Just a year ago, we had a visiting doctor who's heart was touched by our dear friends at the Home for Disabled Men. Let me tell you a little story.
This was a disgusting place - with wonderful men. LAMb team members did what we could to bring hope and dignity to them. Rooms were renovated, hot water was brought to one of the areas (no hot water had been in the entire building before), food was delivered, cooking utensils brought and time spent to let the men know they were not forgotten. Over the last year and one-half things have been on a rapid change.
The head doctor saw the efforts being made by our visiting teams and decided if others cared enough to help, he should do something as well. He found a resource to purchase some paint and activated able bodied men to help paint and do repairs in rooms that were crumbling away. Flooring was put down, walls painted, plumbing repairs started and a new look began to shape up for the men. Men from Iskra were proud of their work and eager to show us all they were doing. Soon a library surfaced, a room for the men to learn to read and write, a barber shop, and now a craft/art room. Enter the rest of the story.
Our doctor friend from Atlanta, Georgia saw the vision of what could be a cottage industry and it was her investment into their art department that gave them the confidence and courage to make this work for them. Today, they are painting, making lots of colorful mats, pillows, and knitted items. And what is to be done now with them? Sell them of course. The first paintings (5) were purchased again by our doctor in Atlanta - giving more seed money for more supplies for the men to continue with their new industry. But we need more outlets - so what to do. Well, how about selling at the local outdoor market? That is now a possibility too. John leased a "store" site and this can now become a reality.
We often have teams that come in and want local/cultural souveniers and other Kyrgyz families get visitors who want the same. So, the local market is a potential outlet for their beautiful items. We see the hope rising and dignity being restored with the simple touched heard of a person who dared to dream - dared to believe in the men!
JUST LOOK AT THESE PHOTOS AND SEE THE LATEST DELIVERY OF ITEMS FOR THE MEN....lots of velvet, cotton, sinepon, needles, threads, sissors, yarn, etc. And what did the men ask FOR? How about an electric kettle to heat water, some tea and coffee and maybe a box of cookies, some mugs and sugar - why? So they can have a tea or coffee when they work?
AMEN TO THIS....
"If you go looking for a friend, you're going to find they're very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you'll find them everywhere." Zig Zigler