Creator of Leo Foundation Alona Shevtsova: We Managed to Create a Truly Diverse Charity Hub Thanks to the Cooperation Between the Fintech Community Members
Such things as social responsibility and support of the country, the army, and society have become an integral part of the daily business for the LEO group of companies working in the fintech sector. “The most important thing is the fact that charity should be efficient, targeted, unifying, and motivating, especially in times of war”, says the founder of the LEO business empire Alona Shevtsova. In the interview with UA.NEWS Alona Shevtsova talks about the process of Leo Foundation creation, its purpose, and its structure.
So, what were your first steps in the world of charity, and why you decided to create your foundation?
Alona Shevtsova, “LEO group of companies and I have been involved in charity projects since the first day of company foundation. Back in the early 2010s, we had to deal with the issues of World War II veterans who lived in Kyiv.
Initially, LEO consolidated its efforts by creating a small group of volunteers who would come to old people and help them with the most basic things. Some of them needed help with the housework, and others needed financial help, so, we had to buy various foods and even the most basic goods for a living. At the same time, many of them just wanted to talk and communicate with other human beings. We tried to devote maximum attention to each of them.
We also wanted to support children with special needs, and it was another area of our charitable activities. At some point, we realized that we could and wanted to help more people. As of today, we have to deal with urgent issues of temporarily displaced persons, orphans, as well as low-income segments of the population. Already today, one of the most important tasks for us is to help with the financing of educational institutions, as well as complex surgeries for children.
It turned out we had to work in many different areas at the same time. So, in order to allocate resources more competently, we decided to create one foundation and reach a whole new level.
Interestingly, this format turned out to be more efficient because we can unite people around the most important things to them and provide fundamental assistance to those in need.
Informing society has become an important and integral element of our work. Here is a simple example: There are people who want to help, but they have no idea about how to join and whom to address their questions. Therefore, we decided to create a community of like-minded people and continue to develop it.
I consider our foundation a place where we were able to gather our experience of participating in charitable initiatives and strengthen it by using the entire world of new opportunities available to us. We are ready to work with both individuals and corporate members. Keeping in mind the vast portfolio of charitable activities of Leo Foundation, everyone can find a project to help. If someone wants to support the development of education and medicine for citizens or the military or even support underprivileged children, we are glad to offer all types of cooperation. We are always open to all kinds of suggestions.”
What is LEO’s role in the charity foundation?
Alona Shevtsova, “LEO IPS has been working on the market for more than 10 years. During this period, we have found a lot of partners and customers who want to help.
The leading role of LEO is to attract its warm contacts to charity projects, as well as to create a small charity hub in the fintech community.
The Leo Foundation implements the company’s social initiatives in the real world. There are three principal areas of the foundation activity. First of all, it is education: Scholarship programs for children and technical means for universities. One of our initiatives is the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Institute of International Relations.
Secondly, it is medicine and healthcare, which include supporting medical institutions, assistance with special equipment, and payment for complex surgeries for people. For example, within our cooperation with the Dobrobut charity organization, we have funded 22 surgeries for children with heart defects.
Thirdly, which has the same level of importance, is humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons who have lost their homes due to Russian aggression. In this area, we have a lot of work: From the distribution of hot lunches and basic necessities to providing people with clothes.”
What are the fundamental values of the foundation?
Alona Shevtsova, “The most important values are the desire to provide real support and unite people around the problems of others. In this way, we can expand initiatives that are important to society. Leo Foundation wants to be as efficient and useful as possible, therefore we strive to be always available and solve all issues in a timely manner. We do our best to stay in touch 24/7 and solve the most prominent issues, regardless of who contacted us.
Leo Foundation is available for both military and civilians. During the last six months, our volunteers in Warsaw have already understood the key elements of military equipment: From the protection class of bulletproof vests to the technical characteristics of radios.
In addition, we closely cooperate with the Dobrobut clinic network: We finance surgeries for seriously ill patients who have no funds for treatment. Each case is considered separately, so, we are able to help people in need.
Why is the surgery financing project so important to you?
Alona Shevtsova, “While working together with the Dobrobut Foundation, we perform emergency surgeries for people injured as a result of combat activity. We process such fundraising requests in a timely manner, even though it requires more effort and time. In addition, we have a truly long-lasting project called “In the rhythm of the heart.” Within this project, we fund pediatric cardiac surgery.
Pediatric cardiac surgery is an especially critical area of our foundation’s operation. Such surgeries are extremely complex and shall be performed with minimal incisions on the body. In addition, they are not cheap, so, we have to raise funds by attracting interested donors.
Thanks to such a unique program, children having heart defects get a chance for a full and happy life.”
How do you see your foundation in a few years?
Alona Shevtsova, “I see a large-scale project that has covered all regions of our country. Scaling is our priority. Leo Foundation will expand to cover all groups of people in need of help. At the same time, we do not plan to terminate already open and available projects.
We also plan to cooperate with international foundations in order to exchange experience and resources. We have a lot of ideas and initiatives, both in the short term and in long-term planning aspects.”