Former world footballer of the year Andriy Shevchenko, alongside compatriot Oleksandr Zinchenko, has spearheaded the launch of the Oxbridge Foundation, a charity dedicated to funding education for Ukrainian students affected by the ongoing conflict.
The foundation aims to provide up to 20 scholarships for academically gifted individuals aged 17 to 19, whose education has been disrupted by the war.
The Oxbridge Foundation was established by Stephen and Helen Clarke in the Spring of 2023 in collaboration with Cherwell College Oxford, the University of California, Football for Ukraine, Top Five Management, and the Bush Tennis Center.
Mr Clarke is a former Diplomat and First Secretary for the British Government in Ukraine and is now Principal of Cherwell College Oxford. His wife Helen was born in Ukraine and is Vice Principal of Cherwell College.
The Foundation plans to fund one-year intensive programs consisting of A-level studies, complemented by innovation and entrepreneurship courses and camps in both Oxford and California. This holistic approach aims to empower the next generation of Ukrainian leaders and rebuild educational opportunities impacted by the conflict.
Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine's all-time leading goal scorer and former AC Milan and Chelsea forward, expressed his commitment to the cause, saying, “Supporting the educational development of young people is essential to empowering the next generation.
“It is vital as part of our united efforts to re-build Ukraine and help our people. By nurturing their talent and investing in their futures, the work of the Oxbridge Foundation will have a fundamental impact on the lives of these students, their families, and communities.
Founder and Trustee of the Foundation, Stephen Clarke, said: “The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has affected the educational opportunities of so many bright, young Ukrainian people.
"We hope through the work of our foundation, we will empower them to continue their studies and restore their learning and development opportunities.”
To raise funds and awareness, the foundation will host a Gala Dinner at Blenheim Palace on March 2, 2024. The event aims to garner support for the initiative and ensure the success of their ongoing efforts to provide scholarships and educational opportunities for Ukrainian students.