After years of volunteering in Russia by making food and toy donations to orphanages, Tatiana Korsakova decided to set up the Gracious Heart Charity Foundation in 2008 to deepen the support she could provide.
In line with its original goal to support children in need from low income families and orphans, the Foundation in Russia has provided 16 orphanages and 18 child rehabilitation centres with furniture, clothes, stationary and essential medical equipment. It has also helped over 1,200 orphans to find new, loving families and organised many events and projects to improve their lives.
After working and interacting with various centres in Russia, the Gracious Heart team came to realise that there was a lack of awareness about the issues faced by children affected by cerebral palsy or acquired brain injury, and that it is crucial that these children have access to the right rehabilitation and support at an early age, from 0 to 12 years old.
This realisation caused the charity to change its focus, and it is now working to help improve the lives of children with the physical disabilities and medical conditions associated with this condition. The Foundation currently helps to support 20 children a month in Russia, working as a priority with individual families.
The UK arm of the Gracious Heart Charity Foundation was established in 2013 to continue and widen the charity’s work, helping to maximise the potential of children affected by cerebral palsy or acquired brain injury by funding rehabilitation centres, medical treatment, and individual projects.
In the UK, donations from charitable foundations like Gracious Heart are crucial to ensure that rehabilitation centres can continue their work, helping more disabled children to learn new skills, make progress and have a better quality of life.
The charity also focusses on the children’s mental and social integration with the ultimate goal of helping them to feel comfortable in society, with the support they need, as well as raising awareness of the issues surrounding the condition.
Building the Foundations
The Gracious Heart Charity Foundation was initially founded with the aim of supporting orphaned children, their carers and their care facilities in Russia. As time went by, the Foundation grew and we felt that we could also do more for Russia’s impoverished families, making their lives easier and showing that they were not forgotten.
2010 to 2012
The Expansion Phase
During the course of our work, we became aware of the plight of families with children suffering from cerebral palsy in particular.
Some 40% of disabled children live in poverty, and the average cost of bringing up a child with cerebral palsy can be 10 times greater than that of a non‐disabled child.
For this reason, we sought to ease the burden by providing funding for:
- The refurbishment of rehabilitation centres
- Medical treatment
- Specialised medical equipment
- And research centres for the advancement of CP prevention
Information and Resource Centre
We strive to not only provide the child with the necessary technical means of rehabilitation and medical treatment, but also to inform and educate the wider public through events, instructional materials, and word of mouth.
Gracious Heart Charity Foundation was registered in Great Britain
Inspired by the UK’s generous culture of giving to different important causes, we decided to found a sister charity here.
Helping disabled children, and those around them, lead fulfilling lives
We will work in the community to raise awareness of cerebral palsy issues, and to show that with the right level of support and funding, we can care for these children better than ever before.