Alena Kuzmenko

Alena Kuzmenko

Co-founder of charity "UNITY" | Russia

Alena is a co-founder of Unity Movement (Russia), which is devoted to spreading art therapy and other quality of life practices for oncology patients across Russia.

Prior to founding Unity, Alena had 10 years of experience in investment banking.

She decided to start helping oncology patients when her own mother Svetlana got cancer in 2014. At the very begining of Unity Movement it was Svetlana who taught her fellow patients different art therapy techniques, which she brought from the USA, where she was treated for some time to Russia.

International Space Suit Art Project initiated by the US art therapist Ian Cion and the US astronaut Nicole Stott inspired Svetlana and Alena and gave birth and name to Unity Movement (Russia).

Svetlana painted the tree of life and yin and yan symbol on the Unity spacesuit which later reached the stars, during the art session in Moscow. Her paintings represent the love and unity she shared with her daughter on her cancer journey. Svetlana passed away in November 2017, but she continues living in Unity which steadily grows by the efforts of her daughter Alena and Unity team of enthusiasts.