| Jan 30, 2024
The Newest Casa Soleterre: Dacha in Kyiv
The newest Casa Soleterre now open in Kyiv: Dacha.
Soleterre is incredibly proud to announce the opening of our eighth Casa Soleterre family home, now serving families in Kyiv, Ukraine!
After more than a year of stalling construction due to the ongoing war, the newest Casa Soleterre, Dacha, opened in Kyiv. Dacha is made possible thanks to the collaboration of Soleterre’s wonderful partners at Zaporuka Foundation and Rosa Pristina Foundation. At the inauguration of Dacha, our staff at Soleterre was surrounded by so many of our wonderful partners. Among the friendly faces at this joyous occasion were Natalia Onipko, the Founder of the Zaporuka Foundation; Olena Yefymenko, Director of the National Institute for Cancer; Volodymyr Zhovnir, Director of Okhmatdyt; Iryna Suslova, representative of Ombudsman for children’s rights; Darya Gerasymchuk, Consulate for the Presidential Commission for children’s rights and child rehabilitation; and Damiano Rizzi, member of Zaporuka Foundation and President of Soleterre.
After many years of renting, Soleterre was able to purchase land with the intention of constructing a new building dedicated to hosting families while their children underwent cancer treatment. Although the ongoing war had stalled the progress of this new endeavor, work resumed last year in 2023. Under the direction of AIMM Group—an award-winning Ukrainian architecture firm— Soleterre is proud to present this brand new structure and the latest addition to our Casa Soleterre network. Affectionately known as “Dacha,” the space is retrofitted with fifteen rooms and numerous common spaces for its guests to enjoy. Keeping the safety of our guests as first priority, Dacha will also feature an air raid shelter installed outside the building. With this addition, we can guarantee the safety of all our families from any future Russian attacks carried out in the area.
“We are so proud to have contributed to the realization of Dacha—a project of fundamental importance for the future of Ukraine’s children. It’s emotional for us to see the fruits of years of labor dedicated to the cause of young children diagnosed with cancer and their families” —Enrico Dameri, President of Rosa Pristina Foundation
Our Casa Soleterre family homes are the only structures in Ukraine that host children diagnosed with cancer and their families completely free of charge. With our sister family home in Neslukhiv, Soleterre is honored to be active nearby Lviv and now Kyiv to offer this service. The strategic location of this facility is within reach of two national centers for tumors: the National Cancer Institute and the Institute of Neurosurgery, both located in Kyiv. In fact, the children hosted by Dacha have some of the most complex cancer diagnoses and as a result, would have no possibility of treatment in the vicinity of their hometown. As a result, families often find themselves facing economical hardship, forced to manage the cost of the journey, and the subsequent weight of longterm food and housing costs in Kyiv, a city with a much higher cost of living than many are accustomed to in the provinces.
“These children were already engaged in battling a personal war thanks to their diagnoses when they found themselves innocent victims once again. The war has caused not only a lack of medical materials necessary for treatments but the conflict has also caused lasting power outages rendering the machines needed to protect these children’ lives useless.” — Damiano Rizzi, founder and President of Soleterre.
Inside Dacha, recreational and educational activities are offered to all guests. Moreover, these activities are inclusive of psychological support and physiotherapeutic rehabilitation. But this Casa Soleterre is much more than a place to live for these brave children and their families. For their cancer treatment, it’s an essential piece of the whole—a home where they can feel safe and protected in a comfortable space, surrounded by their loved ones, aided by Soleterre’s team of psychologists and psychotherapists. Our goal is to offer these families some semblance of “normal” and a place to call their own, despite the distance from what they hold dear back at home.
“To have built an air-raid shelter in 2023 in Ukraine, located within the garden of a home for young children battling cancer offers an added dimension to the absurdity of war. Here, at Dacha, we will continue to work towards the victory of life over death, without rest.” —Natalia Onipko, President of Zaporuka Foundation.
The inauguration of the Dacha was a joyous occasion. After years of effort, difficulty, and the destabilizing impact of the continuing war, to open such an important space meant so much to everyone. Beautifully modern and welcoming, the Dacha’s opening was a celebration of hope and hard work. Inside Dacha, one instantly feels there is a warm, welcoming feeling.
A glimpse into one of the apartments at Dacha.
Natalia Onipko & Damiano Rizzi cutting the ribbon!
Makar (12 years old) was among our first guests.
Hlib (3 years old) celebrating Christmas at Dacha.