In August 2022, SA2U was thrilled to receive a grant from the Hamburg-based Ingeborg Gross Foundation (IGF) for CHF 150,000 for projects supporting Ukrainian people, in particular students, children, and orphans. The following is an overview of how the funds received have been used as of the end of 2022.
The grant proposal was submitted in spring 2022, a time when SA2U was mainly engaged in providing in-kind assistance in the form of transports of humanitarian aid from Switzerland to Ukraine. The funds granted by IGF were used to fulfill different and no less important needs of Ukrainians affected by the war – needs such as socialization, relationships, and belonging, all of which are key to the successful integration of Ukrainians in foreign countries.
Three types of projects were funded with the grant:
1. Integration and solidarity through sports
Sports and athletic activities are an excellent booster for integration, encouraging solidarity among teammates and creating feelings of belonging and dedication to a common purpose.
In September 2022, SA2U supported the project #noborders Judo Zurich by the Judo Club Uster in Zurich with CHF 96,000 for their initiative to integrate and train Ukrainian judoka living in and around the area. Read more about the project here.
2. Swiss Aid Scholarship for students
The “Swiss Aid Scholarship” was established with part of the funds granted by the Foundation to provide financial support to Ukrainian students in Switzerland and Germany.
High school students and students attending institutions of higher education, such as universities or technical training schools, are at a crucial stage of their personal and professional development. By providing financial support, SA2U sought to ensure that the young adults’ basic needs were met, enabling them to focus on their studies and learning a new language. This allows for swifter integration and quicker contribution to the local communities in which the students find themselves.
SA2U supported 10 students who enrolled in higher education institutions in Switzerland or Germany after February 24, 2022, with a maximum grant per person of CHF 1,600. The funds were used by students to purchase laptops, required course materials, writing supplies, and other basic necessities. To be eligible for the scholarship, students had to be Ukrainian citizens who left Ukraine immediately prior to February 24, 2022 or thereafter. Read about some of the students supported here.
3. Creating a safe haven for children orphaned by war
One of the most tragic aspects of the war in Ukraine is the struggle of children who have lost one or both parents in the conflict. Such children and families require special resources, including increased financial assistance due to the loss of one or both breadwinners, psychological help, and assistance with social integration.
Further funds granted by the Ingeborg Gross Foundation were used in 2022 to support such projects, namely:
- October 2022: Era Band Camp, a camp in the Swiss Alps for Ukrainian teenagers, including children from near the front lines and orphans
- December 2022: Era Band Home, a home for Ukrainian children who wanted to settle in Switzerland after attending Era Band Camp
- December 2022: Warm clothes for winter 2022/23 for orphan children in Germany through Ukraine Alive