As you know, Jengish and Emma work hard to maintain a good relationship between the farm and the village. They have done several small community projects like the bus shelter and cleaning up the garbage. This is done through our village chief. A couple days ago we went with the village chief to a meeting with the regional head of villages. He is the head of eight villages all close to the farm .. you can actually see three villages , including The Farm from where the main office is..
We had a few idea's of how we might be able to help, but before suggesting them we wanted to know what they thought. They shared with us a very ambitious, much needed pre school project that they are working on.
Before I tell about this specific project , I want to tell a bit about the importance of it. Especially in the smaller villages, when every one old enough to work needs to work just so the family can service, little children are often left with other little children to look after them or even left alone for long days. We have seen kids that have been put in a dug hole at the end of a field to keep them from wandering while mom is working , or left home and tied to the dog to protect them. We also know of little ones who have wondered into the irrigation canals and drowned because they were un attended. The government is working hard to educate people not to leave heir children, but for many in the smaller villages the only alternative is to put the children into the orphanages until they are older. In fact there is a large percentage of the kids in the orphanages that are from remote villages and families in this situation.
The chief recognized the need and has identified nearly 200 kids that are in this situation between the 8 villages. He was able to secure an old school that has sat empty for many years. It is centrally located to all the villages. This spring he was able to get a foreign grant to renovate the school.. new electrical, roof, windows , walls, flooring .. everything in the structure has been done, and done right.
It sits on a large property where they will be able to have plenty of room for the kids to play as well as have a garden and orchards so they can off set the feeding program.
There are many large class rooms, activity rooms, and even has new indore pluming for the kids
It has a new heating system as well
along with the other bed rooms and education spaces, they even have a dinning room and a everything in place for a full kitchen .
This is the view from the dinning room window .
The grant covered everything for the structure itself, but it is up to them to find the funds for the furnishings. They have also found the funding to fully operate the pre school as well , teachers salaries, coal, food , electricity , all is in place. Just the furnishing are needed .
To operate a pre school, there is actually a very extensive list of things that are required before you can open .. It is not over the top and makes sense, but you can't just bring kids in until these things are in place . I don't know if it is just being realistic or if it is a lack of faith but it seems easier to believe for the first 100 kids right away, and then once the school is open and running we can add kids as the furnishings arrive.
We have had them source and price everything needed for the first 100 kids. Then we have gone through this list to confirm the accuracy of the pricing. We would like to tackle all the pig ticket items like the beds and tables, and kitchen , they are hoping that many of the smaller items could be provided by people from the villages. We are setting a target of $10 000 from international funds, and at the same time hope to raise another $5000 from with in Kyrgyzstan. here is the list and break down of items that we need.
They have done so much in such a short time, but with the school year right around the corner the pressure is really on now. Maybe you are part of a school, church or organization , or you know some one that would like to take this project on in hole or in part over the next month and help us make this work . I will add a thermometer to the blog here so you can follow the progress.