| Jun 11, 2015
Akylbek enjoys the slide with his friends
Just over half a year ago, with your generous help, we completed the playground at the ARDI Center in Bishkek. Before this playground, there was only a single swing that the children had to wait their turn in a long line to use. Now kids enjoy three swings, a slide, a car, walking and climbing bars, a sandbox and a see-saw. Akylek (pictured center in the yellow raincoat), an eight year old who has Down Syndrome, enjoys the slide in particular. When the time comes to go outside, he's one of the first to run to the slide and he can enjoy it all day. We are so excited about all the great feedback we are receiving about children like Akylek from both the Lenisoke and Bishkek playgrounds, and are so grateful to all who donated to make them possible. But we can't stop now!
We are moving our focus to the less developed southern region of Kyrgyzstan. We hope to build a playground at the Children's Rehabilitation Center in Osh City which is visited by over 3,000 disabled children every year who have nothing but a couple benches and a space of undeveloped land to play outside. If you would like to help us continue our mission to install playgrounds for disabled children throughout the region, please visit the Osh Playground project page at:
Thomas Jefferson stated, "Laws and Institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind". In order to change the way the Kyrgyz society treats disabled citizens, we must focus on "the human mind"; the way that people view children with disabilities. Disabled children are currently seen as a burden to society and a shame upon their family, but we hope that people will begin to see these children as beautiful and unique human beings who should have the same right to a prosperous life as anyone else.
At Kelechek, we feel that the best way to achieve this is by demonstrating to the Kyrgyz people that, just because a child is different, this does not mean that they can't become confident members of society. Our playgrounds bring disabled children together where they can interact and play just as normal children have for years. As parents watch their children gain the same social skills as children at other playgrounds, they will begin to appreciate the kids for who they are despite their disabilities. This has the potential to both improve these children's lifestyles, and encourage families to raise their disabled children rather that resorting to one of Kyrgyzstans orphanages.