ТовариствоДопомоги Українів КаліфорніїCAAU logoCalifornia Association to Aid Ukraine

Our Programs

Our programs demonstrate our commitment to provide opportunities and empowerment for people in Ukraine, meeting unmet needs for a brighter future.

Our projects range from filling the gap in serving the needs of people with disabilities, to providing transportation and lodging assistance for visiting scholars in scientific and medical fellowship programs.  To maximize the effective use of resources and achieve sustainable impact, we seek international partnerships and integration with local communities.


Current Projects

Children’s Hospital of the Future in Kyiv
First Lady of Ukraine Kateryna Yushchenko served as Honorary Chair of CAAU Ball 2007 to highlight the importance of the Children’s Hospital of the Future in Kyiv.  In her role as Chair of the Supervisory Committee for the International Charitable Fund - Ukraine 3000, the First Lady has articulated her vision to build a state-of-the-art institution that will be a central source of medical assistance to critically ill infants and children in all regions of Ukraine.  Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has responded through its interest in international collaboration and technology transfer to develop the CSMC International Fellowship Program in conjunction with Ukraine 3000 and support from CAAU.  Following a pilot 2-week session with senior Ukrainian physicians who helped to develop the curricula, the first regular session with 4 participants was held in August 2009, with the next session planned for February 2010.


Wheelchairs for Ukraine
Video about Wheelchairs for Ukraine (2 mins.)
For the past ten years, CAAU and UCP/Wheels for Humanity have been working in partnership to bring the gift of mobility to needy children in adults in Ukraine.  Together, the partnership of CAAU and UCP/Wheels for Humanity has completed nine deliveries of wheelchairs and other mobility aids to needy people in Lviv, Rivne, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Khmelnytskyi, Volynh, Uzhorod, Chernivtsi and Kharkiv. 

In June 2008, a team of nine people, representing CAAU and UCP/Wheels for Humanity, delivered of the gift of mobility to needy people in Chernivtsi.  The delivery was the second to that region, and had been planned to be a part of the commemoration of the 600th anniversary of the city of Chernivtsi and the 100th anniversary of the Chernivtsi City Children’s Clinical Hospital.  The team witnessed the inadequacy of the medical system in Ukraine to provide adequate mobility assistance to children with special needs. 

The success of the Wheelchairs for Ukraine partnership between CAAU and UCP/Wheels for Humanity has been largely due to the countless hours of volunteer work to refurbish wheelchairs at the UCP Wheels for Humanity facility in North Hollywood and to assist with the distributions in Ukraine.  The CAAU team members included CAAU Chair Luba Keske and her husband Wally, Dmytro (Mitch) and Irena Cyhaniuk, and CAAU Vice President Yarko Maryniuk, M.D.  The CAAU team members volunteered their time and generously paid for their own travel expenses as well as some of the expenses for the distribution effort. 

CAAU is currently working with UCP/Wheels for Humanity to plan for the next delivery in Ukraine, tentatively scheduled for 2010, including specific efforts to address the needs of children with physical challenges such as cerebral palsy.

More about the Wheelchairs for Ukraine program


Orphans in Ukraine
CAAU continues to provide support to orphans in Ukraine with targeted funding for specific projects.  Most of these projects involve education, especially the education that can lead to higher education or training in practical skills that can lead to jobs and self-sufficiency after the children graduate from the orphanage.  In addition, CAAU responds to emergency needs, such as building repairs following fire or winter storm damage.


Aid to Needy Seniors in Ukraine
Many seniors in Ukraine depend on fixed pensions, but inflation and declines in social benefits have left them with less and less means to survive.  Helping the disadvantaged and socially vulnerable citizens of Ukraine is one of the ways CAAU contributes to the well-being of the entire population.  CAAU supports the development of regional organizations in Ukraine that have developed local programs to provide food, housing, medical and other services to needy seniors in Ukraine. 

The CAAU Ball 2008 spotlighted the Regional Seniors’ Center in the city of Uzhhorod, located in western Ukraine, at the border of Slovakia and near the border with Hungary.  This center was opened in 1993, providing meals and daycare for 50 persons, in addition to home-based social assistance.  In 1998 the services were expanded to add temporary living quarters and assisted living facilities.  During 2007, medical services were added, as well as free access to the bakery, sewing and recreational facilities.  In Fall 2008, CAAU delivered funding for the center to purchase kitchen equipment to support their food services for needy seniors in Uzhhorod.

In June 2008, CAAU Chair Luba Keske and CAAU Vice President Yarko (Jerry) Maryniuk, M.D., visited the home for needy seniors in Korytne, a village about 40 kilometers west of Chernivtsi, to assess the needs and deliver financial support from CAAU.  The home was founded by one individual, Victoria Ivanivna Holovach, who gradually built a network of support from the local community and government to serve about 25 people, mostly over the age of 65.  Mrs. Keske and Dr. Maryniuk purchased a refrigerator, a stove and two benches for the home, at a cost of about $900.


Help the Children of Ukraine
CAAU has worked in partnership with Children’s Medical Care Foundation (CMCF) for nearly two decades to deliver training and educational materials to medical professionals focusing on pediatric and neonatal medical care.  Most of the training has been conducted in Poland.  An additional initiative will develop Neonatal Resuscitation Training Centers in the Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil regions, improving accessibility of this advanced training to medical professionals in Ukraine. 

Over the years, CAAU and CMCF have jointly funded the training of hundreds of doctors, nurses, midwives and others who are responsible for any aspect of neonatal resuscitation.  After completing the course and passing the written and practical examinations, the participants will have gained new knowledge and skills that they can immediately apply to the care of critically ill children.  CAAU and CMCF have also jointly funded the publication of the latest edition of the American Heart Association’s Neonatal Resuscitation textbook. 


Research Saves Lives
In 2006, CAAU supported a six-week training program conducted at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for eight scientists that were selected from prominent research facilities in Ukraine.  The eight scientists were also honored guests at the CAAU Ball in February 2006.

Since 2006, scientists from Ukraine have been invited to participate in the annual “Bridges in Life Sciences” conference organized by Regional Cooperation for Health, Science and Technology (RECOOP HST) Consortium.  RECOOP is coordinated by the International Research and Innovation Program (Sandor G. Vari, M.D., Director) at Finance Department (Edward Prunchunas, Senior Vice President for Finance Department and Chief Financial Officer) at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

For two weeks in June 2008, two Ukrainian scientists, Professor Dr. Rostyslav Stoika and Dr. Rostyslav Bilyy, from the Institute of Cell Biology, national Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Lviv) visited Los Angeles, on invitation from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (CSMC), to deliver scientific lectures and participate in seminars.  CAAU provided funding for local accommodations and other hospitality for the two scientists.

Rostyslav Bilyy was named “Best Young Scientist” in a competition of presentations among young scientists at the “Bridges in Life Sciences” conference in October 2007.  Rostyslav Stoika is a mentor and scientific advisor of Rostyslav Bilyy. He has been involved in scientific projects in the past, and was one of the participants in the February 2006 program at CSMC.  Also, as a member of the CAAU advisory board Dr. Stoika continues to assist CAAU with direct project coordination in Ukraine.

For the “Bridges in Life Sciences” conference held in Debrecen, Hungary in April 2009, CAAU sponsored the transportation for ten scientists from Ukraine.  The winner of the “Best Young Scientists Award”, molecular biologist Dr. Vitalina Grishkova, and her mentor, Dr. Ramziya Kiyamova, both from the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine, visited Los Angeles in November 2009, on invitation from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (CSMC), to deliver scientific lectures and participate in seminars.  CAAU again provided funding for local accommodations and other hospitality for the two scientists.


Ukrayins’ke Doshkillya Children’s Book
In Spring 2007, CAAU forwarded $5,662 to Smoloskyp for the printing of 2,000 copies of Ukrayins’ke Doshkillya children’s book.  CAAU asked Smoloskyp to waive the usual fee charged for the book, and distribute it for free to needy children.  Funding for the printing was provided by the Estate of John Tymkiw and CAAU general funds.

The Ukrayins’ke Doshkillya children’s book is an illustrated primer for elementary school children that helps build Ukrainian language literacy as well as Ukrainian cultural literacy.  The books funded by CAAU were printed with acknowledgement of CAAU’s underwriting, and were distributed to needy children in Ukraine during 2008.  A limited number of books will be made available to the public at the CAAU Ball 2009 Silent Auction.

Somoloskyp was founded in 1952 by Osyp Zinkewych in Paris, France with a group of Ukrainian students.  From 1952 to 1990 Smoloskyp was a journal, a publishing house, and information service and an organization in defend of human rights in Ukraine.  After Ukraine became an independent nation in 1991, Smoloskyp has focused on working with young people, with activities in publishing, student educational activities and Ukraine’s first Archive, Museum and Documentation Center of Ukrainian Samvidav in Kyiv.


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