May 15, 2019 - Aeroexpress and Naked Heart Foundation Launch Awareness Campaign
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Aeroexpress and Naked Heart Foundation Launch Awareness Campaign

May 15, 2019

Aeroexpress and the Naked Heart Foundation are launching a joint campaign aimed at raising awareness about autism spectrum disorder.

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Passengers travelling by Aeroexpress trains running between the Belorussky Rail Terminal and Sheremetyevo Airport will see videos debunking myths and misconceptions that autism is associated with.

Natalia Vodianova, the founder of the Naked Heart Foundation, will appear in the video. She formulated the main principle of an inclusive society: “People with special needs are, first of all, people. First and foremost, we should see their personality, needs and interests and, only then, their peculiarities.”

The key objective of the project is to draw attention to the problems faced by people with this special development.

“We are pleased to co-organise such a socially-significant campaign. It is very important to raise society’s awareness of problems faced by people with special needs, especially children, as very often the lack of such knowledge becomes a barrier to communication. We hope that the short video that will be aired aboard Aeroexpress trains will help passengers to better understand the feelings and wishes of people with autism spectrum disorder and to eliminate any communication barriers,” said Alina Bisembaeva, CEO of Aeroexpress.

“While autism awareness month has finished, this issue remains relevant all year round. We hope that this campaign will help in developing an inclusive society. To do so, everyone needs to know that, while we are all different, we have a few things in common, including our willingness to have friends, communicate, and travel the world,” said Asya Zalogina, the President of the Naked Heart Foundation.

Aeroexpress is a socially-oriented company that regularly carries out various events aimed at helping children with their social integration. The Dedovsk Special Boarding School has been under the company’s patronage since 2013. Moreover, Aeroexpress takes into account the needs and interests of people with disabilities and regularly promotes the development of the accessible transport environment.

About Naked Heart Foundation

The Naked Heart Foundation is a charitable organization, founded by Natalia Vodianova in 2004. Its main lines of work include creating free support services for families raising children with developmental disabilities and building inclusive playgrounds and parks for children of all ages and abilities. Through these programmes, the foundation strives to accomplish its key mission — to help build an inclusive society open to people with special needs.

Via the ‘Every Child Deserves a Family’ programme, Naked Heart tries to put an end to the practice still existing in Russia of abandoning children with developmental peculiarities as state wards. To this date, the foundation has financed multiple projects initiated by dozens of Russian organizations to help children and adults with physical, mental and sensor disabilities, and has provided financing to the Family Support Center and Early Intervention Centers, as well as organizing summer integration camps for children and teenagers with autism. The foundation has been implementing a unique interregional project aimed at training school and preschool teachers to work with children with autism spectrum disorder. Thanks to this work, hundreds of children, who were previously treated as having learning disabilities, now have access to education and have started to socialize.

Moreover, starting from 2012, the foundation has been holding an annual international forum ‘Every Child Deserves a Family’. This is a one-of-a-kind communication platform for leading Russian and foreign child development experts, where representatives from different regions of Russia share their opinions and experience and help develop a professional community in Russia.

Since it was established, the foundation has financed over 200 inclusive playground facilities, as part of the ‘Play with Purpose’ programme. These are for children of all ages and abilities, including playgrounds established for ophanages and children's hospitals, as well as oncology and rehabilitation centres. The geographical territory of playgrounds and parks created by the foundation covers over 140 cities — from Kaliningrad to Sovetskaya Gavan. And each year there are even more to come!

Hot line number

8-800-700-33-77 (calls from Russia and mobile phones).

8-495-663-84-10 (calls from Moscow).

The call is free of charge from all regions of Russia.

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