‘Life Line’: From Kaliningrad to Vladivostok
‘Life Line’ foundation celebrates its 15th anniversary
In June 2019, the ‘Life Line’, which is Russia’s largest charitable foundation, celebrates its 15th anniversary. Over the time of its operation, the organisation has helped more than 10.5 thousand children in the area from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok. Faina Zakharova, President of the ‘Life Line’ foundation, told about the main achievements of the years of the organisation’s work and shared how to bring as much use as possible to people around.
Faina Zakharova - President of the ‘Life Line’ foundation focusing on saving severely ill children
The foundation has been operating since 2004. Helping patients with cardiac diseases was initially the focus of its activity. The foundation paid much attention to introduction of endovascular surgeries in Russia. It was engaged in purchasing equipment and implementation of educational programmes for surgeons. Government actively supported the project. Over time, the foundation significantly expanded the range of its activity.
‘Life Line’ not only provides targeted assistance but also actively cooperates with Russia’s Ministry of Health, takes part in purchasing the newest equipment for hospitals, and supports research.
Faina Zakharova believes that it is important to provide medical aid in a systemic manner by joining the efforts of different institutions. This is the only way to make the work as effective as possible.
Several years ago, the foundation launched a large-scale project on provision of its patients with artificial lungs ventilation at home. Thanks to this programme, children who had had to be in a hospital could return to their homes and be with their parents. The project was carried out jointly with the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. Major work has been done with the hospitals: it included regular online conferences and allocation of significant amount of money from the budget to buying new equipment. Today, the foundation is getting ready to give the results of its work to the state.
“We see one of our tasks in giving a start to relevant medical projects, work through the algorythms and models of their fulfilment and then give them to the state in order to spread them countrywide”, explains Ms. Zakharova.
A similar model was used when implementing a project on provision of a patient with an endoprosthesis that grows with him or her throughout life. Children suffering from bone sarcoma used to undergo amputation. Nowadays, doctors provide such children with an endoprosthesis. After a special rehabilitation course developed within the project, patients are able to not only walk but also have small physical loading.
‘Life Line’ fulfils a serious project with the ‘Cognition’ foundation. They jointly help children in hotspots. Faina Zakharova herself visited refugee camps in Lebanon.
The foundation’s team pays much attention to the topic of a healthy lifestyle. Faina Zakharova was extremely inspired by a marathon in London: she had the opportunity to witness the meeting of Queen Elizabeth with marathon participants. After returning to Russia, Ms. Zakharova decided to launch such marathons in her country. She proposed to annually conduct one eighth of a marathon in the next 8 years because short distances allowed made it possible for a bigger number of people to participate in such activities.
There will be the final part of the charitable marathon this year. All money for registration of participants is used to fund medical treatment of people.
In addition, ‘Life Line’ partners with the Moscow Marathon, the largest sporting competition in the capital of Russia.
“We are looking for such directions and formats of charity projects that would allow to attract the attention of the maximum number of our personnel, representatives of other companies, and non-indifferent people”, emphasizes Faina Zakharova.
The simpler and the more exciting the project is, the more participants it will have. This will help save more lives. For example, many people were inspired by the foundation’s initiative called ‘Someone’s Life is Not a Small Thing’. Within the project, its organisers managed to raise more than 35 million rubles in change.
“Feeling sorry is a bad feeling. When we feel sorry for somebody, he or she becomes only weaker. I believe that it is much more important to inspire people, give them the reasons for joy, and fill them with life energy”, believes Faina Zakharova.
That is why ‘Life Line’ foundation carries out a number of bright projects. ‘Kind Hands of the People of Earth’ became one of the most notable projects. Several years ago, different airports in Russia were equipped with special canvases where everyone wishing could leave their palm prints of different colours. Such pieces of art were later sold at an auction. All money earned was donated to charity.
Many famous personalities supported the foundation. For example, Sergey Lazarev, a Russian singer, is the Ambassador of ‘Life Line’. His fan club always actively engages in charity projects of the foundation and provides voluntary assistance in organisation of events.
Faina Zakharova mentions that cooperation with actors helps attract a number of young people to charity and social work and bring up the most important human qualities in them.
When a person can share something and help somebody, he or she becomes really happy.
Ms. Zakharova advises those who want to help somebody do that through foundations in order not to become the victims of fraudsters. It is important to carefully browse through the website of the organisation and make sure that it provides regular news updates and open reporting. Moreover, she calls upon people to responsibly approach to charitable activities and follow the news about those whom they assisted.
In 2013, Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, awarded Faina Zakharova with the state decoration ‘For Beneficence’.
The decoration has the image of a pelican on it. The pelican has long been the symbol of self-sacrifice and mercy. Being awarded with a decoration with an image of a bird on it was especially pleasant to Ms. Zakharova because she had been educated as a geographer and was the founder of the Wildlife Foundation in England.
“I am a high mountain specialist. Mountains are my passion, my source of energy and inspiration”, she shares.
At the time of the 10th anniversary of the foundation, Faina Zakharova decided to unite two basic directions of her activity: helping children and caring about nature. At that moment, the organisation had already saved 7000 lives. The foundation’s tenth birthday was celebrated with an action, within the framework of which 7000 trees were planted countrywide and named after the children saved. They turned into a peculiar map of life that only grows over time.
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Anna Repina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov