Young Entrepreneurs’ Not-for-Profit Raises Thousands to Send Aid to Civilian Groups in Ukraine
The story of our company, where we came from and where we are now. A look at Viktoriia's story, how we've become a C.I.C. and what that means for us.
Viktoriia Honcharuk, the founder of Supplies for Ukraine C.I.C., had a great childhood – growing up in a small Ukrainian town with a little farm near the family house which was home to chickens, ducks, rabbits, and plenty of other animals. They also had a big garden full of vegetables, fruit, and flowers. Many a weekend and evening were celebrated with a BBQ and drinks with the family. Now, the air is filled with the sounds of sirens and explosions and the once beautiful town is made up of fires, smoke and destroyed buildings.
Before the war, Viktoriia’s best friend, her sister, went to Kyiv to study at university, and after graduating, got a job in marketing. They’d often go travelling and attend rock concerts together. Now however, she specialises in pre-medical emergency response, treating soldiers and civilians in the hottest war areas in eastern Ukraine. She experiences the horrors of the war first hand every day with her troop.
Viktoriia’s mother was a primary school teacher, teaching language, science, maths, and arts to her students. She was passionate about her role and loved what she did. Now she’s a part of a civilian group, coordinating food, medicine, and protective gear for her local community – offering a sight of humanity to the people she helps.
Her father was a construction worker, proudly showing his abilities to the family by building a summer house in the garden that is a never-ending project filled with improvements each year. Aside from his construction work, he’s a passionate cook, being the chief of BBQs when the season came around. After the invasion started, he joined the army without a second thought. He’s now guarding the region Viktoriia calls home.
The fundraiser was set up so that Viktoriia could help her country, despite her being thousands of miles away finishing off her degree in the USA. She managed to raise thousands of dollars within a matter of days. After hearing what she had achieved, her friend Alfie Roberts, now the director of Supplies for Ukraine C.I.C., offered to help by creating a sister fundraiser in the UK for people to donate in pounds.
The fundraisers were so successful, that Alfie set up a limited company in the UK to add credibility and give a boost to the mission set out by Viktoriia. Since then, the company have sent hundreds of medical kits and even more tactical gear packages directly to the groups who need them across Ukraine. Shipments are made via a variety of volunteer networks, along with Alfie frequently flying parcels himself into Poland to be taken across the border into Ukraine. In Ukraine, the company works with local delivery services to get the supplies across the country. However, last month, Viktoriia visited Ukraine for six weeks and helped distribute supplies across the country with her family - experiencing first-hand the horrors Ukrainians are seeing every day.
As of July 2022, the company became officially recognised as a not-for-profit company in the United Kingdom. As a Community Interest Company (C.I.C.), they are a limited company with no share capital that is dedicated to public benefit rather than private gain. This means that any money made goes back into the company to further its cause. The official recognition from the UK government is a big step forward for Supplies for Ukraine C.I.C. and will help them with fundraising and expanding their reach to more people in need.