The Oneness-Heart Tears and Smiles initiative has had a long and fruitful relationship with the Raisa Gorbacheva Memorial Institute of Children’s Oncology, Hematology and Transplantation in St. Petersburg, Russia. Our founder, Sri Chinmoy visited the hospital the year it opened in 2007, and offered a concert that day in memory of Raisa Maximovna, wife of President Gorbachev.
Over the years, we have been very grateful to be of assistance in all kinds of ways, mainly in giving the children joy and encouragement – whether it be through entertainers and clown performances, or offering art classes and supplies, along with reproductions of Sri Chinmoy’s beautiful Jharna-Kala artwork.
The Institute has also been a keen participant in one of our favourite projects: our Kids to Kids drawings, where children from different corners of the world send each other drawings expressing their love, friendship and concern. Over the difficult past couple of years, we connected ‘Raisa’s children‘ who were being treated in the institute with children undergoing treatment in other hospitals, such as the Policlinico Vittorio Emanuele in Catania, Italy. We also have been sending drawings from children in other countries like the USA and Portugal.
This year is especially meaningful since the 5th of January was Raisa’s 90th birth anniversary. President Gorbachev recently received an update of our work – he expressed his gratitude, and said ‘it would be great if the work they started would never stop!’