Civil Society Humanitarian/Medical News

CUF supports humanitarian demining in Ukraine: “Let’s Clean Donbas Together” Project

The Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) announced on November 5, 2021, its support of a project to demine agricultural lands in Eastern Ukraine to make them available for use by the local citizens. CUF has donated $13,000 USD to support the “Let’s Clean Donbas Together” project mounted by the Ukrainian Deminers Association (UDA). The European Union is also contributing 40% of the total project cost towards this critical initiative.

“We at the Canada-Ukraine Foundation understand the great significance that demining of arable lands has for the local civilian population living in demilitarized zones. These lands provide them with the ability to feed their families and sell their surplus harvest for their livelihoods” – said Major (Retired) Oksana Kuzyshyn, CD1, Chief Operating Officer and Chair of the Civil Society Committee at the Canada-Ukraine Foundation. “This project will also help raise the profile of the landmine issue in Ukraine and bring it to broader public attention and the attention of the Ukrainian government for funding”.

The war in Donbas has resulted in large swaths of lands seeded with land mines, thus rendering them useless and dangerous for citizens living in the region. Some 21,000 km2 of land have been so armed; 7,000 km2. in Ukrainian controlled regions and 14,000 km2 currently under Russian Federation proxy control. Although the Ukrainian Armed Forces have demined some areas for their specific purposes, local inhabitants have no safe access to the remaining lands and are left to their own devices, many nonprofessional and dangerous. These lands represent an untapped resource that has added to the region’s economic deprivation and physical hardship.

The Ukrainian Deminers Association (UDA) had approached the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) to participate in the very important work of helping to demine land surrounding two villages, thereby releasing the lands for agricultural use. The UDA is a Ukrainian NGO established in 2018 to help reclaim some of these unusable mined lands and raise awareness among the population of the dangers inherent in living in a heavily mined territory. The group proposed to clear some 200,000 m2 of land surrounding the villages of the Mariupol region in the Donetsk Oblast, with a combined population of 21,000. This pilot project will raise awareness of the local population regarding land mines and will give them access to cultivate and harvest these otherwise unusable lands.

“The ‘Let’s Clean Donbas Together’ project is about human life and socio-economic revival of a region in Eastern Ukraine. It’s also about Ukrainian deminers. Moreover, this project brings the attention of the public and the world community to the current problem of Ukrainians. We truly thank the Canadian-Ukrainian Foundation for its vital support” – said Tymur Pistriuha, Executive Director and Head of the Ukrainian Deminers Association.

CUF will continue to raise funds for the “Let’s Clean Donbas Together” project. Organizations, corporations, and individuals are welcome to support this effort to the CUF General Fund with the “Let’s Clean Donbas Together” project in the memo or by contacting the Canada-Ukraine Foundation.

More photos (photo credit: “Ukrainian Deminers Association”)

Civil Society News

Civil Society Committee Update


The CUF Civil Society Committee was formed as one of three programming committees to provide a framework for review and support of projects and programs that promote social justice and sustainable development in a free and democratic Ukraine. According to UNDP Ukraine, “A Civil society is a domain/area of social/civil relations beyond the household/family, state and business, where people get together to satisfy and/or promote joint interests and to defend common values.”

Our mission is to support, enable and empower individuals and organizations in Ukraine to implement just, transparent, inclusive and democratic national policies, in efforts to contribute to sustainable development and enhance a learning culture for a civil society.

During the pandemic our committee met through zoom to develop our charter and plan our activities for the next three years. We actively participated in CUF’s Strategic Planning process to ensure that our committee’s activities were aligned with CUF’s overarching strategy. As part of our contribution to the Strategic Planning process, we invited a guest speaker from Ukraine, Natalia Nemyliwska, a Canadian-Ukrainian who has been living in Ukraine since 2004. Natalia is the Director of the Economic Prosperity and Investment Committee at the Ukrainian World Congress and headed the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Kyiv from 2011-2017. Natalia’s main areas of expertise include security and defence policy and strategic communication. Natalia updated our committee on the current status of civil society in Ukraine and provided insight into how we in the Canadian diaspora could contribute to their efforts.

Our work was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic but we did not stop our efforts to provide support. In a collaborative effort with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress we were able to raise $25K to support relief initiatives for residents affected by the devastating flooding of the Dnister, Prut and Cheremosh rivers. Partnering with Caritas we were able to provide building materials for the reconstruction and overhaul of flood damaged houses and their preparation for the upcoming winter. Household supplies and sanitary kits (bedding, cleaning supplies, medical masks, gloves and sanitizers were some of the items provided to affected residents.

Flood Relief Project

CUF partnered with HelpAge Canada in support of Seniors in Eastern Ukraine. The Senior’s Relief Project focused on reaching conflict affected older women and men located on the Government Controlled Area side of the contact line within 0-5km from the line of contact to support them with COVID-19 adapted Hygiene kits and advocacy messaging provided through the UNOCHA Protection Cluster (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs). CUF donated $7,600 towards this initiative.

Civil Society

Petition To Have The Word “Holodomor” Included In The World’s Dictionaries

“#Deeptruth” Campaign by the National Holodomor Awareness Tour

Cutting-edge “Deepfake” technology is typically used to manipulate the truth and promote lies through video manipulation. HNAT has launched #Deeptruth, which delivers a compelling twist: employing Deepfake to tell the truth about the Holodomor genocide in Ukraine — from the man who perpetrated it: Joseph Stalin.

Using rare colour film footage of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet dictator’s features have been painstakingly mapped onto the face of a modern-day actor, effectively bringing Stalin back to life. In the video, Stalin lays claim to his right to be credited as the true originator of “Fake News” by denying the Holodomor and successfully concealing from the world how he engineered the famine in Ukraine in 1932-1933, killing millions of innocent men, women and children.

Sign the online petition to have the word “Holodomor” recognized by Oxford, Merriam-Webster, and


Civil Society

Project Liubov – Love

Project Liubov-Love (in short form PLL) was created in 2001 as a Western Canadian community based project to assist impoverished children and youth in Ukraine.

PLL especially assists “the poorest of the poor” in orphanages, homes for street kids, schools and school residences (“internaty”) and rehabilitation and medical centers. The age of the children ranges from newborns to 16 years. Some 25 different centres in various oblasts of Ukraine are the recipients of the assistance. PLL is affiliated with the CANADA UKRAINE FOUNDATION, INC (CUF), the premier Ukrainian Canadian agency that facilitates numerous creative projects from Canada to Ukraine.

PLL is based out of Winnipeg with a Board of eight members and is coordinated by Prof. Roman Yereniuk, a well known educator at the University of Manitoba and St. Andrew’s College. He has travelled extensively to Ukraine on educational, civil society, election monitoring and humanitarian projects. Roman has visited all of the institutions in Ukraine that receive aid and assistance from PLL.  PLL delivers much of its aid to the various institutions with parcels of clothing and footwear, educational supplies, hobby and art projects and sports equipment. In the last year, PLL has added a centre for the displaced youth and parents from south-eastern Ukraine, now living in Lviv. For the medical institutions, PLL subsidizes medicine, medical supplies and equipment in Chernivtsi, Kyiv, Uzhorod.  

ANNUAL REPORT July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014 – Our Thirteenth Year Since Inception (2001)

Donations and Income:

  • Collected 28  lists of donations of some 308 donors (individuals, families, churches, organizations and small businesses) for a total of $31,169 (the donors included some 37 organizations and churches),
  • Received in-kind gifts (mostly gently used clothing, school, sport and hobby supplies) and valued at $1050,
  • Received 180 pieces of newly knitted scarves, mitts and hats from two donors.

Expenditures and Assistance Provided to Children and Youth inUkraine:

  • Shipped to 25 orphanages, homes for street kids, public and residential schools (“internaty”) and medical centres some 113 parcels weighing 1470 kilos
  • Shipped another 12 parcels (135 kilos) of gently used clothing and other supplies to Ukraine (all donated and sent by local community organizations),
  • Purchased some $4300 worth of clothing and $1550 worth of footwear,
  • Provided some $5100 worth of school supplies, stationery, hobby and art supplies,
  • Provided books valued at $1600 (including a major shipment of” MY ICON BOOK” published by the UWAC –National Executive),
  • Provided recreational toys and sport supplies
  • Provided for medical aid and treatments to the Chernivtsi NGO – “Podaryi Dytyni Zhyttia – Grant a Child Life” (assistance was provided for 14 children with cancer and leukemia)
  • Provided bursaries for students in Ukraine.

A special Thank you – “Podiaka “is extended to all the donors of funds as well as those that supplied donations-in-kind. A fundraiser for PLL was held in Vancouver in Oct. 2014 where the power point story of PLL was presented. We also honoured some 35 major donors from British Columbia, in the various categories, and further funds for PLL were received (this event was organized by Zennie Cherak).  A special thanks is extended to Nettie Chernitenski in Saskatoon and Zennie Cherak in Vancouver, who have accomplished major clothing collections in these two cities and sent out parcels under our auspices. Another “podiaka” is extended to the PLL Advisory Committee of nine people who have contributed greatly to the success of PLL and include: Nathan Martindale, Donna Kowalishen, Allen Hohol, Cec Kachkowski, Elaine Maksymiuk, Zennie Cherak, Victor Corroll and Karen Inskip.

Dr. Roman Yereniuk, Co-ordinator of PLL

This well-established, operated out of Winnipeg, supports a series of orphanages in Ukraine by providing needed clothing and basic supplies.

Orphans supported by Project Liubov

Liubov Orphans

Project Liubov