Over the last 10 years we have brought thousands of lbs of Vitamins to Kyrgyzstan for the orphanages, institutions and families in need. It is such a great blessing to people here as until recently, good quality vitamins where not available, and those that were did not have quality consistency. When your main diet is bread and tea, or other equally as unhealthy meals. this becomes more then just a supplement, but is the main source of nutrition. Good Vitamins are even used and very effective as medications for things like TB, Rickets, and even common colds that with out vitamins may turn to life threatening pneumonia. When given to pregnant women, they take away the craving to eat dirt from the irrigation ditch , It prevents kids from licking the white wash paint on the sides of the buildings, and the list goes on.
We have faced many challenges over the years . Things like getting the donations of vitamins in the first place. Then when we get them we need to get them to Kyrgyzstan . shipping is expensive and difficult. We generally ship them with teams when they come, This means that when we don't have teams coming we can only bring what we can fit into our own bags, which is not nearly enough. The next problem is getting through customs. We have had terrible problems in the past , and Bekah has even had her passport taken and she was held at the airport when trying to help get a bag of vitamins through . We carry documents from Hospitals , schools, orphanages, and charities requesting the vitamins as well as letters from us requesting the traveler to carry them for us. But still the customs officials see them and just see dollar signs. It is legal to bring certain quantities of each different kind of vitamin so we have to strategically pack the bags being careful that each traveler does not go over the allotted amount of each... It is an incredible amount of work, but it is soooo worth it .
Like I mentioned , times like this spring when we do not have teams coming, we are running short , and have to save them for medicinal purposes .
We now have another solution. There is a young family that lived with us here, and had also worked as a social worker , so they have seen first hand the benefit of the Vitamins. Over the last year they have worked at sourcing good quality vitamins and have done the leg work to get them through customs and delivered right to Bishkek.
We are now able to get trusted, high quality brands , right here in Kyrgyzstan . People are always more eager to go out and purchase the vitamins them selves and donate, but not always as interested to send the same amount in cash . But here are a few benefits to now being able to donate directly to the vitamins.
With over 150 different kinds of vitamins and minerals from about 20 different brands available, we can purchase exactly what is needed at the time.
We can purchase the type of vitamins needed when needed so we do not have to stock pile when we bring them and then continually sort to make sure that they do not go out of date.
We do not need to worry about loosing them at the boarder.
We can free up space in our bags for other needed items like medical equipment for Dr Tatyana.
and we are supporting a young family that we have worked with for a few years as they develop this much needed business .
The cost for the vitamins here in Kyrgyzstan is between $15 - $30 after tax and delivery. I did a quick look on the Walmart web site to see how this compares, and as you can see they are a comparable price .
If you are interested in helping us get vitamins out to those in need this spring , and into the future , please consider making a donation, and in the memo line just put the word Vitamins