GIFT OF LIFE
Gift of Life UK is a sister charity to the Russia-based charity Podari Zhizn.
Podari Zhizn (“Give Life”) is a leading charity in Russia in the field of childhood cancer support. Each year, it provides help and support to over 2,000 patients in different hospitals all around Russia.
Increasingly, Podari Zhizn found itself working with specific cases and friends in the UK. In particular, the charity needed to buy a medicine that was manufactured in the UK but not directly available in Russia. Furthermore, the charity was starting to send patients to London for specialist treatment. And with fundraising also taking place in the UK, there were concerns that Podari Zhizn should formalise its charitable status in the UK to ensure full transparency and accountability.
And so, Gift of Life UK was established in 2011 as a sister charity to Podari Zhizn. The two charities work hand-in-hand to maximise care for the children of Russian families who might otherwise have no hope for successful treatment.
The Russian charity Podari Zhizn has its roots in the work of volunteers who assisted doctors in treating children, and supported children who were being treated at the Russian Children’s Clinical Hospital (RCCH) in the late 1980s.
In 2005, the actress Chulpan Khamatova visited the children’s ward and agreed to help organise a fundraising concert, which did well – but she felt more could be done. So she enlisted the help of fellow actress Dina Korzun, and two more concerts were organised under the name Podari Zhizn, meaning ‘give life’.
The concerts were a great success and enabled the network of volunteers to take their charitable endeavours to a new level. They acquired formal charitable status in 2006, hired professionals, and broadened their reach beyond the Moscow children’s hospital to include other clinics and health facilities.
Under the new name Podari Zhizn, the charity has become a major campaigning force on behalf of children, with a board of trustees and a management team that includes doctors and others with special expertise. For more information about the charity and its work, please visit http://podari-zhizn.ru/main (Russian-language only).