and the alumni of the educational and public diplomacy programs it administers to provide humanitarian support to those in Ukraine as well as refugees in Poland, Moldova, and elsewhere. Please contribute to the Emergency Support for Ukraine Initiative today to fund more projects like those produced by Valentyna and Olena here