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Why to engage in charity


In the classroom / UNDP Turkmenistan

As part of my work I meet people who are overcoming different challenges. Some do not have a diploma of secondary education, some cannot read and write, others lack money. Now, imagine that all of these happen under the condition that a person has disability. What shall he/she do? Where to go? How to work?

Today, I have visited a textiles college that accepted the first group of people with disabilities. All deaf. Before I would cry when I saw how people with disability overcome challenges, when they sing, dance, have families, and enjoy their lives. Those scenes are bitter sweet.

Now, I look at the girls in the college and feel proud. They are fighters. They don’t give up. I don’t cry. In my head I make a plan how to support them.

Do you know the cost of the education in the textiles college? It is 2000 TMT plus 500 TMT for uniforms. About 715 USD in total. When people with disability receive an opportunity they don’t waste it. In the group there is a young woman who pays for the education herself.

I ask the teacher how girls are coping, is it hard to work in the mixed group? The teacher is excited. She says that deaf students are coping better. They are more attentive, aspiring to learn.

I ask student what do they think about new students and the curriculum. They say they don’t see any difference between the students. “We are all equal. We are all students.”

I stand there thinking how to collect money to allow more girls enter the college and study.

I think I have an idea. I will establish a fund. Local fund at work. My colleagues love helping people. By August 2017, we will fund at least 5 students to join the college.

Sometimes we look around and try not to notice that we can help someone. That we can, not should. Undeniably, each of us has an opportunity to present a school bag, buy stationaries or a school uniform, donate old books, toys, buy a lunch. Charity makes us better. It is a manifestation of our humanness and compassion. This is a demonstration that we are not indifferent. Let’s seek for opportunities to help each other.


P.S. Within the framework of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Turkmenistan introduces new models of inclusive education where no one is limited in the possibilities and conditions of educations. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) together with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Textiles and the Textiles College developed a pilot programme of inclusive education for persons with disabilities. Within the programme, 10 women with hearing and speaking impairments started studying in the textiles college in September 2016. All ten are funded by the Government of Turkmenistan. It is planned to replicate the experience in other higher educational institutions of Turkmenistan. 

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