The acronym UNITY stands for Ukrainian National Identity Through Youth. As the name makes clear, the focus of this funding is to reach younger people who are also particularly vulnerable to suicidal ideation. Though it had become clear that the support of Lifeline Ukraine was now being accessed by Ukrainians of all backgrounds, and as an organisation we had moved from messaging to particular community groups to any demographic that we know from global research has a higher risk of ending their life by suicide, being funded under a program that specifically seeks to help young people was a logical progression.
The next year of funding came from the Veteran Reintegration Program managed by IREX. While we continued to focus heavily on messaging to this community, it became apparent during this grant that support from Lifeline Ukraine was now in demand from Ukrainians from all walks of life, whether a connection to the military existed or not. As one of the program managers noted at the time, “we gave you this grant to help veterans, and it’s clear that you do that, but the fact that you help so many more people also is like added value for us.”
During this period of funding Lifeline Ukraine cemented their reputation as an invaluable national resource as awareness of our existence spread and call volumes increased every single month.
In June of 2019, in partnership with the East Europe Foundation, we were awarded our first grant from the Conflict Security and Stablisation Fund administered by the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Ukraine. That grant allowed us to immediately begin work in hiring the team that still forms the backbone of Lifeline Ukraine. At that time the focus of Lifeline Ukraine was to work to reduce instances of suicide among Ukraine’s veteran community and to be available to provide emotional support for their family members.
This grant also allowed us to begin working with a professional communications team to begin awareness work to inform the country that a national suicide prevention hotline now existed and specifically to create messages to our target audience. In addition the grant provided funds to bring to Ukraine leading experts in suicide prevention to train the team, those experts came from Israel, the United States, Belgium, and Norway.
The grant covered the costs of the first year of operations of Lifeline Ukraine.
During the summer of 2021, Lifeline Ukraine was briefly funded by a small grant from the office of the European Union in Ukraine.
In the early days of Russia’s all out war in Ukraine, Americares, an American charity specialising in disaster relief, made their first donation to Lifeline Ukraine. Following that we built on our relationship and Americares provided funding to fill a 3 month budget gap in providing salaries to our team. That grant also covered fees for trainers to work with the team on the specific areas of need that have increasingly become a more prominent element of the work that we do, such as counselling victims of sexual violence.
In order to expand capacity on the hotline and add another consultant due to the surge in demand for our support as a result of the all-out Russian war, a grant was awarded by a UNDP program titled “Psychological Assistance to Women and Girls Affected by the War”. This grant meant that we had an specialist on hand ready to help talk to those seeking emotional support each day.
The fact that we have been funded by such notable institutions demonstrates that Lifeline Ukraine is committed to the highest standards of transparency as the reporting requirements with all of these donors, rightfully, follows very strict guidelines.
Lifeline Ukraine has also attracted support from private individuals, businesses, and from embassies.
That support began with a donation of $40,000 from a family bereaved by suicide, and then the Winner group of companies, from the owner and then the readership of the Kyiv Post newspaper, and from the Australian and Irish embassies in Ukraine. Other companies have made donations to Lifeline Ukraine also from various fundraising initiatives.
In addition to this, individuals can help to support our work by making donations through PayPal or Patreon.
Lydia Czorny Matiaszek. Advisory Board Member and dear friend, sadly no longer with us. 11.04.1962 – 17.09.2020.
Dr. Ulana Suprun was the inspiration behind the creation of Lifeline Ukraine and served as an Advisory Board Member from 2019 to 2021.
NIKO provided Lifeline Ukraine with a home, donating office space from 2019 until 24/2/22.