David Cameron thanks Ukraines youngest billionaire for his invaluable contribution to London school

Front page of the London Evening Standard in November 2011 announcing Zhevago's donationBritish Prime Minister David Cameron visited a primary school in South London on Tuesday, where he paid tribute to the school’s attempts to fight illiteracy and thanked Ukrainian businessman Kostyantin Zhevago for funding the school’s literacy project. St Mary’s in Battersea is considered a flagship school in a campaign launched by the London Evening Standard newspaper to improve literacy in the UK, where ‘one in four children leave London’s primary schools unable to read properly.’ The campaign became possible due to a donation of £100,000 by Ukraine’s youngest billionaire businessman Kostayntin Zhevago.

The London Evening Standard newspaper, which has a daily circulation of 600,000, in its article on the Prime Minister’s visit to the school, reported that ‘Ukrainian billionaire Kostyantin Zhevago, who bankrolled the project with £100,000 to fund 85 volunteers at St Mary’s over three years, also visited the school and met volunteers for the first time. The Prime Minister thanked him for his invaluable contribution, together with Sue Porto, chief executive of campaign partner, Volunteer Reading Help.’

Mr. Zhevago, a Ukrainian entrepreneur, was the first Eastern European to list his company, Ferrexpo, on the London Stock Exchange. He controls the Finances and Credit group – one of largest conglomerates in Ukraine and is the owner and honorary president of FC Vorskla, a Ukrainian Premier League football team. The Evening Standard in a November article wrote that he and his wife hope to relocate from Kyiv to London.

‘Philanthropy across the world is changing: today we are seeing billionaires from Ukraine and other ex-soviet States becoming international players and being praised for their charitable giving, both in their homelands and across the globe. It is good to see healthy tangible projects and educational institutions benefiting from major donations,’ commented Andy Hunder, Director of the Ukrainian Institute in London.

To see the London Evening Standard video of David Cameron visiting the school, click here