Global Reach: Grantee Partners

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Raoul Foundation


There are over 500,000 orphans in Russia, most of whom have living parents who, for various reasons are unable to take care of them. Only 10% of Russian orphanage graduates are able to adapt to independent life after leaving institutional care and only 2% enter universities compared with 45% of young people who grow up living with their families. Recently, the Government of the Russian Federation has initiated a reform process aiming to close down large orphanages, rehouse youth in smaller apartments or in foster families, integrate all orphans in community schools and institute transitional support for those 18 and over who leave the institutions to embark on independent life.


Raoul Foundation was established in August 2011 to honour the centenary of Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish architect, businessman and diplomat who saved thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the war. The organisation was set up by three members of a Swedish Club in St. Petersburg one of whom is a prominent businessman and has been a key funder from the beginning. Raoul Foundation aims to support people who have grown up in care many of whom have disabilities, and help them transition to independent life and secure employment. NGOs working with young people refer people to Raoul Foundation, which offers employability, job coaching and supported employment in partnership with large international corporations. In cases where companies are reluctant to employ programme participants straight after graduation, the Foundation’s wholly owned Limited Liability Company, Rabota-i acts as subcontractor for the first few months. Mikhail Krivonos, Raoul’s founder, studied Linguistics in St. Petersburg and received his MBA from Stockholm School of Economics. Ilya Smetanin, CEO of Rabota-I (the main programme of Raoul Foundation) who studied Human Resources at Ivanovo State University and has over 10 years of work experience in recruitment, assists him.

Current Grant:

EMpower’s 1st grant to Raoul Foundation will support 70 young people in strengthening their employability skills and gain their first experience of paid employment (some will also be trained in specific skills such as professional cleaning). At least 41 of them will secure and retain employment within the 12 months of the project.

You can support our work with Raoul Foundation and our other grantee partners.

Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.