Countless Ukrainian children have lost their mothers and fathers since the onset of the Russian invasion. Tens of thousands more have had their lives upended, forced to leave their homes, schools, friendships and cherished belongings behind as the Russian military swept across a large part of the country.
In response to the invasion, the Ukrainian government has swiftly amassed more than $70 million in crypto donations. A keen advocate for the digital realm, Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation quickly identified the significance of receiving crypto contributions during wartime. The funds collected by the government have been used to procure essential goods, helmets, bulletproof vests, night vision goggles and other supplies.
The head of the United Nations International Computing Centre explained to Cointelegraph that crypto is one of the fastest ways of supporting those in war zones. Yet direct channels to assist families and children have been impacted by the full-scale Russian invasion.
With the help of Cointelegraph, the nonprofit Children of Heroes now allows the crypto community to donate Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT) and several other cryptocurrencies to benefit the organization and the children of Ukraine.
Ukrainian children are in danger
Estimates by a global NGO Save the Children suggest that 7.5 million children face the imminent risk of displacement or grave danger, with countless others potentially missing. As reported by The New York Times, the conflict has taken a staggering toll, with over 70,000 Ukrainian lives lost and at least 100,000 injured, including a heart-wrenching 1,500 children. Meanwhile, at least 11 million people have been displaced from their homes.
Separately, Reuters cited Russian officials who alleged that 700,000 children had been relocated to Russia from Ukraine since the start of the war. In a consequential move, the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, charging him with the “war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children)” and the “unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”
Over the past 545 days of Russia’s invasion and occupation, children across Ukraine have had to live through uncertainty, anguish and terror. As the intensity of Russia’s attacks persist and more Ukrainian troops rally to restore their nation’s borders, the toll on the younger generation — sadly — is only expected to escalate.
Monthly reports, track the progress
Children of Heroes aims to help 50 children per day, supported by donations in fiat money as well as crypto. To date, the charity program is supporting around 6,000 children and has provided their families with $4.8 million in total aid.
Children of Heroes’ July 2023 report outlines how the charity program allocates the funds it receives. As donations increased from 2022 into 2023, the charity was able to start onboarding double the number of children per day, and much more can be done before the year comes to a close.
As Children of Heroes continues to bring on an increasing number of kids under their wing, with an influx of crypto donations, the charity will be able to offer them clothes and food as well as computers, legal support, and many other essential items and services that would otherwise be inaccessible during such times. The figures form the July 2023 report displayed below outline the spending:
One step at a time
Among those who have already received help is Katrusia. After her father died on the very first day of the invasion following a deadly shelling attack by Russian tanks in the Sumy Oblast, Katrusia and her mother were left all alone. Katrusia is now 4 years old and enjoys drawing and dancing but dreams of learning to drive a car just as her father did. Katrusia and her mother have received financial help and clothing, but they are in desperate need of further help and support.
A family of five was devastated by Russia’s ruthless aggression, which left them without a home. Tragically, the family then drove over a landmine while together in the car. The elder sister and father did not survive, as they were in the front seat, while the mother and 3-year-old twins sustained injuries. While they survived, they were left without any money or documents and were desperate, traveling from place to place in search of a home. Through the Children of Heroes donations the twins have gotten crucial financial support and autumn clothes, but they are still in need of their own housing. You can help the family rebuild their lives and find their new home.
In the eyes of 2-year-old Alisa, the world is still full of wonder and innocence. Yet, her father, Oleksandr, paid the ultimate price while serving his nation. Alisa knows of her father’s promise to build a home and provide her with the best education possible. While Oleksandr’s dreams were cut short, the Children of Heroes program has stepped in as a surrogate to help carry them out and make them real.
Another family who has received support from Children of Heroes is tiny Kiril and his mother. Kiril’s father went missing on his way home from work at the hospital, and his body was later found in a nearby village. They were forced to flee without him because their house in the eastern Kharkiv region was destroyed, leaving the family with nothing to return to as they dream of an end to the war.
Hope will prevail
Both Children of Heroes and Cointelegraph believe that with the power of the crypto community, the children who receive support will have a fighting chance to overcome the challenges brought by the Russian invasion.
Children of Heroes is a foundation registered as a public charity in the U.S. state of Delaware, meaning all donations are tax-deductible. In its commitment to transparency and security, the campaign leverages the platforms Fundraise Up and Stripe to process donations and secure data. Fundraise Up functions as the payment processing platform, sending payments directly to a Coinbase wallet.