Russia has a terrible record in how it treats children with disabilities. Thirty per cent of these children are abandoned. But one supermodel is working to change that.
Cover Girl Natalia Vodianova has a sister with special needs. After she became a supermodel, Natalia founded the Naked Heart Foundation, now celebrating its 10th anniversary. Naked Heart works to create more services and cultural acceptance for children with disabilities to live happy lives. It is a little like pushing an elephant up hill, because of the deep disregard for people and children with disabilities within the Soviet Union.
Natalia has a daunting mission. She is trying to retrain Russian culture. Naked Heart is teaching Russians that people with disabilities can contribute meaningfully to their families and communities.
Natalia credits her special needs sister, Oskana, with contributing to a “ray of life,” for their family during hard times of growing up hungry and cold in Russia.
You can find out more at www.nakedheart.org