Аndriy Kostetskyy with his sisters and brothers on "Honor of Nation" Award ceremony, March 14, 2008
Andriy Kostetskyy, 15 years old, lives in Mostyska town (Lviv state, Western Ukraine) with 7 younger sisters and brothers (13, 11, 10, 9, 8, 6 and 2 years old) and with his 77 years old grandmother. The mother of the children died two years ago and their father passed away one year ago. So, all the orphans were destined to be given to an orphanage. The Kostetskyy's children knew it. They cried because they were afraid that when they would stay in an orphanage people might adopt individually and the whole family would fall apart. As the older child, Andriy said to everybody, “Let’s write a letter to the authority and let’s ask them if would could stay together. Let’s explain that we are able to take care of ourselves. We don’t want to lose each other. We want to save our family.”
So they wrote a letter to the mayor of the Mostyska town. The town’s authority was very touched with the children’s request and mayor took a decision do not give the Kostetsky kids to the orphanage. The authority just gave 5 of them to the boarding school and that mean that the children would live and study there 5 days in week and able to come home on weekends. Anyway, they have ONE HOME and ONE FAMILY and their dream to stay together came true. Actually, Andriy now is the head of the big family Kostetskyy. This boy of 15 years is more serious about life than lots of 40 years old men. He wakes up 5 or 6 o’clock every morning, because before going to school he milks a cow and feeds the poultry, cuts wood and makes breakfast for the younger sisters, brothers and grandmother. For weekends the whole family stays together, and sisters 13, 11, 10 and 9 years old help to cook. Also Kostetskyy family grow potatoes, beets and other vegetables in their field.
The older Kostetskyy girls study in the boarding school very well and they have mostly high marks. Andriy says about himself that he is not a very good pupil but what is easy to explain: the young head of the family really has not enough time to learn his subjects thoroughly. But he would like very much that his sisters and brothers studied well and made good careers for themselves. Andriy’s goal after finishing school is to operate a tractor on a larger farm and to drive a car as well. To have a car is very important for such a big family and the authority has promised to give a car to the Kostetskyys. Also, Andriy received a special permission to have a driver's license now, not waiting until his 18th birthday (Ukrainians are allowed to drive a car when they are 18 years old).
Andriy Kostetskyy also got an “Honor of Nation” Award in the category “Family story”. As a prize of the Award, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation has given to the Kostetskyy family a bank deposit with 100 000 UAH for their education and living expenses.
The “Honor of Nation” which is a yearly Ukrainian Award (since 2003) is founded by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Ukrainian “New Channel” television and “The Facts and Comments” newspaper.
A goal of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation is to contribute to the modernization of Ukraine and to bringing up a new generation of Ukrainian leaders who are committed to serving the country. Victor Pinchuk is one of three known Ukrainian billionaires, listed by Forbes.