An audio journey to the edge of humanity — the ‘lawless’ space of international waters between Europe and Africa.
For parents of children with mental or physical disabilities, it’s often a struggle to find the right kind of education and learning experiences that will help their children have their best chance at a happy, full life.
Such was the case for Abdumalik, who had nowhere to turn to when he realized his son, Ilgiz, had Down Syndrome. In his somewhat remote town of Talas in western Kyrgyzstan, there were no existing schools or educational centres for children with severe physical or mental handicaps.
“When we wanted to send our child to kindergarten, ordinary kindergartens did not accept him,” recalls Abdumalik. “So I gathered parents who had the same challenge and organized this centre together.”
The centre he is talking about is known locally as Tenir-Koldoo, an unassuming, one-story building in which children aged 3 to 16 who have Down Syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy or mental retardation gather a wide range of basic life skills, as well as practice arts, sports, writing, game playing and much more. The centre was built in 2009 with support from the Kyrgyzstan Red Crescent.