Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva was born in 1978 in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in International Law from the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Tashkent, and later received a doctorate degree in Psychology from Tashkent State University.
She served as Uzbekistan’s envoy to UNESCO from 2008 to 2018.
Mrs Karimova-Tillyaeva heads three major charitable organizations in Uzbekistan and is renowned for her key role in promoting education and sports as well as championing the rights of orphaned children and children with disabilities in Uzbekistan.
The “You Are Not Alone” Foundation was set up by Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva in 2002 to provide assistance to orphanages and children left without parental care in Uzbekistan. Two years later, in 2004, Mrs Karimova-Tillyaeva founded the National Centre for the Social Adaptation of Children, a charitable organization which provides medical and educational assistance to children with disabilities.
Mrs Karimova-Tillyaeva was instrumental in launching reforms to improve the situation in orphanages in Uzbekistan, which resulted in many orphaned children being offered better opportunities for their development.
Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva’s Foundation has initiated and implemented several large-scale projects, constructing, renovating and refurbishing a number of Mercy Homes in Uzbekistan. As a result, these orphanages have been provided with top notch facilities as well as all conditions children need to live, grow and receive a solid education.
Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva was the president of Uzbekistan’s Gymnastics Federation from 2005 to March 2018.
In December 2010 the General Assembly of the Asian Gymnastics Union (AGU) elected Mrs Karimova-Tillyaeva the AGU’s Honorary President in recognition of her contribution to the development and promotion of gymnastics in the Asian continent.
Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva has always adhered firmly to her belief that education, culture and sports are key factors in promoting peace and tolerance, and function as a bridge between civilizations, helping to overcome ignorance and stereotypes.
She is married to Timur Tillyaev and they have three children: two daughters and a son.
Organizations affiliated with Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva
The Islam Karimov Foundation
(Ms Karimova-Tillyaeva is the chair of the Board of Trustees of the Islam Karimov Foundation.)
The Islam Karimov Foundation is a charitable organization named in honour of late Uzbek President Islam Karimov, who was the founder of the independent Republic of Uzbekistan, serving as its first president from 1990 to 2016.
The Karimov Foundation operates programmes both in Uzbekistan and abroad with the goal of promoting Uzbekistan’s historical, cultural and literary heritage.
The foundation plays a key role in providing access to educational opportunities for young people from Uzbekistan through merit-based scholarships awarded in various academic disciplines and fields of study. The scholarships awarded enable advanced students to pursue their education at some of the best universities both in Uzbekistan and abroad.
The organization also allocates grants to support both individual researchers and research projects being carried out by institutions to promote areas of education, culture and science in Uzbekistan.
The foundation supports programmes aimed at enhancing the visibility of Uzbek authors and promoting Uzbek literature globally by granting financial assistance for the translation of works of both classical and contemporary literature.
With a view to fostering and strengthening intercultural exchange and creating prosperity for local communities by celebrating traditional art, centuries-old skills and manufacturing techniques, the organization provides direct financial assistance to artisan groups who are keeping Uzbekistan’s centuries-old, exquisite craft traditions alive.
With the goal of raising the profile of Uzbek contemporary visual arts, fostering a national school of art and encouraging public appreciation of and interest in cultural matters, the foundation backs exhibitions, educational debates and other cultural events both inside the country and abroad.
The foundation also provides grants for documentaries, features, films and programmes that will address issues related to Uzbekistan’s history, literature, culture and arts.
The organization is involved in book-publishing activities with the primary focus on works exploring various themes related to Uzbekistan’s history, traditions, arts, literature and other manifestations of the intellectual achievements of the Uzbek people.
In collaboration with its partner organization, the You Are Not Alone charitable organization, the Karimov Foundation supports programmes focusing on improving the lives of vulnerable orphans and children with disabilities in Uzbekistan, helping them to realize their full potential and ensuring that their rights are upheld and respected.
The You Are Not Alone Foundation
Founded by Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva in 2002, the You Are Not Alone Foundation is a charitable organization committed to improving the lives of orphaned and abandoned children by providing them with high standards of care and opportunities for a better future through education and skills, as well as vital access to quality medical care and psychological support. The charity’s primary goals are to ensure that vulnerable children grow up in a caring and loving environment, help to unlock children’s potential by providing them with an all-round education and prepare children for independent life, encouraging them to become self-reliant, confident and emotionally stable young adults.
The foundation has initiated and implemented several large-scale projects, building, renovating and refurbishing a number of Mercy Homes (orphanages) in Uzbekistan, providing them with the facilities and conditions children need to live, grow and receive a solid education.
From 2010 to 2015 the You Are Not Alone Foundation carried out renovation and refurbishment work in: the Muruvvat orphanage for children with disabilities in Tashkent; the Tashkent orphanage for children under the age of three; Chirchik Mercy Home (orphanage) No. 14 and Samarkand Mercy Home No. 10. The foundation has equipped these charitable institutions with modern furniture and advanced facilities, thanks to which the children can live and study in comfort. In 2011, the Kibray orphanage for children with severe learning disabilities was fully equipped with new furniture and other necessities.
The foundation has also overseen major relocation projects for Tashkent Mercy Home No. 23 and Samarkand Mercy Home No. 6, thanks to which these two orphanages now enjoy brand new premises built and furnished by the foundation.
The organization puts education at the heart of most of its projects, which seek to have a meaningful and sustained impact on children’s lives.
An Educational Centre working under the charity seeks to motivate children raised in orphanages towards higher academic standards and better overall behaviour and attendance and to help develop a positive attitude towards schooling, as well as to prepare them for entrance examinations in lyceums, colleges and universities.
In partnership with the National Centre for the Social Adaptation of Children (NCSAC), the You Are Not Alone charitable foundation also provides medical, educational and financial assistance to disabled children and children from disadvantaged families, as well as to gifted children who have insufficient opportunities for development.
Providing children left without parental care with good, quality healthcare and ensuring that food served in orphanages is in strict compliance with nutritional requirements for young people are key areas of the charity’s work. The foundation also provides funding for the treatment of children from orphanages and low-income families, including surgery grants for children with serious medical conditions. It arranges regular medical checks for all children living in Mercy Homes. For 15 years now, the You Are Not Alone Foundation has played a leading role in championing the rights and interests of children left without parental care, as well as children with disabilities, raising the profile of these issues in government policy.
The National Centre for the Social Adaptation of Children
Founded by Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva in 2004, the National Centre for the Social Adaptation of Children (NCSAC) is a charitable organization which provides children with disabilities with life-enhancing opportunities through high-quality, practical and tailored services. All services are provided free of charge.
There is no other charity in Central Asia dedicated to providing such an extensive range of services to children with special needs in the areas of diagnosis, orthopaedic and neurological treatment, speech therapy and education.
The charity strives to make a real, positive difference to the lives of children and to offer vital support to their families and carers, with the goal of helping disabled children to attain their full potential.
Dedicated professional staff – speech therapists, special educators, psychologists, neurologists, therapeutic exercise specialists, orthopaedic surgeons, masseurs, sign-language teachers and art therapists – draw up individual development programmes for every child who comes to the centre. These programmes are tailored to fit every child’s needs on the basis of his or her current strength and agreed priority areas of development.
To date, over 7,500 children with disabilities or signs of stunted growth have benefited from services provided by the charity.
The centre is fitted with the latest equipment for the functional recovery of children suffering from musculoskeletal disorders; a Lokomat treadmill, Solostep physical therapy devices, and standing frames all undoubtedly increase the effectiveness of the treatment offered.
The charity provides wheelchairs, prostheses and hearing devices for children who receive therapy at the centre.
Promoting effective, quality education for disabled children is another important area of the charity’s work, so the Centre helps disabled children enrol in public schools while also developing educational materials for them.
The charity also provides assistance – including counselling and financial help – to parents of disabled children, with special focus on supporting women marginalized and victimized by their husbands and families because of their child’s condition.
One of the charity’s uppermost priorities is to extend its work to Uzbekistan’s regions. Branches of the charity are now up and running in Samarkand (central Uzbekistan) and Ferghana (eastern Uzbekistan), and in partnership with government bodies the centre is currently working on setting up a branch in Karshi, southern Uzbekistan.
Ms Karimova-Tillyaeva is the visionary behind The Harmonist, a recently-launched maison de parfums inspired by the ancient Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui. The new brand offers 10 signature scents, put together by well-known French perfumers, which reflect the dual nature of Yin and Yang, the traditional Chinese concept of empowering your inner self and your whole body by bringing it into harmony with the world around you. Created by a well-known French perfumer using the finest natural ingredients from around the world, the sophisticated signature scents embody the five elements regarded as the building blocks of all natural phenomena – metal, fire, earth, water and wood. The Harmonist’s first boutique debuted in Paris in February 2016 followed by a store in Los Angeles which was launched in March the same year.
In accordance with the brand’s philosophy, The Harmonist is committed to sponsoring philanthropic causes aimed at developing effective solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems, such as providing clean and safe drinking water in developing countries, ensuring the durability of clean water sources, increasing community awareness about water conservation and developing training materials for education about sanitation and hygiene.