Charitable Programmes of Petro Poroshenko Foundation – interview with Petro Poroshenko
August 15, 2011 1 Comment
Why did you decide to go in for charity? What was the first impulse?
Every man, who has grown and been brought up in a proper family and society, cannot remain indifferent to problems that people around are facing. The realisation that there are people who desperately need your help gives you power and fosters the desire to help. It may sound pretentious, but if you are still capable of perceiving the pain of people as your own, you won’t be able to run charity.
What do you think of the opinion that the “charity is better done in secret”?
Charity should not be done in secret, but it also should not be done for advertising. In my opinion, the charity must become a standard for normal people. My Foundation has been operating for ten years, and we have tried not to demonstrate our activities, but just do what we have to do all this time. The idea has been to provide targeted aid, and we have been doing it not for someone to write about it or to show it, but to help. I believe that if you have done something good, then you have not spent in vain this very minute or hour or day at least.
Who makes decisions to grant funds for a programme?
The Supervisory Council of the Fund decides which programmes to fund.
Which programmes will be funded in the future?
All major programmes of the Fund will be continued. As regards new programmes, I can tell you that a contract is being prepared for the construction of a riverside quay in Vinnytsia. This is going to be our challenge to the crisis: we would like to demonstrate that the life is not stopping. Vinnytsia is a very precious city for me, and I would like it to be beautiful and attractive for its inhabitants, guests and tourists.
Did crisis influence your philanthropy?
Unfortunately, the crisis affected everything: the economy, the charity, the culture. However, it must not make us despondent, afraid or depressed. The crisis opens up new opportunities for everyone, for companies, for the country.
What is needed to develop philanthropy in Ukraine?
Look at the attitude to philanthropists before the revolution. Hospitals, schools, churches, houses of mercy and the best museums were built thanks to Tereshchenko, Brodsky, and Khanenko. These initiatives stirred up serious public support. Unfortunately, the memories of these kind and nice initiatives were destroyed in the 20th century.
Today, the business must be engaged into the charity in addition to paying taxes and salaries in order to return the respect to people and revive the nicest and most human feelings, the faith in goodness and mutual help. We need to restore the trust in entrepreneurs as a class, which keeps up the state with its labour. Entrepreneurs, rather than officials are the pillars of the state. They pay taxes and feed officials, and not vice versa. Latest polls point out to the increasing trust in entrepreneurs who are ahead of politicians and state authorities by a big margin. I consider this to be a good omen. People start realising the extent, to which an efficient businessman is important for the state.