October 17, 2019 Mikhail Gorbachev and Fred Matser, a businessman and social innovator from the Netherlands, first met in 1992 during the former Soviet President’s visit to the United States. One of the results of that visit was a major charity project that helped to modernize the Childhood Leukemia Institute in Moscow. Mikhail Gorbachev donated to the Institute half of the amount of his fees earned during the U.S. speaking tour (500 thousand U.S. dollars) while Mr. Matser matched that amount. Another 1 mln. dollars was allocated by a Russian government decision signed by Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin. The creation of a modern center for the treatment of childhood leukemia was a breakthrough that helped to dramatically increase the survival rate of young patients suffering from that disease.
Mikhail Gorbachev and the Gorbachev Foundation continued to support projects in this important area, the next step being the creation of the Raisa Gorbachev Institute of Childhood Hematology and Transplantology in St. Petersburg, supported by a major donation from Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev.
Fred Matser told Mikhail Gorbachev about the work of his Foundation, to which he directs practically all revenues from his trust-managed business. The Foundation works to protect the environment, plant forests, promote a healthy way of life, help refugees and develop sustainable agriculture.”I put my heart into these projects,” said Fred Matser, “just as you did from the very beginning, guided not just by your mind but also by your heart. And this is the only way to solve humankind’s global problems.”
Press office of the Gorbachev Foundation’s