Naked Heart Foundation's main achievements in 2020
28 December 2020
2020 has been a challenging year for everybody and specifically for those engaged in the charity sector. In spite of current circumstances Naked Heart Foundation has been continuing to support children with autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome and other special needs.In such tough times your support for these children is even more critical as the closure or reduction of supporting organisations does not diminish their needs on the contrary necessitates even more intense support. Throughout this year we have effectuated this support both offline and online via the teaching of children, parents and specialists and via the guidance of the participants of our projects etc. Our primary focus covers three areas: 1) The support of children and their families – providing the necessary social and legal support and assistance programmes for families raising children with autism, cerebral palsy and other special needs. 2) The creation of a professional community – training qualified specialists to support people with developmental disabilities, creating a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience among professionals and parents, and informing government officials as well the wider civil society through the publications of works concerning the benefits of inclusion. 3) The advocacy of developing an inclusive society. This work is aimed at changing social and governmental attitudes towards children and adults with mental, physical and sensory disabilities and their families.
Support for children and their families:Under the Early Intervention project for children with autism spectrum disorders and motor disorders, more than 2746 children have benefitted from, and continue to benefit from, free early intervention services at 23 locations in Nizhny Novgorod, Tula, Saint Petersburg and Moscow. During the quarantine period we have continued our work without interruption and have transferred our early intervention services online. Twice a week our specialists hold video calls where they explain how to interact with children and analyze videos of their parent/child interactions. Under our Legal project more than 330 parents raising children with special needs received legal assistance.
The creation of a professional community:We have continued to teach and guide specialists online by conducting online learning marathons, holding seminars, developing nakedheart.online platform and publishing a book about autism. 2 online learning marathons regarding autism involved over 3800 people from over 8 countries. Our experts raised many important questions like how to develop communication, organise online teaching process, as well as the problems of adolescence. We have trained 12 specialists under the EarlyBird programme. It supports parents of pre-school children who have recently been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. The programme was created by the National Autistic Society in 1997 in the UK. With the support of Naked Heart Foundation, the programme is currently running in St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Tver and many other Russian cities. We continue to develop nakedheart.online, a platform where parents and specialists can find information on evidence-based methods of support for children with special needs and their parents. We have issued more than 150 articles and more than 260 000 people from 14 different countries have visited our platform since its launch in November 2019. We have also published our third book called “How to support preschoolers with autism”. This book will prove to be very useful for parents and specialists alike, and has been downloaded more than 4000 times already.
The advocacy of developing an inclusive society:On 21 March, to mark World Down Syndrome Day, Naked Heart premiered a short film about the influence of adults on children’s attitudes towards peers with special needs. It has been viewed more than 25 million times and has received many professional awards in Russia and internationally. We have continued to establish inclusive play facilities for children of all mental, physical and sensory abilities. This year we opened three facilities in the Amur, Volgograd and Irkutsk regions by that increasing the number of our play facilities to the total of 210! They can be found in 157 towns and villages not only in Russia, but also in other countries. During this difficult period, we have continued to assist children and parents with special needs and we require your continued support to build upon the work which we have been doing for more than 10 years. The structural and financial support which we provide to specialists enables the children to have a better quality of life and education which not only benefits the children but also the entire family. You can support us by making a donation here.