About us

The International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) is one of the largest Ukrainian charitable foundations that has been developing an open society in Ukraine since 1990 where everybody has a sense of dignity, citizens are involved in the formation of the state, and the authorities are transparent and responsible. We work on the development of Ukraine in which human rights are securely protected and positive changes work for the benefit of the citizens. The foundation was founded by the philanthropist George Soros and is part of the Open Society Foundations international network.

Figures

29 years

The Foundation has been working on the development of civic society in Ukraine

230+ million USD

The Foundation has invested about in the development of democracy in Ukraine in the course of its activities

9+ thousand projects and initiatives

Have been supported by the Foundation

400+ projects

Per year are supported by the Foundation in the last decade

253+ million hryvnias

The Foundation spent on the support of civil initiatives in 2018

57 specialists

Work in the Foundation for the development of Ukraine

George Soros
1990

George Soros founded the International Renaissance Foundation

On April 8, 1990, the Soros Foundation, Prosvita Ukrainian Association, the Ukrainian Peace Council, and the Green World international environmental organization co-founded the International Renaissance Foundation

Launch of the East-East Program: Partnership Without Borders

It is the first Ukrainian large-scale program of creative ideas and practical experience exchange between the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. It includes internships and exchange programs of scientists, experts, teachers, and students

1991
East-East Program
Soros Center for Contemporary Art
1993

Foundation of Soros Center for Contemporary Art at National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA)

The first Ukrainian center for contemporary art in Ukraine was opened. The exhibitions of works by Damien Hirst, Bill Viola, Joseph Boys, Joseph Kosuth, Andy Warhol, and others have been held in the Center

Support of the First Independent Media and the Creation of UNIAN

The program was designed to promote Ukraine's integration into the world community and to facilitate Ukrainian citizens in establishing international contacts

1993
Independent Media
Antarctic Station
1994

Support of the Launch of Academik Vernadsky Ukrainian Antarctic Station

The Foundation provided support for sending Ukrainian scientists on the first Ukrainian Antarctic expedition to Academik Vernadsky station

Launch of Social Adaptation and Retraining of Servicemen Program

After massive redundancies in the Ukrainian Army, the Foundation was the first to provide assistance in the social adaptation and retraining of former servicemen. The program covered tens of thousands of dismissed servicemen, and about 800 of them received assistance in implementing business projects

1994
Adaptation of Servicemen
Woman in Society
1996

Launch of the First Program to strengthen Gender Equality “Woman in Society”

The main objective of the program is to protect women's rights and eliminate discrimination in society, to create a national gender policy, to increase women's participation in policy-making process at the local, regional, and national levels, to promote network development and strengthening Ukrainian women's NGOs, and to support cooperation between women's organizations

Promotion of Internet Development in Ukraine

The purpose of the program was to provide access to the Internet, promote the development of technical resources, training users, helping to create informative content

1997
Internet Development
Exit Poll
1998

First Election Exit Poll in Ukraine

The first exit poll was held during the parliamentary elections. In the future, the exit poll will become an important preventive measure against election fraud

Launching a Translation Program

Over 10 years, more than 800 books have been translated and published. The project was aimed at the publication of the most important works of foreign authors in the Ukrainian language that determine the development of humanities and social disciplines and disseminate information about the values of an open society

1998
Translation Program
Reform of the Prison System
1999

Assistance with the Reform of the Prison System

The goal of the reform was to democratize the prison system in order to respect human rights, international standards for the treatment of prisoners, humanization and reorientation of human attitude towards prisoners and their social protection

Pilot Harm Reduction Projects

The program was designed to promote Ukraine's integration into the world community and facilitate Ukrainian citizens to establish international connections

1999
Harm Reduction
Public Radio
2002

Public Radio launched

Public Radio (Hromadske Radio) is the first independent talk radio station in the country

Independent Media Union created

The Independent Media Union of Ukraine (IMUU) became the first independent Ukrainian union of media workers and the only union belonging to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

2002
Independent Media Union
Docudays UA кордонів
2003

Support of Human Rights Film Days (Docudays UA)

Today Docudays UA is the largest international documentary film festival in Ukraine. During Docudays UA, cinema makers from Europe, America, Asia, and Africa come to Kyiv

Centers of Legal Aid for the Roma Population created

Roma citizens received access to free legal aid

2005
Legal Aid for the Roma People
External Independent Testing (EIT)
2005

Legislative Approval of External Independent Testing (EIT)

By the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Ukrainian Center for Education Quality Assessment was founded. Decree of the President of Ukraine on the transition to entrance examinations to higher educational institutions through EIT, developed by the Center, was approved

Opening of the First Center for the Provision of Administrative Services

The Foundation supported the opening of the first transparent office in Ukraine – the center for providing administrative services in Vinnytsia city council

2007
Center for the Provision of Administrative Services
Disclosure
2008

First Disclosure of Classified Government Information

Removal of Not for Printing and Not to be Published stamps from about 1500 decrees and government orders

Launch of Svidomo First Independent Bureau of Journalistic Investigations

With the support of the Foundation, Svidomo was created. It is a bureau of journalistic investigations aimed at bringing the unlawful activities of the authorities to light

2008
Svidomo
EITI
2009

Ukraine joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

Ukraine joined the Transparency Initiative in the Mining Industries The Government issued a decree on joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The Foundation actively supported the process of joining the initiative

Ukrainian Journalists launched the “Stop censorship!” movement

The Ukrainian journalistic movement set itself a goal of defending freedom of speech, preventing the establishment of censorship in Ukraine and the impediment of professional work of journalists, and violating professional standards when reporting about socio-political issues. The movement actively opposed the attempts of Viktor Yanukovych to control the Ukrainian media.

2010
Stop censorship!
Public Information and Free Legal Aid
2011

Passing of the Laws “On Access to Public Information” and “On Free Legal Aid”

The laws, the development of which the Foundation was actively involved in, contributed to human rights – the right to information and the right to legal assistance. Now the information about the activities of the government has become open and all Ukrainians, regardless of financial situation, are eligible for qualitative and free legal assistance

StopPain (“StopБіль”) Campaign for the Terminally Ill Assistance

The campaign was aimed at helping patients who need anesthetics to relieve the symptoms of incurable diseases. As a result of the campaign, morphine tablets were registered and that alleviated the pain of thousands of seriously ill Ukrainians

2011
StopБіль
Inclusive Education
2012

Support for Inclusive Education Projects

The Foundation supports the implementation of inclusive education in Ukraine which enables children with special needs to study at secondary schools and thus realize their right to education

Opening of the First Children's Center for Palliative Care

The first Children's Center for Palliative Care was opened in Ukraine, in Prykarpattya, and the first training center was established in Eastern Ukraine, in Kharkiv, where medical staff is taught to provide palliative care

2013
Palliative Care
Anti-corruption Laws
2014

A Package of Anti-corruption Laws approved

During a year a number of laws were passed in which the Foundation and its grantees were involved. These are such laws as: “On State Procurement”, “On Prevention of Corruption”, and “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Concerning the Definitive Beneficiaries of Legal Persons and Public Figures”, etc. These laws enabled to start an anti-corruption reform and launch new anti-corruption agencies

Launch of the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center (UCMC)

The Foundation became one of the founders of the UCMC. This organization, which provides information on events in Ukraine and the challenges and threats to national security, has become one of the key civil society information platforms and a place for discussion of reforms

2014
UCMC
ATO and IDP
2014

ATO soldiers

The centers of assistance to soldiers participating in ATO and IDP were established which provide legal support to ATO participants and their families in such matters as acquiring the status of an enemy combatant, access to free medical treatment, receiving social benefits, etc. Apart from that, psychological support was provided to participants of ATO and IDP, as well as grants for the development of business of these groups

Law "On Access to Open Data"

The purpose of this law was to ensure the transparency and openness of the authorities and to create mechanisms for access to public information. For the first time, government data began to be published in machine-readable form

2014
Open Data
Corporate Equality
2014

The Anti-Discrimination Index of Corporate Equality in Ukraine launched

The Index is a national survey of corporate policies, rules, and practices of Ukrainian businesses regarding the prohibition of discrimination in the workplace and the promotion of equality and diversity

Passing of the Law “On the Openness of the Usage of Public Funds” and the launch of the E-data service

The law, whose development was supported by the Foundation, enabled to make all expenses of state agencies and local governments fully open and transparent starting from 1 hryvnia

2015
E-data
TTDI
2016

Start of the Think Tank Development Initiative

The initiative aims to improve the quality and practice of authorities' decision-making by raising the level of trust to analytical centers and strengthening their role in the decision-making process

Assistance in Launching the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health

Maintainance and improvement of the population's health, social-hygienic monitoring of diseases, epidemiological surveillance and biological safety, group and population disease prevention, control of epidemics and strategic management in the field of public health

2016
Public Health Center
Public Procurement of Medicines
2017

Public Procurement of Medicines Became Transparent

With the support of the International Renaissance Foundation, the Patients of Ukraine charitable foundation ensured constant public control over the transparency, accountability, and efficiency of using budget funds in the health sector

The EU granted Ukraine the visa-free regime

More than a decade of hard work on the visa-free regime with the EU finally became a success. For assistance in obtaining visa-free travel, the Executive Director of the Foundation Oleksandr Sushko received the Order of Merit of the 3rd Degree

2017
Visa-free
New Ukrainian School
2017

Getting the New Ukrainian School started

The Foundation supported the Coaches School of the New Ukrainian School organised by Osvita civic organization in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. In particular, in 2017, the training of coaches for instructing primary school teachers was supported

Pilot Implementation of the Custody Records System

Custody Records provides recording and verification of the rights of detainees in investigation isolation wards. In 2018 the system was introduced in Kropyvnytsky, Dnipro, Sarny, and Kherson

2018
Custody Records
New visual style
2018

Rebranding of the Renaissance Foundation

We changed the logo and visual style. This was the first step in changing the style of communication of the Foundation and its modernization

Our Mission

To develop an open society in Ukraine on the basis of democratic values

Our Strategy

  • We support an active, diverse, and open civic society that is determined to change Ukraine
  • We create an environment in which these changes can work
  • We raise awareness in the society about equality, justice, transparency, and accountability
  • We promote inclusiveness as a value
  • We help to mitigate the consequences of conflicts for Ukrainian society
  • We empower agents of change in NGOs, networks, and communities that build a free, open, and inclusive society in Ukraine
  • We develop civic engagement making the participation in the creation of public policy more accessible at all levels
  • We create models and prototypes that state institutions can implement
MORE ABOUT THE FUND

Founder of the Foundation

George Soros

Investor and philanthropist. He supports institutions that promote the establishment of an open society in more than 100 countries of the world

Regional Offices

Southern Ukraine

(Одеська, Миколаївська, Херсонська обл.)

Yevhen Popov
Head of the IRF regional office in Southern Ukrainepopov@irf.ua, +38 048 796 12 04

Western Ukraine

(Львівська, Івано-Франківська, Тернопільська, Чернівецька, Закарпатська, Волинська, Рівненська обл.)

Oksana Dashchakivska
Head of the IRF regional office in Western Ukraine dashchakivska@irf.ua,+380 67 663 86 91

Eastern Ukraine

(Харківська, Луганська, Сумська, Полтавська, Донецька обл. (окрім м. Маріуполь))

Olena Rozskazova
Head of the IRF regional office in Eastern Ukraine (Kharkiv) rozskazova@irf.ua+38 066 855 62 31

Prydniprovsky regional office (Dnipro)

(Дніпропетровська, Запорізька, Кропивницька обл. та м. Маріуполь (Донецька обл.))

Vladyslav Romanov
Head of the IRF Prydniprovsky regional office (Dnipro)

Open Society Foundations

The International Renaissance Foundation is part of the Open Society Foundation network that operates in more than 100 countries. These foundations work to strengthen the rule of law, respect for human rights, minorities, diversity of views.

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