Advocacy

 

It is impossible to solve the problems of families with disabled children without changing the attitudes of society and the state. That’s why one of the Foundations most  important activities is advocacy.

What we do:

  • Building awareness of the challenges people with special needs face;
  • Providing a platform for public discussion of the issues and the various solutions;
  • Advocacy work aimed at securing recognition of the rights of this group of the population;
  • Cooperation with the media and journalists that cover this issue, providing expert assessment, assistance in gathering information for publications.

 

What we’ve done:

“Angel of Faith” – 2017

International Children’s Day (1 June 2017) saw the launch of the music video for the single “Angel of Faith” by Russian stars Vasiliy Vakulenko (Basta) and Polina Gagarina, in which Natalia Vodianova is also involved.

The video, which was directed by popular Moscow-based photographer and director Timofey Kolesnikov, was created as part of the ongoing “Don’t be silent” project and touches on the hot topic of the abandonment of children with disabilities. Without the necessary support or knowledge, families often feel incapable of raising children with conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism and other special needs and leave them in the care of closed state institutions. To this day, the issue remains “invisible”- an inconvenient truth that is discussed very little in society. The “Angel of Faith” video draws public attention to the problem.

World Autism Awareness Day – 2017

Since 2008, World Autism Awareness Day has been celebrated worldwide on 2 April every year. The initiative was introduced in order to highlight the need to support and enhance the quality of life of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In fact, the whole of April is considered to be autism awareness month.

On this day in 2017, the Naked Heart Foundation held a free webinar on the the topic “Growing up and Autism”, which focused on the maturation of people with autism. Watch the webinar here (in Russian).

The World’s Largest Lesson – 2016

The World’s Largest Lesson was back. Its aim is to use animation, colourful graphics and play exercises to make children and adolescents all over the world aware of the global Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted at the end of September by 193 United Nations Member States. The global goals constitute a plan of action for all humankind to solve the main problems that confront our planet.

In 2016 the Lesson was devoted to gender equality, while last year in Russian schools it was dedicated to Global Goal №4 – Quality Education – ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. It took place in schools across the country in partnership with the Naked Heart Foundation and Ministry for Education and Science of the Russian Federation. Find out more.

World Autism Awareness Month – 2016

Since 2008, World Autism Awareness Day has been celebrated worldwide on 2 April every year. The initiative was introduced in order to highlight the need to support and enhance the quality of life of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In fact, the whole of April is considered to be autism awareness month.

During a widespread joint charity campaign entitled “Attention: Autism”, organised by the Naked Heart Foundation and Russian autism foundation “Vykhod” (“Way Out”), billboards were placed on the streets of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Belgorod, Voronezh and Kostroma throughout the month of April to raise awareness of the early signs of autism in children.

One of the main events of autism awareness day in Russia was a visit to Russia by leading international autism specialist Dr Bryan King. During the visit, Dr King gave a joint lecture, along with the Naked Heart Foundation experts Svyatoslav Dovbnya (child neurologist) and Tatiana Morozova (clinical psychologist) on “Autism: past, present and future”. The lecture took place in three towns: Moscow, Voronezh and Nizhny Novgorod. There was a full house for all three lectures, which attracted the attention of a large number of specialists, parents of children and young people with autism spectrum disorders, university students and others who simply wished to find out more about the issue. We received a lot of positive feedback from the audience.

Find out more.

The World’s Largest Lesson – 2015

Russia was one of more than 100 countries that were simultaneously be teaching the World’s Largest Lesson. The lesson, which focuses on the value and accessibility of education, was be conducted with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and children’s charity the Naked Heart Foundation.

The Lesson had enormous impact. Schools in over 100 Russian towns took part in the initiative including a number of schools for children with special needs and even several college-level institutions. The lesson took place in all 9 federal districts of Russia, it covered schools in 43 regions (oblasts), 8 krais, in all 22 republics and 1 autonomous oblast.
Find out more.

“Don’t be Silent” – 2015

“Don’t be silent” campaign, which aims to change social attitudes towards people with developmental disorders. Dima Bilan released the music video for his track “Don’t be silent” at the beginning of September, with the participation of Natalia Vodianova and Nika Kirillova, who has Down’s syndrome. This is the first music video ever released in Russia that focuses on people with developmental disorders and it has already had a huge impact on society.

It has empowered a great many parents of children with special needs to take their children out in public, talk openly about the problems they face and initiate public debate about how to ensure that our society is truly open to all. We have received letters from mothers of children with special needs, parents’ organisations that work with children with special needs, and ordinary people who, like us, believe that remaining silent about disabilities is not a solution to the issue.

 

Social Media Photo Project “Every Child Deserves a Family” – 2014

Photo project “Every Child Deserves a Family” was a campaign, which aimed to attract the public attention to the problem of the institutionalisation of children with special needs in Russia.

More than 100 Russian and world-famous celebrities and supporters took part in our photo project, including Stella McCartney, Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Danila Kozlovsky, Vincent Pérez, Kseniya Sobchak, Sergey Shnurov, Kseniya Rappoport and many others. Thanks to the inspiring engagement of our supporters, including many world-renowned friends of the Foundation, we are able to achieve a bigger outreach in campaigning for every child’s right for a loving and caring family. Learn more…

 

Social Campaigning on Channel One Russia – 2014

Thanks to the support of Federal Channel One, film director Andrey Zaytsev and production team “Stink Moscow”, an original charity advertisement about the Naked Heart Foundation was broadcast during prime time on Russia’s most watched Federal channel in 2013.

The 30-second ad, which was specially created for the children’s version of the popular TV programme “The Voice”, addressed the issue of children with disabilities and focused on two main areas – the creation of a system of free services for vulnerable families bringing up children with special needs and the construction of inclusive children’s play facilities.

The purpose of the ad was to raise public awareness about this topic, and to teach people the values of respect and tolerance, on the basis of which we can support the building of a healthy society that is accepting of all people, regardless of their physical or mental capabilities. It is important to initiate the conversation about children with disabilities, acknowledge their existence in society and emphasise the fact that we all have a lot more in common with each other than we might surmise. Learn more…

 

Photo Exhibition “What is Autism?” – 2013

Within the III International Forum, photographer Natalia Kharlamova and Naked Heart Foundation joined together to organise a weekly street photography exhibition in the heart of Moscow called “What is autism?”. The exhibition featured candid portraits of children with autism accompanied by personal and engaging stories from their parents and teachers.

“Play4life” – 2012

On the 1st June 2012, in collaboration with the Government of the Russian Federation, the Foundation held a charity football match at the Luzhniki Stadium Grand Arena.

The goal of the event was to draw public attention to the issue of disability in Russia and to present a schedule of amendments of the Civil Code, prepared by the legal team of the Centre of Curative Pedagogics and financed by the Naked Heart Foundation, to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

In the presence of the press, Mr. Dvorkovich promised to take the amendments into consideration. As a result, the responsible authorities have begun to evaluate them.

Arkady Dvorkovich, Natalia Vodianova, Samuel Eto’o, Igor Vernik, Ilya Averbukh, Vladimir Beschastnykh, Dmitry Malikov, Mikhail Idov participated in the match to support the initiative.

 

“Unlimited Possibilities” Photography Project – 2012

In July 2012, in collaboration with Glamour magazine and photographer Vlad Loktev, a unique photo shoot was organised.

It focused on Russian Paralympic athletes and those people closest to them. The purpose of the shoot was to demonstrate the importance of warmth and support in families of children with disabilities.

It was timed to coincide with the Paralympic Games in London. The photos were published in Russian Glamour magazine and exhibited in Gorky Park in Moscow and Bosco Sport shops.

As a Sochi-2014 ambassador, Natalia considered it necessary to draw public attention to the Paralympic Games.

The project was published in the September issue of Glamour magazine. Following publication, and with the support of Bosco, the images were exhibited first in Gorky Park and then in Moscow’s GUM shopping centre.

 

Learn about other projects

Our projects

Early Intervention

We empower professionals and parents to help them give children with special needs the best start in life. Our Early intervention services are designed to provide families of children with special needs with the support and resources needed to maximise the child’s potential.

 

School Project

We believe that every child should go to school. Children with autism may find it more difficult to sit in a classroom, concentrate, complete school tasks and communicate with their classmates. Therefore, we since 2013 we have been educating teachers about special methods of working with such children.

 

Family Support Centre

We create a network of family support services for children with special needs and their families. Naked Heart Family Support Centre provides combined psychological, educational, social, legal, therapeutic, and other professional assistance.

 

Forum

Our annual international "Every Child Deserves a Family" forum is a unique platform for dialogue between Russian and foreign child development experts, which allows representatives from various regions of Russia to exchange views and experience. It is also a step forward towards developing a professional community in Russia.

 

Integrative Camps – Summer with Purpose

We support projects to run summer and autumn integrative camps for children with special needs. Such camps create an environment in which children can relax emotionally, recover their health, have much-needed new experiences and communicate in a variety of different ways.

 

Legal Project

We are supporting projects run by the legal department of the Centre for Curative Pedagogics in Moscow, and relevant projects run by other organisations, aimed at ensuring the rights of children with disabilities and raising legal awareness among parents and specialists working in the field.

 

Sensory integration and occupational therapy rooms

The Naked Heart Foundation is currently working to create fully-equipped sensory integration and occupational therapy rooms for children with autism and other developmental disorders, with the aim of teaching those children coping mechanisms and enabling them to reach their full potential.

 

Webinars

The objective of our interactive online seminars is to introduce people to up-to-date, proven methods of working with people with disabilities. They are held on a regular basis and cover topics such as autism, communication and foster care. The webinars are aimed primarily at the Russian audience.

 

Joint projects

Normalisation

The aim of this project is to support NGOs that provide psychological, medical, therapeutic and social support for children with disabilities and their families; families intending to adopt, take guardianship of, or foster a child with disabilities; and disadvantaged families or families in crisis.

 

Supporting regional NGOs

By funding the advocacy and service-delivery programmes implemented by our partner non-pro ts and NGOs across Russia, we expand our reach and help improve more people’s lives faster and more efficiently.