The Naked Heart Foundation was set up by Natalia Vodianova in 2004. Spurred into action by the Beslan tragedy, Natalia founded the charity with an aim to construct modern play parks in urban areas of Russia. To date, the charity has built 175 accessible play parks and playgrounds in 114 cities and towns across Russia and CIS. Some of them are located at orphanages, children’s hospitals and rehabilitation centres.
The experience of disability in Natalia’s own family later prompted the development of a new programme entitled Every Child Deserves a Family in 2011. The Foundation believes that children flourish in a caring and loving environment and aims to help children stay with their families, rather than being placed in orphanages. Since March 2011, the Naked Heart Foundation has financed 18 projects in 7 cities in Russia. These include a Family Support Centre in Nizhny Novgorod, the first ever “play library”, set up in the Tula Region, ongoing sponsorship of the publishing and legal departments of the Centre for Curative Pedagogics (CCP) in Moscow and Summer and Autumn camps for children with special needs and their parents in the Tver, Tula and Orenburg regions. In addition, the charity actively campaigns for the full implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Their mission is to help build an inclusive society that is open to people with disabilities and special needs, through play and the creation of free support services for disadvantaged families.
They aim to ensure that no child with living parents ends up in an orphanage or a children’s home. They are working to tackle the stigma of disability, so that no parent feels pressured to give up a disabled child. And they’re working with families who have made the challenging decision to keep their disabled child at home, in order to give them free access to a full range of services and the support of specialists who are familiar with international best practices and modern technologies.
They want every child to have access to a vibrant, safe and stimulating place to play. Every neighbourhood, children’s hospital and children’s home should have a modern play area that is suitable for all children, whatever their physical abilities. They believe that play is a necessity, not a luxury – and that is why they are turning empty wastelands and grey cityscapes into beautiful places to play.
They believe that truly helping children requires the input of society as a whole, and that by helping to bring about reform they will be able to improve the life of each and every child.
They believe that if each of them contributes even the tiniest amount to a common cause, their children’s lives can be transformed.
Where is Naked Heart Foundation