Youth Volunteerism

Bermet is 17 years old. She describes her experience as a volunteer in Kyrgyzstan's orphanages in an interview with Alexei Mitin.

Alexei: What made you first decide to volunteer in the orphanage?

Bermet: I've always wanted to serve children and help them. I don't have any siblings, so I want to give the children my love, holding them, playing with them. Also, it had always been my dream to go to an orphanage, the dream that came true.

Alexei: What were your feelings the first time?

Bermet: Of course it was shocking at first. I felt very sorry for them and wanted to take them home. I cried.

Alexei: Why did you continue to go to the orphanage after that?

Bermet: I wanted to help them, but didn't really know how. Then I talked to my mom, and she said that I just need to continue to go and give them what I would normally give my own little brothers and sisters, which is love, care, touch, good advice, my time. Whatever I can give now, even a smile, that's what they need the most and don't really get.

Alexei: In all your experience serving orphans, what has been the part you love the most?

Bermet: Of course the trip to Pokrovka is my favorite, because we were able to spend more time with the kids there than anywhere else. Iíll always remember the trip and the children I met there.

Alexei: ...and whatís been the most difficult?

Bermet: The most difficult was to see the children there [in Pokrovka] the first time. They have different disabilities. But then I got used to them and was able to work with them fine.

Alexei: How do you think your experience volunteering will help you in your future?

Bermet: I can work with different kinds of children now, different age groups. I know more about their needs. Itís not a problem for me to act childish and have fun with them, play, jump, dance, run around.

Alexei: Do you think your service at the orphanages has made a difference in the lives of the kids?

Bermet: It sure has. When, for example, we were in Pokrovka, there were three older boys about sixteen/seventeen years old. I talked to them about their life and found out they were stealing things. I explained to them it was wrong, and many other things, what life really is about. They had a lot to realize and hear for the first time. I hope it changed their view and themselves. The younger kids too had a lot of bad habits. And a habit becomes your character. So, every time I would see them doing something bad, I would tell them, talk to them, and then I would see them stop and change. So, giving them your time and attention, loving on them sure changes them for the better.

Alexei: What would you say to other students who are considering volunteering in orphanages?

Bermet: I want to say to them to always say, "Yes, I want to go." Working with kids is not that hard as everybody thinks, it's very pleasant in fact. Even just looking at them, watching them makes you happy. When you talk to them, you can get a lot for yourself. So, I would highly recommend everybody to volunteer and go.

To become a volunteer in our Orphans SoS Projects, contact us!

Read other students' stories about their volunteer work.

Spirit of Salam - University Student

Jyldyz Ormonbekova

Jyldyz began volunteering at orphanages in October 2011. She is now the SoS Orphans Project Leader. Read More >

Spirit of Salam - University Student

Jengish Adigineev

When Jengish was a student (2002-2006) he began as a volunteer with the homeless. This experience changed the course of his life. Read More >

Seek peace and pursue it
Bermet - Student Volunteer Orphans SoS

Salam is Peace. At the core of peace is respect.

Spirit of Salam - University Student

We believe that Salam can grow in Kyrgyzstan through its youth using their talents to benefit not only themselves but to benefit the community through volunteerism.