IFFR brings warmth and cheer to children in Ukraine

Thanks to the generosity of Flying Rotarians all around the world who have contributed to our Ukraine relief fund and the service of members of the Swiss Section, we have been able to bring warmth and some Christmas cheer to 140 children in Ukraine.


The Ukraine Squadron is currently sponsored by the Swiss Section, and Nik Amman, Chair of the Swiss Section, is is regular contact with Ihor Ihor Zembovych, Chair of the Ukraine Squadron. Nik received word of a project being run by Rotary District 2232 (Ukraine) to help children caught in the war front area of Ukraine and they decided they wanted to help.


In November 2022, it was Nik and Manuel Meier from the Swiss Section and myself who travelled to Lviv for the Charter Meeting. Just over a year later, Manuel was able to make a return journey. This time, he was part of a delegation helping an initiative run by Rotary District 2232 that made a much more arduous two day journey into the heart of Ukraine. He was carrying with him the Swiss Santa Claus Bag, containing thermal underwear for 140 children.

(L to R)
Yulia Pavichenko, President Rotary Club of Kharkiv & Organiser of the Initiative
Vitaly Lensko, Ukraine District Governor 2232
Dirk Lustig, Rotary Club of Kyiv Multinational
Manuel Meier, Rotary E-Club of Aviation & IFFR Switzerland


First they flew to Chisinau in Moldova. From there they had to travel by public bus over the border and to Odessa, on the Black Sea coast. Finally, they travelled by car via towns along the front line until they reached the newly liberated Kherson city to handover the gifts to children there.


Manuel reports back:

I was very happy we made it by car. It was an honor to join and support a great Christmas Initiative from Rotary District 2232 to make kids in the war front area of Ukraine happy. In a week, about 1000 kids have been covered from Odessa along the front line until Kharkiv.


He adds:

I was so much impressed about the great organization, by the Rotary care & many great initiatives locally and about the continued amazing improvisation & spirit of the Ukrainian People to deal with this horrible war.

And you can see more of this Rotary Project in the video below.


Nik Amman reports that IFFR members have donated over €25,000/$25,000. Even after the donation of children’s thermal clothing the large part remains to be distributed. Our support for Ukraine will continue and we will ensure this is fully in line with Rotary’s humanitarian values. Ihor has presented Nik with information on a possible educational project to ensure the continued safety of children. We will be investigating this soon, and will report back in due course.

Manuel and the team visit newly liberated Kherson Airport


In the meantime, many thanks to Manuel and Nik for making this act of kindness possible, and to all those who have contributed to the IFFR Ukraine fund. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so HERE.

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