Parents demonstrate in Bishkek for better care of their children with special needs

Dear friends of Uplift,

The year 2017 was once again a typical uplift year: "full and intense". So nothing special. Or is it?

It was our birthday. Officially, the green dragon is now 10 years, felt at least ten lives.

10 years - that was a reason to celebrate and is now a moment to pause and breathe with anticipation of a reflective end to the year.

Uplift-Aufwind 2017 - what was important this year?

In keeping with the jubilee year, we receive requests from dedicated organizations from other regions of the world. These are professionals who are interested in the uplifting concept, our art of interventions, and who want to apply it to their challenges. This is a special honor for us, because that's what Uplift was and is meant to be: We in our "Uplift-Workshop" do the blueprints and they are supposed to circle with the Green Dragon - just like a dragon. In Kyrgyzstan and from Kyrgyzstan where our art of intervention is needed.

Thanks to you and your help, we have been able to implement and enforce so much that we did not even dare to dream of 10 years ago.

At this point we continue. Every single donation is important here. Thanks a lot for this!

In this spirit, we wish all Green Dragon supporters a happy holiday and a wonderful year in 2018!

Lots of love

Your Uplift team Bishkek, Berlin, Basel, St. Barbara

Our personal highlights 2017

Tina Naubert from Münster, donor and supporter

"My highlight in 2017 was a one-on-one help. The girl Aibike, here in Germany for the second time by Dr. med. Brosche via Interplast e. V.. This is about a very difficult task, the reconstruction of a nose. What luck and what support on the way back to a "normal" life! With the special story of this girl, it becomes very clear to me as a donor what Uplift is all about."

Burul Schamyrkanova, heads of self-help in rural areas

"My highlight for 2017 is independence. We have brought the needy parents and children on their feet, in many ways. I experience that more and more of our accompanied people take responsibility and organize tasks that Uplift had to do earlier, now own responsibility. In the Uplift School, in the self-help group and also in the emergency relief operations.

That's great and relieves us. In addition, we have built real multipliers. For example, Samira. She used to be an Uplift-mother and worked in the orphanage. Today she is an Uplift multiplicator and as a physiotherapist on the road between the orphanage, the self-help group and the kindergarten. She helps the children and instructs parents and home staff in the therapy. It's a huge step forward we made in 2017."

Natalia Yasenko, Head of Education at Uplift

"For me, the most important things in 2017 were the completion of the Bobath Course and our card workshop. The Bobath Course was our first training of its kind, and I personally invested a lot of effort. It was very important for me to do this job well. And that's why completing the two-year work was a special event for me.

The other highlight was the card workshop for mothers of disabled children. We did not expect it to be so successful. I’m glad about that."

Nazgul Suleimanova, head Kyrgyzstan

"A highlight of 2017 is difficult to name. We did a lot and made it. My highlight is the conclusion of our big project 'Give a cow'.

In this context, we not only bought 111 cows for needy families with disabled and sick children in rural areas, but also advised these families, involved the government agencies and made society aware of the issue in many ways. These families receive medical and therapeutic support via Uplift and are integrated into measures that sustainably strengthen them. "

Ute List, board and treasurer

"The concept of what Uplift has been following for 10 years is clearly bearing fruit. We help the children at different levels, sustainably, for a better life and a future perspective. We train local women to become skilled workers.

But we also reach the parents and families who have to master their daily lives.

In this context, I was impressed by the extraordinary commitment of all the helpers to provide hay for the animals and coal for the upcoming harsh winter. From the idea to the implementation, this was not an easy path, which was only possible thanks to the very high level of dedication of the local women.

The initiative of women for mutual help, in the interest of children, is not self-evident and shows great solidarity. And I am very impressed with the work of the volunteer trainers and professionals who came from many countries and did an excellent job."

Maren Ernst, uplift initiator and board member

“My highlight 2017 is the snapshot above. It shows parents from the Uplift self-help group of parents with disabled and chronically ill children from Tokmok, with whom we have been working for many years.

When I look at this picture, I think and feel: "Yes and yes again!" The families here protest (!) On the streets of the capital along with other stakeholders and specifically demand state support so that they can raise their children at home instead of having to take her to a children's home out of sheer distress. There is still much to do but the silence is over and that makes me really happy.”

Charcoal delivery for a family as part of the Uplift winter relief

The price of heating coal more than doubled in Kyrgyzstan in 2017. This means that our Uplift families in rural areas urgently need support. That's why we've started our winter relief, which benefits 60 families in need. This can e.g. be a charcoal delivery (see picture).

We appreciate any donation that supports us in this work! 

Prof. Dr. Jarg-Erich Hausamen

Prof. Jarg-Erich Hausamen discusses the work of Uplift-Aufwind e.V.

Hearty congratulations on 10 years of successful and blessed work in Kyrgyzstan I came into contact with Uplift-Aufwind early, during our project to build a medical treatment center for children with facial deformities in Kyrgyzstan, and so I have been able to follow their development and swiftly expanding activities first hand.

Initially we met when Uplift-Aufwind staff brought children with cleft palette deformities from various orphanages to our project in the Bishkek Children's Hospital. These children were always perfectly prepared for their operations. This experience led to an intense and trustful cooperation, which then gave me deeper insight into Uplift-Aufwind’s spirit, goals and way of working.

“I greatly respect the Uplift-Mothers’ work”

At first I simply admired the intense devotion shown by the women of Uplift-Aufwind who bring personal care to improve the situation of handicapped children living in the dismal environment of children's homes – they create a family-like atmosphere for them.  This vastly improves the social development of many children and raises their chances of adoption. I highly respect the “Uplift mothers” for their personal dedication and their caring attitude to “their children”.

“Uplift saves these children from a dismal life as social orphans in institutions”

In addition I have been fascinated that Uplift-Aufwind has managed to achieve a further central goal, namely to greatly reduce the not-uncommon practice of sending handicapped children to institutions, thus saving these children from a dismal life as social orphans in badly outfitted homes with low levels of care.

The work of Uplift is broadly known and accepted

I have seen not only a very successful mother program in the children's homes, but also the expansion of Uplift activities to projects in the community, starting with the program to prevent abandonment. Uplift-Aufwind now supports families with handicapped children in practical ways so these children can grow up in their family. In the meantime, the work of Uplift-Aufwind is known and broadly accepted in Bishkek and throughout the country.

“Uplift is in the delivery room rapidly to support the mothers of handicapped new-borns”

This further supports the ability of Uplift staff to be in delivery rooms rapidly and to speak with the mothers of handicapped new-borns, counsel them and - when necessary - to support the families.  In the meantime, we more often see Uplift-Aufwind new-borns with cleft palate issues or even have appointments with pregnant women who see deformities on the sonograms of their unborn babies. This means that we too can explain the treatment to the families at an early stage and alleviate their extreme concern that their children will not develop normally.

“Uplift’s work continues to expand into the community”

From all I have seen, Uplift is much more than a project concentrated on orphanages. Uplift provides medical help for handicapped children, organize self-help groups, work with poor families to ensure livelihood generation, and organize in-patient medical treatment.

In the meantime, one can hardly imagine doing without Uplift’s work in Kyrgyzstan; on the contrary, they work in close cooperation with the relevant ministries.  By demonstrating hands-on interaction and support for needy children and their families, Uplift-Aufwind is a catalyst for a new way of thinking, which means that this target group receives improved care and social development assistance.

I congratulate Uplift-Aufwind on their first 10 years and wish them continued success and blessed work in Kyrgyzstan. May their wonderful example be copied in other developing countries! In addition I hope that Uplift-Aufwind will gain many supporters.

Professor Dr. Dr. Jarg-Erich Hausamen
Professor Emeritus, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Cooperation with Uplift since 2007