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Silk Route Project Craig and Simon are currently travelling from India to Istanbul with the fantastic support of World Nomads. On behalf of Footprints, World Nomad's charity, they will be visiting of a number of projects along the route to deliver supplies of essential medicines to impoverished children.

Three Orphanages in Bishkek

KYRGYZSTAN | Tuesday, 15 August 2006 | Views [12552] | Comments [20]

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan's capital, is a beautiful modern city with a fair smattering of department stores, nice hotels and fine restaurants but as is often the case if you stray from the main streets then you get a more realistic picture of the state of the country. Kyrgyzstan is another small country with few resources experiencing post-Soviet economic stagnation and it's too far away to be absorbed and propped up by the European Union. People work long hours for little pay and live in aging cramped appartments; alcoholism is rife, as are the myriad social problems associated with it. Unfortunately the government simply doesn't have the funds to deal these issues, as we witnessed in three of the city's orphanages.

Tokmok orphanage houses 95 children aged birth-4 years, the majority of which are special needs. The kids, suffering conditions from autism to cerebal palsy, had been abandoned or given away by parents unable to care for them. The staff we saw were wonderful - handfeeding the kids, playing and caring for them but they recieved insufficient funding to supply all of the medicines needed for the children. Thanks to the support of World Nomads and Footprints we were able to purchase for them a lot of the medicine they were lacking - they were incredibly grateful.

Kant orphanage, an old soviet-style concrete building on the outskirts of the city, sleeps 30 children aged 2-7 years. A lot of these children come from caring families but their parents have to work in remote areas so the kids were placed there for 6 months at a time. The orphanage had a full time nurse but unfortunately no medicines, not even basic ones, to give the children if they were sick! We were able to buy them a supply to last them a year - bandages, iodine, cough syrup, antibiotics, paracetamol - basic things but so very badly needed. The centre had also been using the same sets of sheets and towels for 17 years, when we managed to supply them with new sets the manager almost cried.

Samuel orphanage is small facility housing only 14 children aged 4-14 years. Most of these children had suffered appalling childhoods and had to be rescued from abusive situations. They stay in the orphanage, attend the local school, perform household chores and milk the centre's four cows to sell the milk. Once again we were able to supply them with a supply of basic medicines and also pencils, a pile of exercise books and toothbrushes (their teeth were in a shocking state due to their life before the orphanage).

Visiting these places was very confronting for us, we saw beautiful children who smiled and played despite their situation. Resources were lacking but the staff were dedicated and caring, even though their daily wage was less than US$1. And the reality is that these are the lucky children - the waiting lists for these orphanages are enormous.

Tags: doctors, footprints, hospitals & health



Keep up the amazing work. Just brilliant. Absolutely heartbreaking to hear that there's a waiting list for an orphanage.

  kipnomad Aug 15, 2006 9:33 PM


Hey guys, great job! My only question is, how do we help?

  Jenn Aug 16, 2006 8:40 AM


Absolutely brilliant story guys. Keep up the great work.

Part of the problem we have is that people don't realise how little money is needed to make a big difference in a lot of these places. Getting the word out is a great help.

  Rob Wood Aug 16, 2006 9:16 AM



  MOTHER HEN Aug 22, 2006 3:58 PM


Excellent work guys, really enjoying reading about your travels :)

  Cousin Michael Aug 28, 2006 6:34 PM


thankyou both for your kindness to help others. it is essencial to tell these poor peoples stories and to remind us how much hurt and hunger ther is still in the world when you feel tired or lonley please remember you are here for a reson and thru the journey of helping others you are blessed by angels keep well and thankyou again romany smyth

  romany smyth Nov 27, 2006 4:17 AM


Hi guys,

Amazing job, well done! How can we help? I go to Kyrgyzstan quite often, can I do anything?

Keep up good work!

  N Jan 23, 2007 1:54 AM



I live in krygyzstan with my husband who is russian and I want to help the orphans. I see them on the street all the time. My husband is from Tokmok so he knows all about it and his brother is the leader of NGO maybe you have heard of it. We are starting to find ways to help but we wanted to know if we could help you and you help us. What do you say. Its wonderful someone is finding the time to care for thease frogotten children. thank you.

  Parris Apr 4, 2007 6:48 AM



what a good job you are doing? how can we help? whom to contact?

...visiting widows and orphans in their distress


  E Jun 8, 2007 1:17 AM



  Ruslan Jul 9, 2007 5:49 AM



Great work! But i must say, it's unfortunate that you haven't replied to the numerous requests of "how can i help" from others. I too am in Bishkek for a short time and work like more info on how i could assist these charities! Help us help them!




  Doug Jul 30, 2007 3:15 PM


Hi guys! I was born in Kyrgyzstan and now i live in canada i want to help the kids just like you did so i started to do some research on this and found this page. Please Please Please contact me. It would be great if you could give me some information about the kids and the orphanages. you've been there you've seen it and you know it better i want to do what's best and i really hope you can help me out a little.
my email is [email protected]
Thank you!!

  Adelia Timirboulatova Aug 27, 2008 5:18 PM


I live in Bishkek, very close to Tokmok, I'm a member of a charity org. name Tien-Shan, we were there donating mattresses their little beds didn't have one!!!please help this place, they are in great need of everything. thank you guys for doing this for these angels!!!

  blanca cosio Nov 21, 2008 12:12 AM


I live in Bishkek, very close to Tokmok, I'm a member of a charity org. name Tien-Shan, we were there donating mattresses their little beds didn't have one!!!please help this place, they are in great need of everything. thank you guys for doing this for these angels!!!

  blanca cosio Nov 21, 2008 12:18 AM


I will be traveling to Bishkek this August. Could you recommend an orphanage that could use medical supplies? I will be bringing a bag with me.

  Sharmila Jul 3, 2009 4:41 AM


Hi guys!
It is an amazing story to read and to share.
I am a student at University of Toronto, currently taking some time off to upstart a charity foundation aimed at providing help to CENTRAL ASIAN ORPHANAGES. In august 2006, I wrote a project for UNICEF to educate orphans in Kyrgyzstan on HIV/AIDS and Children's Rights. And that was a heartbreaking experience. Unfortunately, due to time and resource limit my team and I were able to cover only Chui oblast, including the Kant and the Tokmok orhanages.
Please contact me, as it is my main goal to start and maintain a continuous help to orphans.
Again, my e-mail: [email protected]
Thanks again. People like you give me more hope and courage.

  Altyn M. Feb 6, 2010 12:16 PM


I have visited the Tokmok orphanage and I'm thrilled to hear your review on the staff there. When I left, I'm positive my heart stayed there. At this moment I am writing a report for my Grade 12 world issues class and stumbled across this, it has filled me with so much happiness! Happy to know there's others there continuing to do great things.

  Hannah Jun 2, 2010 7:28 AM


I am very interested in finding a liason in Kyrgystan that can help up get packages to the children in various orphanages there. If someone lives in Kyrgyzstan or if you travel periodically to Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek area), I would love to talk with you. Thanks, Nancy

  nancy Mar 11, 2013 6:01 PM


Hi are able to adopt a child to give a loveing home any info would be great hope to hear from somebody soon

  Emma Mar 24, 2017 6:05 AM


Hi. My wife and I met you in Tokmok as we adopted our son - who is now a healthy soon-to-be 12 year old living on the California Coast! I have such great memories of Kyrgyzstan and we plan to travel back as a family in the next couple of years. Thanks for all you did and are doing!

  James Gilbert Feb 15, 2018 4:14 PM

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