We foster trust, cooperation and independent dialogue'

Between global leaders


Karman Fellow 2024

Alena Kuzmenko

Founder & President
Unity Charity Foundation

Alena is the founder and president of UNITY Charity Foundation (Russia) which is devoted to spreading art therapy & other well-being and quality of life practices for oncology patients in Russia and around the world.

Prior to founding UNITY foundation Alena had 10 years of experience in investment banking. She decided to start helping oncology patients when her own mom Svetlana passed away from cancer. When Svetlana had treatment in Houston she participated in Spacesuit Art project initiated by Ian Cion and Nicole Stott (Space for Art Foundation, USA). As a part of the project  together with other patients Svetlana painted the tree of life and yin and yan symbol on the Unity spacesuit which was delivered to the International Space Station by NASA. 
The project blossomed into beautiful international collaboration and Unity spacesuit gave birth and name to Unity foundation. To date kids with cancer from 32 cities and 10 countries were able to send their painted dreams to space on spacesuits and satellites as a part of space art therapy program in the partnership with Roscosmos.

Using art and space metaphor in the hospital environment encourages kids to dream, to explore and to have courage in their journeys. The project creates community, letting patients to become connected with similar stories internationally.  

Alena also is a certified trainer of process communication model used by NASA in astronaut selection and training.  Alena has a master degree in International Accounting and Financial Management (MAcc) from the University of Glasgow. 

To support her own well-being and quality of life, Alena practices taichi, yoga and meditation. Alena is a mature professional with a profound experience in building cross-cultural and multisectoral partnerships inspired by space and launching innovative charity, healthcare and art projects, having strong organizational and communicational skills.

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