Sunday, March 09, 2014

They are at a disadvantage ... but Olga is doing something about that

Education is such an important stepping stone out of poverty.   For a family rescued from the dump or off the streets, Education is usually pretty low on the list of priorities, they are at a disadvantage ..  Children with learning disabilities are overlooked by the school system, and most times end up quitting school .. they are at a disadvantage .. Children that have been abused, will shut down and often have emotional issues .. they are at a disadvantage ..  Children born with disabilities are often discarded and the families that do love them and try to keep them face ridicule by society .. they are at a disadvantage .. Families facing poverty , alcoholism , and broken homes , the children often suffer and can not afford the uniforms or are made to work or beg for food rather then attending school, they are at a disadvantage ...  Orphans in the orphanage are often overlooked at schools and do not get the help that they need .. they are at a disadvantage ..  Children that become sick without proper health care will often miss to much school and end up dropping out .. they are at a disadvantage ..

Olga, centre back row at a government conference 
These are all examples of the kids that Olga advocates for .  Olga does this in a few ways .1)  Olga sits on a local government committee that cares for and advocates for the kids .. 2) Olga works directly with crisis families to help them to access resources so that they can make their homes a better place and keep the children out of the orphanages 3) Olga is the director of Society of Cornelius in Kyrgyzstan ( the in country registered charity that is the counterpart to our US based charitable fund )  and assists us with the day to day operations.  and 4) olga is the director of the knowledge store .. a school that is dedicated to help the disadvantaged.  

The knowledge store is a fully licenced education centre in Kyrgyzstan, teaching basic education as well as speech therapy, music therapy and art therapy.  This was the first of its kind in the region, and has been a key player in forging the way for others , and the recognition of the value of the disabled .

The centre has two classrooms and has approx, 30 to 35 students at any one time .  Most of the students are only with her for a short time until they have caught up enough to return to, or enter the regular school system.  As well we have had the teachers go directly to the orphanages to help the kids there.   The knowledge store is a first stop for kids from families that we are trying to help.. If we can get them caught up before returning to school they will have a much better success rate.

Olga with the kids in small group lessons 
Olga has faces so many difficulties as she tries to push forward in the everchanging political landscape in Kyrgyzstan with an unpopular but needed objective.  As well as the "politics", Just by the very nature of the kids that she is helping, it is impossible to have a balanced budget.  Because of this , the centre has had to move around alot as cheep space comes available .. Olga works diligently to find and apply for any government or NGO grants that are available, but they are few and far between, and when she does get them , they usually come with so many new demands that they use up the time and resources in other ways then the centre is designed for.

We need to provide a stable location for the sake of the kids and their families, and we need to provide a stable income for the sake program, and the teachers that often will go with out pay.
so what are we looking for to maintain this project, pay the rent, taxes, utilities, salaries for the teachers, and supplies, including nutritional snacks for the kids every day ...  we need to find $400 a month total .. either in one time donations or in monthly sponsorships .  
top donor will receive a beautiful Blanket from Aigulla.. (as a side note , All of Aigulla's kids have accessed the resources provided by the knowledge store at some point.)
if a monthly donation is set up, we will calculate the total of 12 months sponsorship for the blanket challenge.

speech therapist working with kids 

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