Categories
News Humanitarian/Medical

CUSAP – EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVE FOR UKRAINIAN DOCTORS

The Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) has supported surgical missions to Ukraine, under the leadership of Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn, since 2014 to treat those who suffered severe injuries during the Revolution of Dignity in 2013 and subsequent war in Eastern Ukraine. In 2019, a partnership between CUF and the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre was initiated to support training the next generation of Ukrainian doctors by providing comprehensive education in reconstructive surgery.

The educational aspect has seen Ukrainian surgeons join the missions of the Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program (CUSAP) to learn first-hand how to operate in a multidisciplinary team environment and gain skills, knowledge, and expertise to help patients locally.

Since launching the educational component, over 40 Ukrainian surgeons and physicians have joined CUSAP missions. The doctors from Ukraine are involved in every stage of patient care; they participate in pre-operative patient consults with the Canadian medical team, observe and assist in surgeries, and help care for patients after their operations. The Ukrainian doctors also gain in-depth knowledge of each patient’s treatment plan, which includes follow-up procedures completed in Ukraine as part of the multi-stage surgical plan.

Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn believes that surgery is an important aspect of the humanitarian initiative, but an overarching goal is to build capacity in Ukraine, so that doctors can become self-sufficient and perform advanced procedures locally going forward.

Ukrainian surgeons are extremely grateful for the opportunity to enhance their practical and professional skills and benefit from observerships and mentorships with Canadian volunteers.

A few words from some of the Ukrainian surgeons…

Providing advanced hands-on surgical experience to Ukrainian doctors in the time of war is crucial. We are grateful to all who supported and continue to support CUSAP, and we value our partnership with the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Together, we can make a real difference and bring hope and healing through life-changing surgeries and education!


Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program – CUSAP is a humanitarian surgical aid initiative that provides life-changing care to patients affected by the war in Ukraine. To learn more and support, follow the link.

Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) – founded in 1995, CUF has a strong track record of providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine in the areas of healthcare, education and civil society. CUF collaborates with aid providers in Ukraine, Canada, and beyond to maximize impact and cost-effectiveness of your support. For more information, please follow the link.

Categories
News Humanitarian/Medical

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF CUSAP VOLUNTEERS

Follow the team and experience a day in the life of volunteers of the Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program, supported by the Canada-Ukraine Foundation. Watch as the multidisciplinary group of surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, and nurses undertake highly complex procedures and look after the patients’ health with skill and compassion. For each mission, CUSAP surgeons perform dozens of extremely complicated surgeries that can last up to ten hours. Highly skilled internists and nurses monitor the patients’ condition to ensure they heal and thrive after surgeries. The medical professionals are assisted by a group of support staff, who allow everything from transport to tech to run smoothly. Each member of the CUSAP initiative plays an integral role in ensuring the success of the missions.

This fifth humanitarian surgical mission in Poland, was joined by eleven surgeons, five anesthetists, five intensivists, thirteen operating room nurses, seventeen ward nurses, an occupation therapist, and a psychologist. The team works around the clock to deliver quality care to injured Ukrainians. Everything is planned and executed with the utmost care and precision, from scheduling surgeries, ordering medications, and coordinating with Polish and Ukrainian officials.

We are deeply grateful that CUSAP volunteers are able to commit their time and skills to this program. It is only because of their dedication and passion that this humanitarian assistance program can exist. They are indeed providing transformative care to so many.

Hundreds of volunteers and thousands of donors have been involved in the CUSAP initiative, impacting the lives of Ukrainian victims of war. We invite you to make your mark of hope by donating today to support CUSAP. Together, we can make a real difference and bring hope and healing through life-changing surgeries!


Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program – CUSAP is a humanitarian surgical aid initiative that provides life-changing care to patients affected by the war in Ukraine. To learn more and support, follow the link.

Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) – founded in 1995, CUF has a strong track record of providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine in the areas of healthcare, education and civil society. CUF collaborates with aid providers in Ukraine, Canada, and beyond to maximize impact and cost-effectiveness of your support. For more information, please follow the link.

Categories
News Humanitarian/Medical

CANADA UKRAINE SURGICAL AID PROGRAM – CUSAP WELCOMES THE AMBASSADOR OF CANADA TO UKRAINE IN POLAND

On Thursday, April 25th, we were honoured to welcome Her Excellency Natalka Cmoc, the Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine, on the fifth mission of the Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program (CUSAP).

The Ambassador was greeted at the mission host hospital, Powiatowy Zespół Zakładów Opieki Zdrowotnei, in Czeladź, Poland, where CUSAP missions have been held since the fall of 2022. Hospital Administration and the Polish medical team spoke to the Ambassador about how meaningful it is to them to host the CUSAP missions and be a part of the team assisting Ukrainians in the time of war.

Ambassador Cmoc toured the ward, which the Polish team refers to as the “Canada wing,” and met with Ukrainian patients, who shared their personal stories and how eagerly they await the next steps in their recovery. 

The Ambassador spoke to the CUSAP multidisciplinary medical team and thanked them for volunteering their time and skills to help Ukraine’s victims of war. Only 12% of CUSAP medical professionals are of Ukrainian background, others are returning volunteers, who are driven by the overwhelming need in Ukraine. All of our dedicated medical staff are passionate about the impact their work has on the quality of life of so many patients.

Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn, founder and head surgeon of CUSAP, spoke about the education component of these missions. He explained that surgeons and physicians from Ukraine join our volunteers to observe, assist, learn new technologies, and acquire skills and knowledge to bring back to Ukraine to help patients locally.

Olesia Luciw-Andryjowycz, a Director on the Board of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation, which has funded these surgical missions since 2014, thanked Ambassador Cmoc for a very special visit to the fifth CUSAP mission and for witnessing our volunteers’ work first-hand. She also showed her appreciation to the hospital management for opening their doors to the Canadian team and Ukrainian patients.

Ambassador Cmoc said, “The Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program is an outstanding example of how Canadian volunteers support Ukrainian doctors and Ukrainian patients. In the past 10 years, volunteer medical professionals from Canada have provided invaluable support to more than 280 trauma patients from Ukraine. This is remarkable cooperation – Ukrainian doctors collect complete medical history for every patient and help coordinate preparation for the surgeries, take part in the surgeries and oversee the rehabilitation. Under the impact of war, they are the people who will take trauma care and post-trauma reconstruction in Ukraine to a new level. The surgeries here are life-changing. Ukrainian patients would not be able to receive full treatment like this in Ukraine at this time. Every case is very complex, but all the patients without exception are optimistic and incredibly strong. They know they are not alone and in good hands. I wholeheartedly wish them full recovery. According to the surgeons, several years ago most of the patients in these missions were veterans. Now there are more and more civilians with severe traumas. It reflects the scale and toll of Russian war in Ukraine.”


Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program – CUSAP is a humanitarian surgical aid initiative that provides life-changing care to patients affected by the war in Ukraine. To learn more and support, follow the link.

Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) – founded in 1995, CUF has a strong track record of providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine in the areas of healthcare, education and civil society. CUF collaborates with aid providers in Ukraine, Canada, and beyond to maximize impact and cost-effectiveness of your support. For more information, please follow the link.

Categories
News Humanitarian/Medical

ONE PATIENT’S JOURNEY WITH THE CANADA UKRAINE SURGICAL AID PROGRAM

The Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program (CUSAP) provides comprehensive surgical assistance to Ukraine’s victims of war. CUSAP takes on the most complicated patient cases from the Russian invasion that, at this time, would not be able to receive full treatment in Ukraine. All patients treated on CUSAP surgical missions have suffered ballistic trauma from firearms or munition.

Since the establishment of CUSAP in 2014, a multidisciplinary team of Canadian medics has treated 286 patients with multiple complex injuries, each requiring several operations and procedures.

Serhii was a patient on missions 3 (April 2023) and 4 (September 2023) in Poland. He suffered a mine-blast injury on November 24, 2022. Serhii was left with severe damage to his spine, a shrapnel injury to the back wall of his chest, and serious trauma to his upper and lower extremities, including a traumatic amputation of his lower left leg and a gunshot fracture of his right femur and left humerus and scapula. He also sustained shrapnel injuries to both forearms. 

Those of us without medical training cannot fully understand the extent of Serhii’s injuries. However, we can all sympathize with his horrific experience and long and challenging journey to recovery.

With the care and skill of the CUSAP team and Serhii’s resilience and determination, Serhii has now taken his first steps since the injury.



Serhii had two very complicated surgeries during the third mission and another two procedures during mission four performed by CUSAP‘s multidisciplinary team of surgeons. His right leg was saved. This is him now:


“Serhii is representative of the people of Ukraine. He has made a personal sacrifice for his community and country and indeed the global community of such magnitude we might only imagine. I am extremely lucky to have met him, and that he was willing to allow me and our team to help him through this process. For all that he’s done and been through I am in awe and feel privileged to have participated in his care. I look forward to watching him through his recovery and to meet again someday soon.“ – Dr. Graham, orthopedic surgeon from Winnipeg who led Serhii’s case.


Over the last decade, hundreds of volunteers and thousands of donors have been involved in the CUSAP initiative, impacting the lives of Ukrainian victims of war. We invite you to continue leaving your mark of hope by donating today to support CUSAP. Together, we can make a real difference, bring hope and healing through life-changing surgeries!

Categories
News Humanitarian/Medical

CANADA UKRAINE SURGICAL AID PROGRAM – CUSAP ANNOUNCES ITS 5TH SURGICAL MISSION IN POLAND

The Canada Ukraine Surgical Aid Program (CUSAP), a project of the Canada-Ukraine foundation (CUF), is pleased to announce its 5th medical mission in Poland, taking place from April 19 to May 8.  

CUSAP is a nonprofit program. Its volunteers aim to provide comprehensive state-of-the-art multidisciplinary trauma care and post-trauma reconstruction to both civilian and military casualties of war in Ukraine and to support Ukrainian healthcare professionals through education in trauma reconstruction. Canada-Ukraine Foundation has funded this life-changing surgical assistance program since 2014. The upcoming April-May mission will mark the 12th mission supported by CUF (7 run in Ukraine before the full-scale invasion).

Over the last decade, hundreds of volunteers have been involved in the CUSAP initiative, impacting the lives of thousands of Ukrainian victims of war. CUSAP’s purpose is to provide patients sustainable, quality care with compassion and integrity.  

The April-May mission will have a team of 60 volunteers, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, ICU-intensive care physicians, internists, OR and ward nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, and support staff.  
The incoming trauma patients will receive complete assessment, including psychological, necessary scans, lab work, post-operative assessment, pharmaceutical medications, and referrals for psychological and physiological rehabilitation. CUSAP patients sustain some of the most severe injuries from the war and require complex reconstructive surgeries, including craniofacial, microsurgical, orthopaedic, and extremity procedures. The entire cost of care and treatment is funded by donations to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation / CUSAP.  

In addition, a team of biomedical engineers will be partnering to create necessary 3D custom models and implants to ensure the best results in reconstructive surgeries. The team will work side by side with Ukrainian surgeons and physicians, providing hands-on training and mentorship.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the donors for their unwavering support, which has made the missions possible. Your contributions are the lifeline that allows us to change lives one surgery at a time. We invite you to continue leaving your mark of hope by donating today to support CUSAP. Together, we can make a real difference!

Categories
News Humanitarian/Medical

CUF-UCC UKRAINE HUMANITARIAN APPEAL AIDS THE “CITY OF GOODNESS”

“Every person is a story, and we try to ensure that every Ukrainian child’s story who we care for becomes a good story,” says Marta Levchenko, founder of the shelter and rehabilitation centre City of Goodness in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

As a teenager, Marta Levchenko volunteered with Roma children in Zakarpattia region and with women who had experienced domestic violence. Years later, in 2018, her foundation established the City of Goodness to help mothers escaping domestic violence or living in poverty and unable to provide for their children. The shelter provides not only temporary accommodation for those women and their children but also professional psychotherapy, medical care, education, professional training and assists with finding employment, so that these women could get back on their feet and start their lives anew with their children. The mission of the shelter is to help women so that they could keep their children and be able to care for and raise them well.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the City of Goodness has also opened its doors to the internally displaced from across Ukraine, including the territories occupied by the Russian Federation.

The Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal — a joint effort of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) — has recently provided a grant to the City of Goodness. The grant has helped provide shelter, food, and medicines to 400 people, including internally displaced women with children, the elderly, victims of domestic violence, and orphans from Odesa and Mykolaiv regions. The shelter has also taken in 35 homeless pets that have since become therapy animals to young residents of the City of Goodness.


Additionally, with the funds raised at a concert in Montreal for the City of Goodness, another grant was given to the shelter to help cover the construction of a centralized water and sewage system for their new building (hospice) as well as an elevator platform.

Sofia Yatsyuk, organizer of the fundraiser in Montreal, visiting the “City of Goodness”

The City of Goodness is a shelter and rehabilitation center that sets a high standard and is a role model for other regions of Ukraine to follow. Managers from the social sector come to learn about the shelter’s broad spectrum of services provided under “one roof,” The organization’s all-encompassing procedures and management style have made it a success story for so many.

Last year, the City of Goodness received a medical license and became a robust ecosystem, employing psychologists and rehabilitation specialists. “Little Domna, who is being raised by her grandmother, could not sit up on her own. Recently, she stood on her own for the first time,” says Levchenko proudly. “Thanks to the donors, we were able to buy a leg implant for Domna.”

For her significant achievements in the charitable sector, Marta Levchenko was included in the Ukrainian Pravda 100 Power of Women, dedicated to women who are saving Ukraine now. 

Marta Levchenko with the residents of the “City of Goodness”

Your donations to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal support projects like the City of Goodness, they change lives of so many for the better, they provide safety, shelter and care – thank you!

Categories
News

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Oleksandra Matviichuk Canadian Speaking Tour

TORONTO (March 15, 2024) – On March 15, the Canada-Ukraine Foundation announced the coming Canada speaking tour of 2022 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Oleksandra Matviichuk.  The Kyiv-based human rights lawyer heads up the Centre for Civil Liberties (Ukraine) Foundation, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022 for work in cataloguing Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

The Canadian speaking tour is sponsored by the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF). Through multiple events in four Canadian cities, Ms. Matviichuk will be raising awareness to the plight of the thousands of Ukrainian children stolen by Russia, the impact of the war on women and children, and her ongoing work in cataloguing human rights abuses and war crimes. Funds raised through the tour will support the two foundations.

Date breakdown

A detailed itinerary will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.

Ottawa

June 3-5

Montreal

June 6

Toronto

June 6-8

Winnipeg

June 8-9

We are honoured to partner with Oleksandra Matviichuk and the Ukrainian Centre for Civil Liberties. Their work in cataloguing war crimes is essential and will constitute a critical part of the Nuremburg Trials against Kremlin officials once this war is over.

The war isn’t over. With each day it continues, more children are being abducted by Russia and sent to filtration camps or re-education centres. This horrendous crime must be better understood.

Biographical notes

Oleksandra Matviichuk attended Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, graduating in 2007 when she was conferred a LL.M. specializing in human rights law. She started working for the non-profit Centre for Civil Liberties upon its founding in 2007, when it was established. In 2012, she became a member of the Advisory Council under the Commissioner for Human Rights of Ukraine’s parliament. In 2017, she became the first woman to participate in the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program of Stanford University.  Since October 2022, she has been Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). In addition to the Nobel Peace Prize, which she received in 2022 on behalf of the Centre for Civil Liberties, her honours include, inter alia:

Categories
News

Canadians Rally to Support Ukraine: A Testament to Generosity and Solidarity

Canadians Rally to Support Ukraine: A Testament to Generosity and Solidarity

March 25, 2024

In an unprecedented wave of support, Canadians have contributed a staggering $87 million to aid Ukraine amidst its crisis. This initiative, powered by the Canada Ukraine Foundation, highlights not just the financial generosity but also the quick mobilization to provide essential services and support on the ground, outpacing even global organizations.

Key efforts include the rehabilitation of veterans, extensive medical care through the Canada-Ukraine Surgical Aid Program, and immediate and long-term support for Ukrainian refugees within Canada. From medical equipment donations to comprehensive rehabilitation and support services, Canadians have showcased a remarkable commitment to helping those in need.

As the situation in Ukraine evolves, so does the commitment of Canadians to provide ongoing support, demonstrating a powerful bond of humanity and solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

Categories
News

$4 MILLION WINTERIZATION to support the most vulnerable in Ukraine

This is Ukraine’s second winter amid full-scale war – its civilian infrastructure continues to be targeted by the Russian missile and drone attacks. Lives are cut short, and millions remain in dire need of humanitarian aid.

Since late November of last year, the CUF-UCC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal has been running its second Winterization program in Ukraine in response to the local needs identified by our long-term partners on the ground. The program was tailored to help the most vulnerable population in Ukraine residing predominantly along the frontlines (Kharkivska, Donetska, Dnipropetrovska, Zaporizka, Sumska, Mykolaivska oblasts, etc.) as well as those internally displaced to central and western regions of Ukraine.

Winterization program 2024:

  • 30,000 food boxes to sustain over 100,000 people
  • Essential and emergency medicines to dozens of hospitals and clinics
  • 2,400 beds with mattresses and bedding sets
  • 3,000 wood-burning stoves
  • 6,000 blankets
  • Hygiene products to tens of thousands of disabled, bedridden and newborns
  • Christmas gifts to over 1,000 children in shelters

Where possible, our projects were sourced (produce for food boxes) and manufactured (beds, bedding, blankets and stoves) locally to support the country and its people from within.

“Last year, when we identified the need for stoves and received a grant from CUF to do the project, it not only provided a source of heat to people in need, it also helped a local manufacturer of stoves survive,” said Olena Prevarska, project manager, Youth Movement “Be Free”. “Since then, the company has improved its manufacturing process and is now working on multiple orders.” 

This life-sustaining assistance through the CUF-UCC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal would not be possible without our donors – thank you for supporting our continuous humanitarian efforts in Ukraine!

OCHA (The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) estimates that 14.6 million people in Ukraine (over 40% of current population) will be in need of humanitarian aid in 2024 – please keep supporting Ukrainians by donating to Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal!

Background

Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal (UHA) was launched in January of 2022 by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) and the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) to coordinate the provision of humanitarian assistance quickly and efficiently to civilians impacted by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, including relief for displaced persons in Europe and Canada.

Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) – founded in 1995, CUF has a strong track record of providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine in the areas of healthcare, education and civil society. CUF collaborates with aid providers in Ukraine, Canada, and beyond to maximize impact and cost-effectiveness of ur support.

Categories
News

Over $70 million in humanitarian aid reaches Ukrainians over the two years since russia’s full-scale invasion

On the eve of the 2nd anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Canada-Ukraine Foundation with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress held a joint press conference to provide an update on humanitarian programming delivered through Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal over the two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Thanks to our Donors’ generous support, a total of $67 million was raised for humanitarian works through the CUF-UCC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, supplemented by $20 million in in-kind donations. Over the same two-year time frame, more than $70 million has been disbursed in humanitarian programming in Ukraine and its near-abroad.

The primary focus of the humanitarian relief efforts has been in the areas of food security, medical care, emergency shelter and mental health support for people in Ukraine, and for displaced Ukrainians in neighbouring countries and Canada. To see the details on the types of aid deployed since February of 2022, please follow the link to a full press releaseThis would not have been possible without the continuous generosity of our Donors – thank you!

Over 6 million people fled Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale war on February 24, 2022. As of January 27th, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, over 220,000 Ukrainians found refuge in Canada under the CUAET visa. Ontario and Alberta have taken in over 60% of all new arrivals with 40% and 22% respectively. Quebec, British Columbia and Manitoba have each taken in 10% of CUAET holders.

Shortly after the Government of Canada opened temporary sheltering visas (CUAET) to Ukrainians fleeing the war, the Displaced Ukrainians Appeal was launched under the umbrella of the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal and has since raised $3.1 million in donations from donors across Canada.

Approximately $2 million have been dispersed or committed so far through over 30 humanitarian projects in 6 Canadian provinces, supporting displaced Ukrainians – mainly women with children and the elderly, with a focus on food security, shelter, and psychosocial support such as trauma counselling and employment assistance.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (February 15, 2024), intensified air strikes and hostilities continue to have a grave humanitarian impact on the civilian population and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. The need for humanitarian aid remains critical – on this 2nd anniversary of the full-scale invasion, please #StandWithUkraine and make a donation to support our vital work!

View News Coverage