Friday, December 8, 2023

Shakhtar Donetsk, the team that no longer plays only football

Shakhtar Donetsk, one of the most important teams in Ukraine —originating from the Ukrainian city of the same name today under Russian occupation—, no longer dedicates itself only to playing soccer. It has also started to carry out a series of charitable activities, mainly through projects to help people seriously affected by the conflict, including wounded soldiers and orphans. The news was first reported by the French agency AFP and has gone around the world, translated into several languages.

The information also closely touches Spain and, especially, Barcelona. The reason is that one of the beneficiaries is a ukrainian soldier with serious brain damage who has been transferred to the Gutmann Institute, according to what EL PERIÓDICO, from the Prensa Ibérica group, has learned. He arrived on March 20 and will continue for several months in Barcelona, ​​where he hopes to undergo a delicate surgery.

His name is Vitaliy, is 35 years old and was injured during a shelling near Donetsk in August last year. The seriousness of his situation, together with the reality of the difficulties facing the Ukrainian healthcare system with the ongoing war, made Shakhtar interested in him, sources from the club have explained to this newspaper.

Message to Spanish football

The plan is also to soon organize the transfer to the same clinic a second soldier. In this case, it is a person who was injured near the city of Mariupol and who is conscious, but he can not move. Two other combatants, also part of the project, have been sent to other centers specializing in USA and Israel. For a sixth soldier, the best option is still being evaluated.

The project, Shakhtar sources explain, is completely team funded Ukrainian and has been made possible in part by a series of charity matches which were organized last year to raise funds together with other European clubs. “We would like to see them added as well the spanish teams or, if it cannot be, that they collaborate in any of our initiatives”, says Yuriy Svyrydov, Shakhtar’s director of communication.

In addition to the program for soldiers, Shakhtar also has another initiative in Lviv, a house-refuge for displaced persons, which has welcomed some 2,000 people. And the team also has a project for around thirty orphaned children, more than half of whom have already found a new home.


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