Message from the Founders

“Our greatest reward is to see a healthy child, smiling and full of life, knowing that just a few months earlier that same child was in a desperate state.  We have seen so many of these children, and they inspire us to continue our work in Ukraine.”

Dr. Zenon and Nadia Matkiwsky




Dear Readers,

It has been a long journey since our initial visit to Ukraine in 1989, when Nadia and I were appalled to see the soviet health care system at least 70 years behind that of the Western world.  As a Chief of Surgery in one of the major health care systems in the United States, I was immediately struck by the lack of essential medical supplies, medications, and diagnostic medical equipment.  Most poignantly, we recall the parents and children in the hospitals who seemed to exist in a state of despair. Nadia and I knew we had to engage in helping so Nadia, a leader of the Medical Auxiliary of New Jersey, USA, who acquired experience in fundraising for medical establishments with success, and I quite naturally responded to the need and organized medical assistance.  Within a short period of time, we were able to airlift CCRDF’s humanitarian medical relief efforts which were made possible thanks to an overwhelming response from major corporations, pharmaceutical companies, charitable organizations communities, and dedicated individuals and volunteers.

Today, the Children of Chornobyl Relief and Development Fund has grown beyond an organized relief effort; CCRDF has developed sustainable medical programs in Ukraine.  CCRDF fulfills a critical role in Ukraine’s health care system, creating a higher standard of care, stimulating local charitable initiatives, and supplying health care providers with the tools they need to save children’s lives.  CCRDF is obliged to continue its medical programs because the organization’s efforts make a positive difference in children’s lives. In the neonatology centers where we have supplied substantial aid, the infant mortality was reduced significantly, in some cases by as much as 45-80%.

All of our successes would not be possible without the enormous help and generosity of our volunteers and donors. We at the Children of Chornobyl Relief and Development Fund truly appreciate the people who have entrusted us with this task and who continue to support us because without them, CCRDF could not exist. I want to impress upon you the importance of your gifts and assure you that our staff and volunteers work diligently to maximize the value of your donations.

“Your money goes to the right place, and you are working with the right people.  Thank you, Children of Chornobyl” stated Viktor Petrenko, Olympic Champion, in a speech before his performance in the second Viktory for Kids.

We are grateful for your continued support to bring new hope and healing to Ukraine’s children and their families.