Irina Gavrisheva or ‚ÄúPterodactyl‚ÄĚ (as her friends used to call her) was aware of her fatal desease since childhood. Several serious illnesses tied her to a wheelchair, and doctors gave her maximum two years of life. However, Ira found the strength to overcome her despair and find meaning and inspiration in helping others. In Zaporozhye, Ira was one of the founders and ‚Äúdriving forces‚ÄĚ of "Happy Child"Charity Foundation. After moving to Kyiv, Ira started her work in the Open Palms Charitable Foundation and was one of the creators of the High Five initiative to support palliative patients. Ira was 31, and in her time being she lived through many lives and deaths ‚Äď of her own and of those she took care of. She saved and inspired herself and others. In the morning of 9 January 2019, ‚ÄúPterodactyl Ira‚ÄĚ flew to heaven.
Back before she came to the Foundation, Ira Gavrisheva worked as a journalist, preparing materials for local and national mass media. During one of her journalist assignments she met Zaporozhye volunteers. In the area of charity activities, her journalistic skills were much in demand. Ira wrote about the challenges and achievements of charitable organizations and volunteer movement, about the needs of sick children and healthcare facilities, about herself and other people who lived in spite of doctors‚Äô verdicts. She wrote hundreds of articles only for the website of the Happy Child Foundation deti.zp.ua, and they were viewed by thousands of readers. She placed countless publications in her own blog, on information portals and on the websites of other organizations, and her audience surely covered not only Ukraine but also many other countries. Her articles helped save lives, find medications and medical equipment, and break the walls of bureaucracy.
Contribution of Ira Gavrisheva as a journalist into the development of charitable activities was marked with the Voice of Charity national award in the nomination ‚ÄúVolunteer Journalist‚ÄĚ. At the International Conference of the Ukrainian Philanthropists Forum held on 25 February 2016 in Kyiv, the Voice of Charity diploma and memorable sign were given to Ira‚Äôs father, Aleksandr Gavrishev. According to project coordinator of The Happy Child Foundation, Roman Kirchenko, who was present at the award ceremony, announcement of Irina Gavrisheva‚Äôs name was followed by a well-deserved hurricane of applause among the participants.
The Voice of Charity is an award for journalists who tell about the work of volunteers and philanthropists, share the stories of good deeds, encourage charity and investigate the cases of abuse. It is initiated by the Ukrainian Philanthropists Forum, uniting the leading charitable organizations of Ukraine.
Ira Gavrisheva has also been nominated in the national People‚Äôs Philanthropist Contest, where she is one of the leading candidates now. To support Ira, you can vote for her here
Photographs of the Ukrainian Philanthropists Forum and The Happy Child Foundation