Learning and education is an essential part of Uplift’s work. Quite commonly adults acquire certain skill to be able to teach kids with special needs.
Our program is different. Kids learn life skills by themselves. There are only a few schools for children with special needs available in Kyrgyzstan regardless if they are living in a state-run children’s home or at home with the family.
Reasons are e.g. lack of transportation, lack of nearby schools accepting kids with special needs, general anticipation that kids with special needs cannot learn and improve.
In 2014 we established a first learning group in a state-run home close to the capital with children, who have never been in a school before. 2014 followed another group in Tomok, originating from our self help group, with children living with their parents and with insufficient support.
The success of those two learning groups was transferred to other areas and institutions. The eagerness of the children to learn convinced the government.
All children, in their own way, can learn and should have access to education.
I am a teacher and the mother of two children with physical disabilities. The chances of my children receiving an education are very slim. There is no transport and no suitable schools in the local area. For this reason, I homeschooled my children and adapted everything to their needs: I established the learning materials, the pace and the necessary discipline for my children and for me. When Uplift was looking for someone to teach in the children’s home, I felt that this was a direct appeal to me: Why shouldn’t these children learn? Education is a human right and these children have to be able to read, write and count in order to live full lives. New media and the internet are opening up new worlds for these children, even if they are marginalized. This is about participation.
My pupils are curious, they love to learn and we are successful. Not in chemistry and physics, of course not. But I have succeeded in teaching them to read and write and they can do basic arithmetic too. One boy is learning English. He is doing that independently on the internet; I can’t help him there.
Due to the pandemic, this program was suspended in 2020-2021.