DEBBIE - ALASKA
LARISA AND TANYA - ALASKA
RUSLAN - KYRGYZSTAN
WORLDS APART - YET SO CONNECTED
With Larisa and Tanya at Hope Alaska.
Debbie lives in a home, she has her own room, her own decorations, she goes out into the community to shop, take art lessons, meet people. She gets to make decisions where she is able. Debbie was born both mentally and physically challenged. Larisa and Tanya are volunteers as part of their learning time here where Debbie lives. DEBBIE LIVES IN ALASKA.
THEN there is Ruslan, he lives in AND INSTITUTION IN Kyrgyzstan. Tanya and Larisa are volunteers at Iskra where Ruslan lives. He lives in a dorm, behind a caged wall. He goes no where, makes no decisions, has very few personal items, not even a dresser. Yet, Larisa said Ruslan changed her way of thinking about the disabled, the challenged.
Last night we did our strategic discussion session with Larisa and Tanya. They have now been in Alaska for almost two months. They have learned, cried and committed to changes in the world they so long to return to - KYRGYZSTAN.
We have seen the complete program here at HOPE, have spend time with many of their leaders and workers and gained the understanding of how and what they have developed to bring HOPE AND DIGNITY to many disabled persons.
Larisa cries as she tells us she knows why God brought her here - to learn and to return to KG to fight the fight - to run the race and to make changes for those who have been forgotten and lost to the system of what KG calls INVALID. Oh how that word has been acted upon in the past. But for Larisa - she and Tanya are to be taken seriously.
Together last night, plans were schetched. God will lead the way and we will back the plan all we possible can;
1. Begin training for staff in Iskra, helping them understand how to work with disabled. Larisa and Tanya will work with our team on the ground to create training modules for delivery to medical teams, workers.
2. Hope will begin creating training video's for LAMb to use in KG - we will get them voiced over in Russian.
3. Develop a volunteer program.
4. Locate a site which can be used for the disabled to come and receive lessons, help, encouragement, fellowship. This will be modeled after the Hope Discovery Center. Larisa wants to call this The Paradise Center. Men (who are able) from Iskra will be transported to the center on a regular basis, to engage in community activities.
5. Develop a strategy to include government where they can see this full new approach as a "pilot" project in helping bring the disabled to a higher standard of living. (Government in KG love pilot projects.)
6. Find and purchase a home in Iskra which Larisa will manage - starting the first "pilot" project to bring able men out of the institution. We will follow the HOPE ALASKA model. This project will be the first ever to do this. (With success, the homes in the future can be purchased in other communities in and around Tokmok.)
7. Hope staff will travel to KG in March to oversee progress of plan and offer more training as needed and requested.
8. Fall we will send 2-4 more persons to Alaska to learn from HOPE and volunteer in their learning lab.
YOU CAN BE PART OF THIS PLAN
Help us do the following:
A. Purchase and furnish the home in Iskra (likely to be around $10 - 15,000)
B. Support transportation from Iskra to the Paradise Center.
C. Purchase equipment and supplies for Paradise Center.
D. Help with rent for Paradise Center.