KYRGYZSTAN, Tolstoy School

What a wonderful surprise yesterday morning to receive drawings from The Kyrgyz  Republic.  Thank you so very much to all the young people from  Tolstoy School in Osh City, Kyrgyzstan. This school was burnt down in June 2010,and rebuilt before September 2011 by the Kyrgyz Government.

In addition to the extensive support provided to the newly built Tolstoy school, UNICEF supplied this school with all necessary furniture and equipment, including computers. It is also thanks to Olga Grebennikova from UNICEF  in this Country for coordinating the project here and sending these drawings.

It is fantastic to have young people from The Kyrgyz Republic  included especially as we thought we had not reached a school here yet. 🙂 A huge thank you to everyone involved from this school.All surprises like this are very welcome.

A small piece from an article about the saga of The Tolstoy School follows.

© UNICEF/Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan, Osh Province, 24 August 2011. Well before the beginning of the academic year students were congregating around the new school, trying to help the builders with their final touches and assist teachers who were decorating walls.

Kyrgyzstan, Osh Province, 31 August 2011
 – Hundreds of children from Shark village have settled down in a new school after a year long journey. After the civil strife of June 2010 when their school was burnt down, they studied in tents. Then, when winter came, they moved to share the building of the hospitable Sharipov School.

And finally they have come back to their home village to enter a newly built school.For the children it has been an adventurous journey. “When we studied in tents, it was like an excursion. When it was too hot, we pulled up the walls and we could see fields around us” said Khojiakbar Yanguibaev, 17.  Muazam Mamadjanova, 15, added, “We could spend so much time outside, I even learnt to play football. We had two girls’ teams. It was great fun. I want to continue playing football.” This was not only a novelty for Muazam, but also a gender breakthrough for the whole community.

The director is a unique person who can speak about problems in the language of opportunities. Maybe that is why all his promises and plans come true. These included the construction of the new school building. He refused to let his children be dispersed among Osh schools. “It would have been impossible: the nearest schools are so far away. We are very thankful to UNICEF for all the great support they provided – buses, furniture, school materials and recreational kits for pre-school classes. However, the biggest thing was the provision of temporary learning spaces. Thanks to those tents, we remained together unlike another school – Hamza – whose children were sent to several other schools. This helped me to convince the authorities to start building a new school” he said.

The opening of the new school is an event which has been long awaited. A year ago, at the opening ceremony for the temporary learning space, in the midst of entertaining ceremonial activities and flowers, all parents were crying. None of them could believe that their children would stay and study together close to them. The tense faces of teachers and UNICEF staff contained traces of the sleepless nights when they had to carry the tents themselves from one place to another because of stress and hostility between people of different ethnic backgrounds.

All those troubles seem to be over now.

P.S Tents are very significant in the lives of the people from this country in that the emblem of a ‘yurt’ (or tent roof ) is inside the sun on The Kyrgyzstan Flag.This is the traditional tent used by the nomadic Kirghiz people.


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