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  • CHORNOBYL CHRONICLECHILDREN OF CHORNOBYL RELIEF FUND NATIONAL NEWSLETTER Winter 2004 VOL. XXXI

    In the past month, the world haswitnessed a series of breathtaking events inUkraine that have inspired us with newhope for a democratic future. As thisChronicle goes to print, there are still tensof thousands of citizens of all ages andwalks of life assembling in the heart ofKyiv, braving the cold, demanding changeand insisting on truth. Our Kyiv office isjust a few blocks from IndependenceSquare, the site of the huge encampmentthat has captured the attention of the world.All of us share a deep concern for the safe-ty and well-being of our friends, our part-ners, and our families.

    Eighteen years ago, the Chornobylnuclear disaster shook the very foundationsof the Soviet Union. It spawned the firstgreat non-violent, democratic movement(RUKH) that eventually gave birth to anindependent Ukraine and helped to dis-member the Soviet Empire. That move-ment also gave birth to the Children ofChornobyl Relief Fund here in the UnitedStates. As we celebrate our 15thAnniversary, our hearts go out to the mil-lions of Ukrainians who have recognizedthe need for change and embraced theOrange Revolution.

    Many of the activists occupying thestreets of Kyiv and other cities ARE thechildren of Chornobyl. They are still con-fronting the human legacy of the world'sworst environmental accident and defyingthe system that put such a low value onhuman life as to allow such a disaster to

    happen. We have worked hard to save thelives of such children, and we continue ourmission as we aim to protect the next gen-eration from birth defects, AIDS, and a hostof other life-threatening illnesses that coulddecimate the Ukrainian population unlesswe in the West rise to the challenge. Givenbasic technology and training and hope, wehave seen our partners work wonders.Thanks to your generosity, they havereduced infant mortality and enabled chil-dren to overcome cancer. They have pro-vided corrective surgery for children withheart defects and facial deformities. Theyhave helped bring dignity to the lives of

    orphans and in some cases, removed thebureaucrats who would have let orphansand sick children live in squalor.

    Today, our mission is more impor-tant than ever. Despite the roadblocks thathave plagued their nation, the majority ofUkrainians have shown that they deservethe respect and the support of the worldcommunity. They aspire to forge a newnation where human rights are cherished,where courage and competency and initia-tive are rewarded. Ukrainians are striving tocreate a society where the needs and well-being of children are placed at a higherorder of priority, and it is our mission toprovide Ukraine's best and brightest withthe essential resources they need to protecthuman life and to create a decent future fortheir children.

    As we prepare to celebrate theChristmas holidays and welcome the newyear, we ask you to keep Ukraines childrenand young people in your prayers. Weextend our gratitude to the many donorswho have made it possible to bring truehealing to the children facing life-threaten-ing illnesses, and we are grateful for themany volunteers, doctors, and nurses whohave helped us to facilitate our programs inUkraine. We wish all of you a very joyousholiday season, and we pray that in thiscoming year, you will be blessed with thedeep satisfaction and the countless rewardsthat come with every act of charity. Maythe beauty of Christ's message inspire all ofus to greater acts of love.Kissing the Face of God by Morgan Weistling

    NATIONAL CONVENTION MARKS FIFTEENTH ANNIVERSARYOF FIRST MEDICAL MISSION TO UKRAINE

    Paul Speaker, the MC for the banquet, His Grace Metropolitan Archbishop StefanSoroka of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Nadia Matkiwsky, Alexander Kuzma, andDr. Zenon Matkiwsky stand beside the honorees: His Eminence Archbishop Antony

    of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Father Bohdan Lukie, former pastor of St.Johns Parish in Newark, and Tanya Fesenko Vena, the Funds Financial Officer.

    Romana Thibodeau speaks on the topic of corporate outreach. To her left are panel mem-bers Myron Holubiak, Board Member, Group President of HealthSTAR, Inc., and former

    President of Roche Laboratories; Leonard Mazur, Board Member, Chief Executive Officerof Genesis Pharmaceutical, Inc., and President of the Ukrainian-American Ps&BsAssociation; and Karina Tarnawsky, Eastern European Public Relations Specialist.

    From November 19 to the 21, theChildren of Chornobyl Relief Fund com-memorated the fifteenth anniversary of itsfirst medical shipment to Ukraine with aNational Convention at the RamadaConference Center in East Hanover, NewJersey. At its peak, the convention drewover 200 delegates, medical experts, and

    supporters from 12 states. The President of the Children of

    Chornobyl Relief Fund, Dr. ZenonMatkiwsky, opened the convention with aquote from the great anthropologistMargaret Meade: Never underestimate thepower of a small but determined group ofpeople to change the world. This quote

    appropriately describes the persistence andefforts of all the individuals who dedicatedtheir time and financial aid to the Childrenof Chornobyl Relief Fund throughout thepast 15 years, contributing to its recognitionas the leading Ukrainian-American organi-zation providing medical aid to children inUkraine. (continued on pg. 6 )

  • October 16, Kyiv - In celebration of fifteen years of humanitarian work in Ukraine,the Children of Chornobyl Relief Fund held a gala fundraiser graciously hosted by theUnited States Ambassador to Ukraine, the Honorable John Herbst, and his wife, Mrs.Nadia Herbst, at their private residence. This exclusive fundraiser raised enough moneyto purchase and deliver one neonatal respirator and one infant warmer to the ChernihivCity Maternity Hospital's NICU.

    The evening's program was directedby two masters of ceremonies: LubodarOlesnycky, the CEO of Micros RetailSystems, and Ostap Stupka, the renownedUkrainian actor of stage and screen.Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed thesounds of American jazz and the sight ofbeautiful art by Ukrainian and Georgianartists, on which they had a chance to bidduring the silent auction. A stunning RossSimon emerald ring with diamonds donatedby an anonymous donor sold for $1,500.

    This was the second fundraiser that the Children ofChornobyl Relief Fund has held in Kyiv. It provided agood opportunity to introduce the charity's mission to topexecutives in Kyivs business community. "We were pleas-antly surprised at the very positive response we receivedfrom the Kyiv international community. In addition toexpressing their support as private donors and corporatesponsors, it was encouraging to learn of how many peopleworking and living in Kyiv would like to continue to helpus save children's lives," said Nadia Matkiwsky, theFunds Co-Founder and Administrator.

    The Children of ChornobylRelief Fund expresses itssincere gratitude toAmbassador and Mrs. JohnE. Herbst for hosting thischaritable event, and to the Ukraine Advisory Board fortheir support and dedication in making this evening possi-ble. The Fund also thanks the international corporationsworking in Ukraine who stepped forward as sponsors,including Perry Construction, U.S. Optics, Unilever, MetroCash & Carry, which donated all of the evening's Frenchwine, The Kyiv Post, the Children of Chornobyl ReliefFund's exclusive Ukrainian media sponsor, AmericanMedical Centers, Winner Imports Ukraine, AES Ukraine,Premier Palace Hotel, Hetman-Furshet, Nestle Nutrition,British Airways, Radioaktive Films, Sandora, OTIS ZAT,Rubicon Capital, and Coca-Cola Beverages Ukraine.

    U.S. AMBASSADOR HOSTS FUNDRAISER FOR THE CHILDREN OF CHORNOBYL RELIEF FUND AT HIS HOME

    by Olena Nyzhnykevych

    Nadia Matkiwsky, Lubodar Olesnycky, Nadia Herbst, Ambassador John Herbst and Dr.Zenon Matkiwsky during the Funds fundraiser at the Ambassadors residence in Kyiv.

    The Funds Ukraine Advisory Board Member MyronRabij meets with Rodney Seddon of the Venik Trust andDr. Zenon Matkiwsky.

    Victoria Kravchuk, the FundsSecretary in Ukraine, showcases oneof the paintings that was sold duringthe silent auction.

    Olena Nyzhnykevych, the Funds In-Country Director, introduces JedSunden of The Kyiv Post, the Fundsexclusive media sponsor.

    Lubko and Ulana Mandrusiak meet with NadiaMoshcuk and her husband Anatoliy Moshchuk, thePresident of U.S. Optics, one of the events sponsors.

    Yaroslw Zakharov from Nestle takes a picture with OlyaDatsenko, the Funds Office Administrator in Ukraine,Lubodar Olesnycky, and Volodya Mitin of NZ Techno.

    The Children of ChornobylRelief Fund family is happyand proud to announce themarriage of our In-Country

    Director, Olena Welhasch toMr. Yuri Nyzhnykevych on

    November 27, 2004.Congratulations and many

    years of health and happiness!

    2

    In-Country Director Olena Nyzhnykevych stands withDeputy Yavorivsky , Dr. Millia Markiv, and the headof the neonatal intensive care unit from the YavorivCentral Regional Hospital at the opening of the NICU.

    May 25, Yavoriv - The Yavoriv CentralRegional Hospital held an official openingof its neonatal intensive care unit withDeputy Volodymyr Yavorivsky, theNational Deputy of the Yavoriv Region,in attendance. The event was marked bythe installation of two newly donatedpieces of equipment, including a refur-bished ARIDYNE Model 3100Compressor donated by Fischer & Paykelthrough NZ Techno, and a brand newhumidifier MR850 donated by Mr.Joseph Studholme of New Zealand. Thehospital staff was elated by this donationthat finally completed their unit and willallow them to save the lives of manymore children in the coming years.Additional equipment and supplies stillneeded at the Yavoriv hospital includetwo infant warmer