A delegation of Ukrainian professionals engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)/Community Development and related activities visited the Washington, DC area under the auspices of the Open World Leadership Center to learn about American experiences and best practices in the field. The group’s week-long program was organized and hosted by the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF). The members of the delegation were Alina Bocharnikova (Coordinator for the Development of Social Entrepreneurship at the Agency for the Development of the Future), Olha Boiko (Leading CSR Specialist at Auchan Ukraine Hypermarket), Oleksandra Chuchko (“Three After Midnight” Museum), Heorhiy Harkusha (Head of Social Projects and CSR at Nova Poshta Center), Vladyslav Malashchenko (Good Bread From Good People bakery) and Dana Kavara (Facilitator from American Councils).
As was emphasized during many of the meetings, CSR is more than just philanthropy. It is a company ethos that places a high value on giving back to the community and sustainable development. And it often involves partnerships and collaboration between companies, non-profits and government.
The delegates received the latest academic analysis regarding CSR trends, successes and challenges from Professor Heather Elms (American University) and Professor John Forrer (George Washington University). Representatives of Cargill, Baker and McKenzie, United Bank, Chemonics, and the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce provided a business perspective on their CSR efforts. The group also met with a number of non-profit organizations, including Halcyon, Pyxera Global’s Center for Citizen Diplomacy, DC Central Kitchen, Conservation International and Business Volunteers Maryland.
The Ukrainian delegation attended a lively discussion on U.S.-Ukraine relations at the Atlantic Council. They also had a briefing from Professor Jim Quirk (American University) on the U.S. political system and met with Legislative Director Mike Lucier of Rep. Jennifer Wexton’s (D-VA) office. As part of directly experiencing American life, during their visit the delegates lived with host families in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Photo at top of page: The CSR delegation and USUF Vice President John Kun meet with Julie C. Kernan and Alissa Ganser of Business Volunteers Maryland in Baltimore. (Credit: Adrian Karmazyn).
You can view a photo album chronicling the delegation’s visit at the Foundation’s Facebook page.