Our mission is to foster and promote Better Understanding to encourage and implement more positive Social Change


Raoul Wallenberg demonstrated great compassion, vision, and determination in the face of insurmountable odds and at great personal risk. He protected innocent and defenseless men, women and children who were victims of circumstances beyond their control. Our mission is to ensure that those who are disadvantaged have the resources for achieving optimal outcomes.

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Established as a non-profit tax exempt organization, RWCFI has two distinct functions: direct fundraising for best practice and evidence-based programs for children, youth and families; new program design and development in the areas of child and family development; and youth leadership. The primary project in development at RWCFI is the Documentary film "Rescuing Raoul Wallenberg".

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The Raoul Wallenberg Children’s Foundation is supported and nurtured by a number of trusted advisors and partners who contribute their time and energy to help shape the RWCFI work. The Board of Directors and Advisors are active in the Foundation’s programs and development. We rely on the support of individual donors, foundations, corporations, partners and volunteers.

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Yevgeniy Kesarev M.D. - RWCFI President

Dr. Yevgeniy Kesarev, RWCFI President and co-founder, was trained and practiced pediatric surgery in his native Saint Petersburg, Russia. Since immigrating to Sweden in the 1980’s, Dr. Kesarev now practices Psychiatry in Stockholm and also serves as the President of the Raoul Wallenberg University for Families and Children in Saint Petersburg.

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Susan Vater Ed.M. - RWCFI Vice President

Susan Vater, a graduate of Harvard University and formerly on the faculty at the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, served over twenty-five years as Director of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatric Clinic in the City of Hartford Health Department. Ms. Vater is co-author of the Infant and Toddler Developmental Assessment (IDA).

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Craig Hutt M.H. - RWCFI Board Member

Craig Hutt Vater is a lifelong innovative educator and Principal of the Mount Holly Vermont School, an exceptional elementary school balancing creativity with academic rigor; an approach that has resulted in students exceeding state averages for the New England Common Assessment Program (NEAP) exams by significant margins in all academic disciplines.

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Sydney Schulman J.D. - RWCFI Board Member

Sydney Schulman has practiced law for fifty years, served in the United States Air Force and as Executive Director of Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. While carrying on a general practice, he specializes as a trial litigator in court with a special emphasis in both business and nonprofit organizations. Attorney Schulman currently serves as Mayor of Bloomfield, Connecticut.

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Elba Cruz LICSW - RWCFI Board Member

Elba Cruz has dedicated her life and career to helping children and families in need of support. She served as a social worker for the City of Hartford Health and Human Services Department for more than 25 years. She is a founding member and officer of the Hartford Multinational Lions Club and also currently serves as a Village for Families and Children Corporator.

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Vladimir Bukovsky - Soviet Dissident, Project Advisor

Vladimir Bukovsky, writer, scientist, and human rights campaigner, was one of the founders of the dissident movement in the USSR which began in the fall of 1960 on Moscow’s Mayakovsky Square. He spent 12 years in prisons and psychiatric hospitals, was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1976, and has been at the forefront of the opposition movement to the Russian state.

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Kyle Pruett, M.D. - Author/Expert, Project Advisor

Dr. Pruett served as Director of Medical Studies at the Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, where he recently received the Lifetime Distinguished Teaching award. As president of Zero to Three, he headed America’s most prestigious multi-disciplinary resource and training center for infant/family professionals. He is a world-renowned clinician, author and researcher.

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Frank Vajda, M.D. - Wallenberg Expert, Project Advisor

Dr. Frank Vajda, trained as a Neurologist in Melbourne and London, is Clinical Professor of Neuropharmacology at Monmash University in Melbourne, Australia. Born in Budapest, he now lives in Melbourne and divides his time between doing research in Neuropharmacology and seeking the truth about the fate of Raoul Wallenberg.

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Special Thanks

Nina Lagergren - Wallenberg's Sister

We give special thanks to Mrs. Nina Lagergren for giving generously of her time and participation during the Stockholm interviews and events contributing to the research for our documentary film: “Rescuing Raoul Wallenberg”. Along with her brother, Guy von Dardel, Mrs. Lagergren helped to form the Official Raoul Wallenberg Committee.

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Sonja Sonnenfeld - Witness of the Century

In over 100 hours of film captured during her late-90's, Sonja Sonnenfeld conveys breathtaking stories of life as a young Jewish woman living in Nazi Germany and recounts her work with the Official Raoul Wallenberg Committee, working tirelessly for more than thirty years after "retirement" to find and free Raoul Wallenberg from the Russian prison system.

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Mims Butterworth - Witness of the Century

Miriam “Mims” Butterworth, now 99, has been a champion for civil liberties throughout her remarkable life, as an activist, educator, and public servant. Mims has graciously provided RWCFI with her vivid firsthand account from the front lines of history, along with her perspective on the parallels she sees in the current political atmosphere.

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