1246 W. Caida Del Sol Drive
October Revolution Ave. 117, suite 22
Tel: (462) 27-22-27
Tel: in Kyiv 455-6986
Contact: Natalia Zdanovich
FIPE was created in 1990 by a small group of Russian and American professionals and businesspeople to facilitate the exchange of professional persons, information, equipment, and students between the U.S. and the NIS. They focus on the fields of medicine, education, government, and church.
In medicine their activities include a program for NIS physicians at the famed Mayo Clinic branch in Scottsdale, AZ, and the placement of NIS physicians in U.S. medical schools for short-term intensive study in their specialties. With the support of the Ukraine Ministry of Health, FIPE has worked to renovate facilities and provide state-of-the-art medical equipment to hospitals in Ukraine. They have sent physicians and other medical professionals to Russia and Ukraine to provide training, and to assist in upgrading the NIS health care delivery systems. They have assisted several NIS physicians to attend professional seminars in the United States.
FIPE's work in education includes providing American teachers of English to NIS schools. FIPE helped an English magnet school in Ukraine create a computer center for their 1,750 students, all of whom use the English language. FIPE established an Academic Awards Program at the school. Former Vice Principal Volodymyr Bondarenko credits FIPE with helping his students develop "an understanding of themselves as citizens of the world, absolutely essential if they are going to lead Ukraine into the 21st century." FIPE also has a "Books-in-English" program, which provides otherwise unaffordable English language textbooks to NIS schools from two collection points in the U.S. and four distribution points in the NIS. The books are donated by American school systems and publishers..
FIPE also created a Resident Municipal Government Intern Program with the American Graduate School of International Business Management (Thunderbird School) and the city of Scottsdale, AZ.
With the endorsement of the leadership of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and the Russian Orthodox Church, FIPE developed a Parish Partnership Project that links congregations of the two churches at the local level. Active, ongoing partnerships now exist between more than 20 Episcopal congregations in the U.S. and Orthodox congregations in the NIS. Each partnership involves at least one visit to the other's community by clergy and laity on both sides. Although some American congregations do make financial gifts to their NIS partners, such support is neither required nor expected. "Love is the medium of exchange."
FIPE has resident representatives in Russia and Ukraine. President Jack Wilson states, "FIPE is not a funding organization, we are facilitators, brokers of people and resources. No American in our organization is paid. We operate on a bare-bones budget and a lot of loving goodwill and help from a lot of people. We think this is very much worth doing."
A major activity for 1999 was the FIPE Russian Ministry Network / Library of Congress Russian Leadership Project. At the request of Dr. James Billington, Librarian of Congress and friend of FIPE, the US Congress allocated funds to bring 3,000 Russian leaders to the USA to experience American life and hospitality. Dr. Billington allocated 500 of those Russians to the Episcopal Church to host, given its close relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church. FIPE's Russian Ministry Network carried out the first phase of this program for the Episcopal Church.
Last updated: October 2003
A print version of much of the information contained in this NIS Third Sector Organizations section can be found in the The Post-Soviet Handbook (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1999).