The You are not alone foundation: Ten years together

11 Nov 2012

The You are not alone foundation: Ten years together

Lola Karimova surrounded by children Lola Karimova in a childrens partyLola Karimova recieves a hug from a childLola Karimova talking with children in a partyLola Karimova in a childrens eventLola Karimova Tillyaeva with a boyLola Tillyaeva in a childrens partyLola Tillyaeva in a childrens partyLola Karimova dancing in a event with a boy Lola Karimova with a disabled boy in NCSACLola Tillyaeva with a mother and her baby in the NCSACLola Karimova with a girl in a solidarity eventLola Karimova recives drawings from the childrenLola Tillyaeva walks around the instalations of the centerLola Karimova Tillyaeva speaking with a girlLola Karimova-Tillyaeva with the doctor and director of the NCSACBaby of the NCSAC Supported by Lola KarimovaLola Karimova visiting the National Center for the Social Adaption of ChildrenLola Tillyaeva with a disadvantaged boyLola Karimova Cuts the opening ribbonLola Karimova-Tillyaeva halping a disabled boyLola Karimova-Tillyaeva helping a boy in rehabilitationA Boy playing in one of the centers supported by Lola TillyaevaA girl playing with the pitt sand in the center supported by Lola KarimovaProfessional worker with a boy in the center supported by Lola Karimova- TillyaevaProfessional worker attending a disabled boy in the center supported by Lola TillyaevaA boy in rehabilitation in the center supported by Lola KarimovaRehabilitation bicycles of the NCSAC supported by Lola TillyaevaLola Karimova painting with the children in the art roomLola karimova visiting the children at the National Centre for the Social Adaption of Children Lola Tillyaeva, the professional staff and children at the NCSACLola Karimova next to the disabled children Lola Karimova visits the childrens disabled attending roomLola Karimova in one of the rooms with rehabilitation materialsLola Karimova visits the new instalations at NCSACLola Karimova has a look at the rehabilitation sesions Lola Tillyaeva playing with a boy in the NCSACLola Karimova has a look at the new instalations of the orphanageChildren at the orphanage that is supported by Lola Karimova TillyaevaThe childrens play at the centre that is supported by Lola TillyaevaLola Tillyaeva at a infantile celebrationLola Karimova-Tillyaeva with the children at the celebratonLola Karimova blowing out the candles for the 10 years of the NCSACLola Karimova painting childrens storys with the children

Loal Karimova with the children 10 years with the foudation Ypu are noy alone
The foundation was set up by Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva in 2002 to help children left without parental care

The Sen Yolg’iz Emassan (You are not alone) charitable foundation was set up by Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva in November 2002 to provide comprehensive support to children in need. It is the largest children’s foundation in Uzbekistan whose work is primarily focused on providing assistance and support to children left without parental care, as one of the most socially vulnerable groups. This includes children brought up in state orphanages, including 25 Mercy Homes, 13 orphanages for children under the age of three and 2 children’s villages, as well as children from 88 boarding schools.

Shortly after it was founded, from November 2002 to March 2003, the charitable organization carried out thorough reviews of all orphanages across the country to devise an action plan to improve the situation in the area of the social protection of orphaned and abandoned children. The 2003 review results revealed that the standards of living in many of the country’s orphanages at the time were below par; the nutritional requirements set by the Ministry of Health were grossly violated owing to the cases of embezzlement by staff working in orphanages; children were not getting sufficient opportunities for their development and education; premises of many orphanages were in a state of disrepair.

Lola Karinova and professionals of the center talking with the children
The charity has effected reforms to improve the situation in orphanages and create there conditions close to the home environment

Based on the findings of the review, the foundation launched nationwide reforms to improve the situation in Mercy Homes and create there conditions close to the home environment. A major focus has been on promoting education for children left without parental care and ensuring that food served in the orphanages is in strict compliance with the nutritional requirements for kids. The charitable organization attaches special importance to funding renovation, maintenance and construction work at Mercy Homes, orphanages for children under the age of three, and homes for the disabled people.

Lola karimova-tillyaeva talking with a professional of the NCSAC
One of the priority goals is to provide children left without parental care with better opportunities to get comprehensive education, assistance in healthcare and psychological support

For 10 years now the You are not alone foundation has been playing a leading role in promoting the rights and interests of children left without parental care as well as children with disabilities in the government’s policy. With the foundation’s financial backing, a number of orphanages across the country have been renovated, refurbished and provided with the state-of-the art facilities, equipment, sports and play grounds, pools and medical units.

The primary goals of the charity are to promote development of orphaned and abandoned children, to address childhood problems arising from lack of parental care and love, protect the rights and legal interests of children in need, provide them with better opportunities to get comprehensive education, assistance in healthcare and psychological support, as well as help families in need of public support.

Lola Karimova with the parents children in the NCSAC
The charity works in close partnership with the National Centre for Social Adaptation of Children in the area of helping children with disabilities

Through promoting better education at the country’s orphanages, the charitable organization strives to prepare children for independent life, ensure that they become self-reliant, confident and emotionally stable people when they come of age.

At present over 2,500 children are brought up in Mercy Homes across the country. An important area of the charity’s work is to provide them with books, text books, equipment, school supplies, computers and children’s clothing.

In partnership with the National Centre for the Social Adaptation of Children (NCSAC), the You are not alone charitable foundation provides medical, educational and financial assistance to disabled children, children from disadvantaged families, gifted children who have insufficient opportunities for development.

The foundation works in close partnership with government bodies, public organizations as well as international organizations, such as UNESCO, UNICEF, UNFPA, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Education Centre

Children studying in the foundation of Lola Karnimova
Over 2,000 children in need have received training in the Education Centre over the past nine years

The promotion of better education and learning environment at Mercy Homes is a top priority area of the charity’s work. There are a lot of gifted children brought up in orphanages who are at risk of not realising their potential and lagging behind their peers in terms of education and development due to lack of parental support. This may subsequently have an adverse impact on children’s future as well as their adaptation to independent living following graduation from Mercy Homes. Therefore, in 2003 the charity founded the Education Centre, whose main goal is to raise children’s understanding of the paramount importance of education and knowledge in building a better future as well as to positively influence children from orphanages and disadvantaged families to take post-secondary education.

The Education Centre specialists play an important role in children’s intellectual and social development in many respects fulfilling parental duties in encouraging and motivating a child to improve his or her academic achievements, overall behaviour and attendance; understanding children’s day-to-day progress and developing positive attitude towards schooling. The Education Centre’s specialists seek to create a culture of learning, improve children’s confidence, understand how to support the development of the child’s skills, as well as provide children with support and encouragement in exploring the many options to find the best career fit for them.

Children attend classes in math, chemistry, IT, English, ethics, the Russian language and literature, the history of Uzbek culture and arts. Education Centre students also have an opportunity to develop their creative skills by attending classes in choreography, vocal and painting. A debate club helps improve children’s ability to think critically and hone their public speaking skills. The charity invites best lecturers and teachers from across the country to prepare children brought up in Mercy Homes, children from low-income families as well as children with special needs to entrance exams at lyceums, colleges and universities. It also arranges for children’s visits to universities and vocational colleges to help them with decision making with regard to post secondary education and career choice.

Teenagers studying that are helped by the fundation of Lola Tillyaeva
A total of 214 graduates of the Education Centre became students of Uzbekistan’s most prestigious universities and colleges

Over 2,000 children from orphanages and low-income families, as well as children with disabilities have received training in the Centre over the past nine years. A total of 214 of its graduates became students of Uzbekistan’s most prestigious universities and colleges, including the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, the Tashkent branch of the Moscow State University, the National University of Uzbekistan, Tashkent Institute of Oriental Studies, the Tashkent University of Economics, the Tashkent Institute of Highways, the Tashkent Institute of Architecture and Construction, the University of World Languages, the Tashkent Institute of Culture, Termez State University, Tashkent Medical Academy, the National Institute of Arts and Design and the Tashkent Chemical and Technological Institute.

As of 2009, the foundation started allocating scholarships to cover the university fees of graduates of Mercy Homes as well as children from low-income families. The charitable organization has paid the tuition fees of 84 students to date.

As part of a project implemented jointly with the UN office in Uzbekistan and the World Bank from 2005 to 2008, Education Centre students attended classes run by staff of UNESCO, World Bank and members of the foreign diplomatic corps, which focused on matters related to law and economics, laws in the field of the social protection of children, the role of international organizations.

The charity also arranges classes for children from Mercy Homes on how to handle day-to-day tasks related to housekeeping, cooking and managing family budget.

The You are not alone foundation works in close partnership with the National Centre for the Social Adaptation of Children in the area of promoting education and developing learning material for children with disabilities, as well as providing assistance in their enrolment in public schools.

The fundation of Lola Karimova asist to the teenagers education
The main goal is to raise children’s understanding of the paramount importance of education and knowledge in building a better future

Dmitriy Mingalimov (Mercy Home No 22): After graduating from the Tashkent Banking College in 2005, Dima entered the Tashkent State University of Economics and currently works as a credit specialist in the Ipoteka bank.

“It was my childhood dream to be a bank worker. Having finished the preparatory courses at the Education Centre, I became a university student. I now work in the financial sector and think that the foundation gave me the opportunity to get profession and realize my full potential.”

Tamilla Kohan graduated from the Education Centre and the lyceum under the University of World Economy and Diplomacy with diploma with honours. She is currently a second-year student at the Tashkent Institute of Finance.

“For ten years now, the foundation has been helping me with everything!!! It became my second home and I always feel its care and support. The organization has helped me to choose the right path and has always been by my side becoming a reliable friend.”

Elvira Muhamedshina: After graduating from the Law College with diploma with honours, Elvira became a student of the International Law Faculty of the University of World Economy and Diplomacy.

Lola Karimova in the art room with the parents and children
The foundation, in partnership with the National Centre for the Social Adaptation of Children, develops learning material for children with special needs, as well as provides assistance in their enrolment in public schools

Igor Danilov attended classes in math, chemistry and English at the Education Centre. He graduated with distinction from the lyceum under the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, and is now a fifth-year student of the Tashkent branch of Moscow State University. Igor is now a member of the project to expand the work of regional branches of the National Centre for the Social Adaptation of Children.

“I well remember how much I enjoyed attending the classes at the Education Centre as well as support the foundation provided to each of us. We always felt free to ask for help and we knew that there were always people out there who would listen to us, provide us with advice and assistance. This is very important for children left without parental care. That is why I would like to devote my life to this noble profession and become a psychologist.”

Denis Malenkih was raised at Mercy Home No 30. He graduated from the Construction College with diploma with honours, and in 2004 became a student of the Tashkent Institute of Highways. Denis currently works as an assistant lecturer and the deputy dean at the Department for management of transport communications.

“My time at the Education Centre was a very important stage of my life. I was taught how to achieve things through my hard work. I understood the importance of education and learned how to achieve the tasks I set for myself. I wouldn’t be able to achieve many things on my own. With profound gratitude and pride, I can say that much of what I have achieved has become possible thanks to help of the You are not alone foundation, which has provided me with comprehensive support and care, and led me to success.”

Lola Karimova and the director looking at the work done buy the teenagers
“Thanks to responsiveness of the foundation’s staff, we still can go to them in times of need and receive their help, advice and support.” (Ilmira Yeremenko)

Ilmira Yeremenko is a graduate of Mercy Home No 22. Ilmira graduated from the lyceum of the University of World Languages and is now a first-year student of the same university. Since 2009, Ilmira has been Uzbekistan’s representative at the International Youth Council backed by SOS Kinderdorf International, and attended the Council’s meetings held in Austria, Estonia, Germany and Belgium.

“I’m so happy that I have had the opportunity to attend classes at the You are not alone foundation, which played a big role in my life and development as an individual! It’s here that I started learning English, which is an important part of my job. The foundation provided me with new opportunities. Thanks to responsiveness of the foundation’s staff, we still can go to them in times of need and receive their help, advice and support. I can say with confidence that I’m really beholden to the foundation for all my achievements.”

Diyorbek Mahmudov‘s family lives in Namangan (eastern Uzbekistan). From early age he showed extraordinary talent for painting and was the winner of many competitions of young painters. The foundation provided him with scholarship to live and study in Tashkent. Diyorbek is now a graduate of the Tashkent Institute of Architecture and Construction.

“There are many gifted children whose abilities often go unnoticed. My parents and I are very grateful to the foundation for their assistance and continued support.”

A teacher with children in the teaching center supported by Lola Karimova
The Education Centre specialists play an important role in children’s intellectual and social development in many respects fulfilling parental duties in encouraging and motivating a child to improve his or her academic achievements

Ekaterina Shamaeva was raised at Mercy Home No 21. After graduating from the lyceum under the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Katya studied at the Sociology Faculty of the Tashkent Institute of Culture, which she finished with diploma with honours.

Aziza Daminova (Mercy Home No 21) was one of the first graduates of the Education Centre, where she attended classes in history, law and English. She graduated from the Social Work Faculty of the State Institute of Culture.

Elena Zheltova (Mercy Home No 22), was the winner of the city competition of young TV journalists in 2007, and a runner-up in the nationwide journalism competition for her documentary on the life of children in orphanages.

Legal assistance

The charity continues to provide legal, social and psychological support to children brought up at orphanages even following their graduation from Mercy Homes to ensure their smooth adaptation to independent living. Former graduates are provided with assistance in finding jobs as well as housing. With the charity’s backing, over 350 graduates of orphanages have been provided with free housing.

Children are also provided with assistance in resolving matters related to their property and inheritance rights, as well as other legal matters. Over 250 orphanage graduates have been provided with assistance in getting residence permits. About 340 graduates have received legal assistance in recovering their ID cards. The charity has helped over 700 children in restoring their lost housing rights. About 370 orphanage graduates have received help in getting employed.

Health

Lola Tillyaeva asists to a boy's rehabilitation therapy
The foundation played a lead role in the renovation of the National centre for children’s social adaptation and fitted it out with state-of-the-art facilities for functional recovery of children with disabilities

The charity attaches particular importance to providing children being brought up in orphanages and other children in need with quality medical care. It arranges regular medical screening of all children being brought up at Mercy Homes. An important area of the charitable organization’s work is to provide funding for the treatment of children from orphanages and low-income families, including surgery grants for children with serious medical conditions involving heart diseases, hearing loss, spinal conditions, eye problems, cleft palate defects. The surgeries are performed by Uzbek and foreign specialists both inside and outside Uzbekistan.

One of the priority areas of the foundation’s work is to supply the country’s orphanages with advanced medical facilities. In 2011 the You are not alone foundation provided the newly-opened units of perinatal and neonatal surgery of the National Perinatal Centre with state-of-the-art medical equipment.

Profesional team at the center of Lola Karimova
An important area of the charity’s work is to ensure children brought up in orphanages are provided with qualitative medical service

The charity provides wheelchairs, prostheses and hearing devices to children with disabilities, who receive treatment at the National Centre for the Social Adaptation of Children.

The You are not alone foundation is also involved in providing assistance to HIV-positive children. Free anonymous HIV screening tests are carried out among children at Mercy Homes as well as university and college students. In case of HIV-positive diagnosis, measures are taken to provide children with treatment and support. In 2008-2010, the charity jointly with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, implemented a project as part of which social, psychological, consultative and financial assistance was provided to HIV-positive pregnant women as well as children born to HIV-positive mothers. The project also arranged regular training courses for staff at Mercy Homes where orphaned children with HIV-positive status live.

As part of the annual event the charity holds to mark the World AIDS Day, the foundation’s experts hold meetings with students of Tashkent universities and colleges to raise the awareness of HIV/AIDS as well as of consequences of drug abuse. Information material is distributed among students, who are encouraged to take free anonymous HIV screening tests.

Maintenance and renovation work

Lola Karimova with disabled children at the NCSAC
The home for children with special needs Muruvvat was reopened in February 2010 following its renovation and refurbishment. Over 70 disabled children left without parental care are brought up in the charity home.
“These are special kids and we, therefore, should have a special approach towards them. We have tried to create all the right conditions for the comfort and safe life of children, as well as their development.” (Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva)

One of the priority tasks the foundation set for itself following the 2003 review of the orphanages is to create conditions close to the home environment for children being brought up in orphanages.

With the foundation’s backing Mercy Homes No 21 and 22 were fully renovated in 2003-2004. Mercy Home No 23 has twice been renovated over the past 10 years. A new medical centre, sports ground and a pool were built in the orphanage. Summer recreation camps under the Mercy Homes No 30 and No 14 were renovated and refurbished. In 2008-2009 the charitable organization funded renovation and refurbishment work at the Tashkent Home of Veterans, which was provided with new furniture and medical facilities. In 2009-2010 the Tashkent home for the disabled, Muruvvat No 1, underwent major renovation and was fitted out with new equipment and furniture. With the charity’s financial support, in 2011 the Kibray orphanage for children suffering from mental retardation was provided with new furniture and equipment.

Lola Karimova plays with the children in a sand pitt
The NCSAC’s Information and Consulting Service provides disabled children with assistance in the areas of diagnosis, orthopaedic treatment, speech therapy, education, as well as counselling services to children with impairment and their parents. All services are provided free of charge

In 2008-2010, the foundation, jointly with the Global Fund project in Uzbekistan, implemented a project to fit out the Tashkent orphanage for children under the age of three with new furniture. In 2012 this orphanage underwent major renovation and reconstruction, which was funded by the You are not alone foundation.

The reconstruction of the orphanage was carried out with much focus on creating an atmosphere close to the home environment.

A boy and a professional in one of the orphanage supported by Lola Karimova
Tashkent city orphanage for children under the age of three following renovation 

The rooms were fully refurbished and fitted out with new furniture and facilities, including TV sets, audio systems and mini kitchens.

The medical centre, operating under the orphanage, including its physical therapy and massage units, were revamped and provided with state-of-the-art facilities, including dry hydrotherapy equipment, various pads, orthopedic and exercise facilities designed to develop children’s motor skills.

In 2012, the charitable organization funded the major reconstruction of the Information and Consulting Service of the National Centre for the Social Adaptation of Children, which provides comprehensive support to children with disabilities and developmental delay. The Centre was fitted out with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for the functional recovery of children suffering from musculoskeletal disorders.

Despite our achievements over the past ten years, we understand that the foundation has a lot of tasks ahead of it to further improve the living standards in orphanages across the country and ensure that every orphaned child in Uzbekistan gets comprehensive education and realizes his or her potential to the full.