Skip to main content
article atm-icon bar bell bio cancel-o cancel ch-icon crisis-color crisis cs-icon doc-icon down-angle down-arrow-o down-triangle download email-small email external facebook googleplus hamburger image-icon info-o info instagram left-angle-o left-angle left-arrow-2 left-arrow linkedin loader menu minus-o pdf-icon pencil photography pinterest play-icon plus-o press right-angle-o right-angle right-arrow-o right-arrow right-diag-arrow rss search tags time twitter up-arrow-o videos

Suggested Content

A Second Chance In Kyrgyzstan

  • December 26, 2007

In Kyrgyzstan, the disabled population faces many challenges as a result of their lack of mobility including difficulties in cleaning themselves, maintaining a social life and the constant dependence on others to transport them from place to place. Many, especially children born with disabilities, are shunned by their family members and their surrounding community. Twenty-one year old Sultanova Asel was diagnosed with infantile cerebral paralysis when she was born.  Shortly after that, she was abandoned by her father, forcing her mother to raise her alone.

Sultanova’s story is just one of many in a country where 47% of the population lives below the poverty level. Residents of Kyrgyzstan living with disabilities or injuries that impede their mobility often struggle to improve their conditions but lack the resources to do so.   Here, something as simple as a wheelchair can drastically change someone’s life.

Through a partnership with Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA) in Kyrgyzstan and the Free Wheelchair Mission, a nonprofit organization providing wheelchairs to people all over the world, AmeriCares donated 550 wheelchairs to improve the quality of life for people like Sultanova.  The wheelchair, which consists of a lawn chair, mountain bike wheels and a few nuts and bolts, is cost efficient and easy to assemble upon arrival.  

Early this spring, the donated wheelchairs arrived in Kyrgyzstan and were distributed. “I am an adult and it is difficult for my mother to bathe me,” says Sultanova.  “I need the wheelchair for personal hygiene and movement. Your help is vitally important to me.”

Sadykov was one of the first of 550 wheelchair recipients.
PHOTO: Courtesy ADRA

Nearly four years ago, another young adult living in Kyrgyzstan, Sadykov, was attacked and stabbed in his left hip. Since that time, he has undergone eight surgeries to repair his leg, none of which has been successful. As a result of this tragedy, Sadykov cannot walk.

Sadykov, one of the first recipients of an AmeriCares wheelchair says, “Now I have more possibilities to study and adapt to the social life. It is very important for me as a young man.”  

AmeriCares has been partnering with ADRA since 1996, providing medicines, medical supplies and aid to help improve health care in the country. With the hope of giving more people the chance to move again, AmeriCares will be sending wheelchairs to help those suffering in neighboring Uzbekistan in the coming months.