Our Austrian story begins at the end of February, 2022, when our founder, Maria, made a decision to leave Ukraine and to move to Vienna together with her family and parents. One week later, they started an evacuation of other Ukrainian families with kids from the Southern Ukraine region - Odessa.
5 years before the war, Masha and her team created Kids Development Center "KidsOdessa" in her home city. KidsOdessa had different creative programs, including Photography, Videography, Graphic Design, Art and contained more than 600 kids.
So, slightly after the war had started, our team prepared to evacuate families we knew, and kiddos we used to work with for years. With the help of our friends, we were lucky to find drivers that evacuated more than 50 people in two buses, also the hosts, that provided new homes for all the families we brought to Austria.
Evacuation part was only the beginning of the journey. After families arrived and settled, we created our little ukrainian community in Vienna, to stay in touch and to keep supporting each other. But, unfortunately, the main problem we faced immediately was the condition of the teenagers, who were completely lost, afraid, sometimes even broke - they lost their life back in Odessa. This problem started to grow at all relocated families, including families of our founder and her team. We decided to create an art project for teens only, to support them specifically in this situation and to bring them into therapy via abstract art. This is how we came up with the idea of a charity foundation - we wanted to create a safe, peaceful and creative space for our kids.
We registered "United Kids" Charity Foundation in Austria last Spring, in 2022 - 1 months after invasion. We immediately started with abstract workshops and consistent work - sometimes the art program took 4 times per week, 3 hours per day. We worked with two groups of teenagers and created a warm, creative and safe environment at the art studio on Museumstrasse,3 that was kindly provided to us for 2 months. Since June 1st last year, we have rented our own space and we keep working in the 7th district of Vienna.
Six months later, last fall, we already had more than 100 art pieces in two different collections: "Emotions of war" containing 27 huge art pieces and "Unlimited" Collection containing 75 smaller size items.
This spring we had a luckiest opportunity to display all our art pieces at New York Art Expo 2023 - this possibility brought our young artist to whole another level of creativity: now they know that they can be a part of amazing international art project, that they can develop their art and improve their skills, in terms of our therapeutic programs, that they actually can built a future as an artists - by doing creative, existing, interesting and peaceful work.
Also, since we started to receive official donations, we decided to transfer 50% of our budget to the families of artists: to support them financially, as well as their dreams and their future.
By the end of 2023 our foundation will enroll 250 ukrainian teenagers that are working at our workshops and participate in our projects regularly.
We have studios in Vienna, Austria and Odessa, Ukraine.
We work both offline and online.
We also have an official representative team of our foundation in Miami, USA.
50% of our budget goes to families of our artists.