Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

“When you believe and dream, everything will work out well”

The Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Family Foundation has been launched in Kyiv
7 November, 2017 - 12:37

“All that I have done in my life, I began with a dream. I am convinced that extraordinary things become possible, if you only start feeling like that,” said Bohdan Hawrylyshyn. Moreover, being a well-known economist, member of the Club of Rome, professor, philanthropist, public figure, and a friend of the Den newspaper, he not merely dreamed, but did it globally. For example, he envisioned transforming Ukraine into an effective state like Norway or Germany.

Hawrylyshyn clearly formulated ways to achieve this goal. Speaking of personal qualities, to bring one’s plans to fruition, one should be patriotic, competent, and honest. Unfortunately, Ukraine still lacks a critical mass of such people. Therefore, the philanthropist decided to help the future transformers of our country and began to invest in Ukrainian youth.

Within the framework of his foundation, the economist launched the “Youth Will Change Ukraine” program in 2012, and later added another one, called the “Ukrainian Youth Delegate to the UN.” In a video lecture recorded in the last year of his life, Hawrylyshyn said: “The program will continue.” His words proved to be prophetic.


The wife and children of the prominent Ukrainian decided to continue his work by establishing the Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Family Foundation. The presentation of the foundation took place in the Columned Hall of the Kyiv City State Administration (KCSA) building. Tina Batruch-Hawrylyshyn, who serves as president of the foundation, explained its creation as follows: “Like my father, I also have grand dreams. Not for myself, but for our Ukraine.” In her opinion, the vision of the future of Ukraine which was proposed by Hawrylyshyn is shared by many people who ought to support his initiatives.

By the way, the foundation will help not only programs created by Hawrylyshyn, but also a number of new projects. In general, six main areas of support were identified.

First of all, it is the program “Youth Will Change Ukraine.” Olena Bekreniova, who is the foundation’s director, emphasized that young people will still get to learn from the European experience. However, now this program will also be held within Ukraine and reach into provinces.


The “Ukrainian Youth Delegate to the UN” program will continue to be supported, as it already has had important achievements. For example, the foundation’s launch saw participants of this year’s program tell their impressions of a trip to New York as part of the Ukrainian delegation to the UN. One of the girls shared what she understood for herself on visiting the UN: “All the institutions, movements, changes consist of people. Therefore, it is very important to remain a human being to be able to address their hearts.”

Another area of interest has to do with regional development projects. Their goal is to increase the involvement of young people in changing this country. A separate project is “Inspirational Stories,” which the Foundation plans to use to disseminate information about the success story of Hawrylyshyn and other well-known Ukrainians. The sixth project is “Ukraine in the World.” This initiative was created to improve the image of Ukraine both within its borders and abroad.


As we see, the foundation plans to continue with the mission set by Hawrylyshyn, which is to transform Ukraine through the creation of a critical mass of patriotic, educated people. Responsibility, professionalism, and cooperation should become its basic principles.

As for responsibility, this concept is a special one for the foundation. After all, it was Hawrylyshyn who wrote the text called “A Proposed Declaration of Human Obligations,” in which he expressed the key principles of being a real human being like himself. Another confirmation of this came from the words of Dr. Christoph Schpeti, Deputy Ambassador of Switzerland to Ukraine: “When he spoke, we, the diplomats, were silent. Not only because of his wisdom, but because he spoke the truth.”

Partners which will assist in the implementation of the foundation’s mission include the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Management Institute (IMM)-Kyiv, the KCSA, the World Academy of Art and Science. One of the main partners is the NGO Youth Will Change Ukraine, which brings together graduates of the program of the same name, a community of young transformers of the nation.

The results are already noticeable. According to Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport Mykola Movchan, foreign experts highly appreciate young Ukrainians’ participation at business forums.

So, by acting locally, one can achieve global goals. However, there is another guarantee of the project’s success. At the end of the launch of the Foundation, president of the IMM-Kyiv Iryna Tykhomyrova stressed the important role of the economist’s widow Leonida Hawrylyshyn in starting this project, recalling her late husband’s words: “When people believe in you, you can succeed in anything.” Meanwhile, Leonida Hawrylyshyn believed in her husband all this time.

Tykhomyrova is confident that people believe in the Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Family Foundation as well. Therefore she concluded: “And when you believe and dream, everything will work out well.” Looking at the partners and friends of Hawrylyshyn who gathered in the Columned Hall of the KCSA building truly makes one hope that the dream of the great Ukrainian will come true.

By Maria CHADIUK, Den’s 2016 Summer School of Journalism