Disabled Co-op Schools: Keeping Families Together
Unfortunately in Kyrgyzstan, the prevailing "wisdom" is that most children with special needs belong in boarding schools. We have even heard a couple stories of the authorities threatening parents to take children into state custody for not putting their children in these special schools (The law protects against this, but many parents don't know that.) While some of these schools might be decent places, many of these kids with special needs get lost in such a big, unpredictable, stressful environment. Serious behavioral problems often develop. For families from rural communities, the choice is often between giving the kid away to an institution or not giving the child any education.
In two villages in Kyrgyzstan, Christians have stepped up to organize co-op schools for special needs kids, taking advantage of an often-ignored law that requires the state to provide home schooling for kids who can't study under normal conditions. While these projects are still very much in the pilot stages, this represents an awesome way for churches to help support keeping families together in our context. The first school was organized in Vasilevka by Akmaral Ermeeva, and the second of these schools is in Sosnovka and was organized by Vadim and Natalya Yashina.
As a result of this and a few other revelations, we as KWO have decided to try to open conversations with a couple organizations that work with special needs kids to try to develop and promote their work through our network of churches. Pray for these conversations and wisdom on how to make this happen.