Slava Ukraini NGO hopes to continue despite donations drop

Slava Ukraini
Slava Ukraini Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Donations to scandal-hit NGO Slava Ukraini have drastically fallen over the last few months, but the organization hopes to continue its activities for as long as Ukraine needs help.

The charity does not have any new donation campaigns but it is still accepting funds.

In the first quarter of the year, €1.2 million was collected, €170,000 in the second, and €6,100 in July.

The organization has previously said it will stay open until the donations had been used. But now new CEO Anu Viltrop does not rule out continuing for the foreseeable future.

"My suggestion has been to the Council and to the General Assembly that we put the organization in order, so to speak, let's structure it, let's think through the processes and let's put those processes in writing, how the principle of separation of powers works in the organization and how supervision works. Knowing that, if there are good projects and a clear direction, I can see that the organization could last longer, as long as it has a purpose and a need," said Viltrop.

"Then it's just a question of whether we are able to attract more donors or whether we can find different institutional donors to cover our activities," she added.

The charity has audited its previous work and decision-making process after a scandal with its founder Johanna-Maria Lehtme earlier this year.

It is now working to bring its activities into line with the NGOs' ethics code. This has seen the development of internal accounting rules, purchasing guidelines, partner selection guidelines, an impact assessment framework, and the creation of a document management system. 

Current activity

Under Viltrop's leadership, Slava Ukraini's activities have continued in a more targeted way.

"As long as there's a war and as long as we're in the situation we're in – and let's face it, with a fairly small team – we'd still rather do very narrowly and precisely targeted things," Viltrop said.

"I analyzed the existing activities, spoken to a very wide range of actors in Estonia and Ukraine to see which course of action would be the most appropriate at the moment," she outlined.

Anu Viltrop. Source: Patrik Tamm / ERR

The NGO is currently cooperating with the Ukrainian organization PULSE, which organizes tactical medicine training. Slava Ukraini has given the charity €132,030 which will train 8,100 soldiers.

Donations in Slava Ukraini's warehouse are also being distributed and camouflage paints will be sent to Ukraine in the coming weeks.

Additionally, new ambulances are being sent to the front lines brought from existing donations.

In both Estonia and Ukraine, criminal proceedings are ongoing to investigate how donations were spent between the charity's founding in February 2022 and March 2023.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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