Inspired to help the people of the Ukraine
Published Thursday, June 21, 2012 4:57PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 21, 2012 5:15PM MDT
Lloyd Cenaiko was living the dream, a successful commercial real estate developer in Canada and the US. Then in 1994 he went with his parents to visit the area of Ukraine where his dad had been born.
There he experienced a life-changing event. When Lloyd Cenaiko visited his father's birth place he was shocked and troubled by the poverty and suffering he witnessed.
Cenaiko told CTV's Darrel Janz, "Now I had done nothing to earn the right or the privilege to be born and raised in Canada because this is the best country in the world. And so I felt an immediate kind of an obligation that there's something I had to do."
Cenaiko was so moved he decided to leave his successful career and set up an NGO called HART: Humanitarian Aid Response Teams. Each year he and his family now spend three months in Ukraine working with their staff and volunteers to make life in the Ukraine better.
Kostya Voloshyn is the Director of Eastern European Programs. She says "It is impressing to me what Lloyd Cenaiko did, the way he sacrificed his life for Ukraine and Ukrainian people." She also tells us that the work of Lloyd Cenaiko and HART has made it possible for five thousand kids to go to camp every summer and just be kids. She says, "For many of those kids, for all of them, summer camp that they go to is the only pleasure and fun they have during summer time."
Cyndi Chromic used to volunteer for HART, but upon seeing Cenaiko's passion for the work she quit her former job and became his executive director. She told CTV, "I just see him as such an inspiration to be able to do more with my life than what I have up till now. It's very easy to be just sort of focused on yourself."
Cenaiko is currently in the Ukraine. He and his whole family go there every three months to dedicate themselves to HART.