7 June marks not only two years of Petro Poroshenko's presidency but also two years of his wife Maryna Poroshenko in the status of the first lady of Ukraine. While the Protector of the Constitution "fought" on the diplomatic front, to fulfill its promises and establish international ties, the first lady helped IDPs, military and children with special needs.
During these two years, the President's wife maintained the image of a modern Ukrainian woman, not shy of fashion trends and close to the people at the same time. In September 2014, Maryna Poroshenko appeared on the cover of Elle magazine. In March 2015, she was spotted on an "Intercity" train heading from Kharkiv to Kyiv. "I do not believe my eyes - the first lady in an elektrichka [ordinary commuter train]. The country is changing," wrote one of the passengers.
Here's the list of some notable social initiatives by Maryna Poroshenko.
Flashmob "Coffee with a friend"
In the winter 2016 Ukraine was shocked by the history of IDP Roman Kislyak, who was kicked out of the restaurant due to the fact that he was ill with cerebral palsy. Maryna Poroshenko invited this man to a café, and urged Ukrainians to join the flash mob "Coffee with a friend," inviting people with special needs for a coffee.
"It is very important that Ukrainians have joined to this flashmob and expressed their interest to people with disabilities. I know that the whole companies invited people with special needs. It would be great if this action would not end. We must pay attention to such people, because they are the whole world: interesting, unique, and limitless."
Charitable congratulations to President
September 26, 2015 the first lady originally congratulated her husband on his birthday. On the occasion of his 50th birthday Maryna Poroshenko launched a flash mob in social networks. Participation was very simple: you just had to congratulate the president on the anniversary. Each “like,” “share” and greeting post, even negative, was transferred into 1 hryvnia. The money went to the "Tabletochki" fund. "Tabletochki" is an international charitable foundation, which helps children with hematologic malignancies.
"With warmth in the heart"
In September 2014, charitable action "With warmth in the heart" was launched with the support of the National Cultural-Art Museum Complex "Mystetskyi Arsenal". Humanitarian aid for children and servicemen went to the ATO zone via so called "warmth convoys". A military "warmth convoy" consisted of warm clothing and footwear, underwear, fleece jackets, hats, gloves, ankle boots, rubber boots. Cold-protecting staff transferred to the soldiers included insulating pads, sleeping bags, martial cloaks, and thermoses.
Civilians in the conflict zone were given bedding, hygiene products, winter shoes, toys, and baby food. The First Lady personally accompanied humanitarian aids to Donbas.
Free medical check-ups for children of IDPs
At the initiative of Maryna Poroshenko Kyiv center of preventive and clinical medicine provided free medical treatment for children of IDPs from the conflict-torn and occupied areas. Mobile medical teams program was devised for medical center professionals who visited IDPs living in homes and camps in the Kyiv oblast for medical consultations and preventive examinations of children.
Integration of children with special needs
After a relative stabilization of the situation in the east and the outflow of IDPs first lady started to address the issue of children with special needs. Maryna Poroshenko advocates the implementation of inclusive education and strongly promotes this idea in life, sharing experiences with foreign partners. The president's wife invited children with special needs to visit Ukraine Fashion Week and exhibition of Maria Prymachenko, she also organized charity concerts for them, and painted Easter eggs on the eve of Easter.