According to government statistics, there are over 22,000 children with special needs in the Kyrgyz Republic. Recent political instability and violence mean such children are even more at risk and need additional support. We are working to ensure they can develop safely, to their fullest, and that their families have the support they need.
Project: Increasing access to basic services for children with intellectual disabilities in the Talas region
Project active since: January 2011
Our partners: Nur Bala, Association of Parents of Disabled Children (ARDI), Shoola-Kol
Location: Talas region
This project is based on the success of our current project funded by the Big Lottery Fund and will continue our partnership with ARDI in Bishkek and Shoola-Kol in Bokonbaevo, though the main project partner will now be Nur Bala NGO in Talas. Through Nur Bala we will support six parents groups to become local Family Support Centres and will establish a regional network of parents groups that will give a voice to families of children with disabilities, with a specific focus on intellectual disabilities.
The project will help reduce social and economic marginalisation of children with intellectual disabilities and their families in the region by increasing families access to basic health, social and educational services and providing flexible and affordable childcare and income-generating opportunities to parents.
Over the next two years the Local Family Support Centres and associated parental support groups will provide educational opportunities for disabled children, as well as advice, information and support to their parents.
We will also work closely with the country’s main children’s homes for disabled children in Belovodsky (Chuy region) and Manas (Talas region), which are both under the jurisdiction of the State Agency on Social Provision.
The project will also build capacity of our partners Nur Bala NGO, the Association of Parents of Disabled Children and Shoola-Kol and will empower the network’s leaders and members to support themselves and promote the rights of their children.
Supporting young disabled children and their families in the Kyrgyz Republic
Project active since: May 2008
Our partners: Association of Parents of Disabled Children (ARDI), Shoola-Kol
Location: Bishkek city and Issyuk-Kul region
Aim: To reach children living with mental and physical disabilities and their families in order to provide information and support to prevent the children entering state-run institutions.
The project focuses on improving health and well-being of young children with disabilities between birth and 7 years and their parents. We provide good accessible information, community-based support services and emotional and practical support to new families of children with special needs.
Achievements: HealthProm and its partners have worked together to establish two day centres and provide a minibus for outreach services. One of the main elements of this project has been changing the attitudes in the wider community towards children living with disabilities by organising well-planned public awareness campaigns in Bishkek and Issyk-Kul regions. HealthProm has provided multi-disciplinary training for local specialists and volunteers to provide counselling to new parents.
The project is working to fill the gap in knowledge and information resources about prevention of disability and alternative approaches to child disability. This includes the translation of a range of information materials. The project has also worked to build the capacity of local partners and parents groups through training on public awareness, lobbying and campaigning and working with the mass media.