Jalalabad

Fall 2010

Peace and Healing

The Road to Jalalabad - SoS Project

Ever since the ethnic violence in the south of Kyrgyzstan in June 2010, we have desired to coordinate our own initiatives to bring healing and peace to the families devastated by these events. We couldnít ignore the suffering among our own people. We needed to react in an opposite spirit. So we began to seek for volunteers to go. Here Bakyt, Akylai and LeRoy wait for passage through a tunnel on the road to Jalalabad and get their first snow of the season.

Building Roofs

Roofing - Jalalabad SoS Project

Our volunteers worked on approximately 15 roofs in 8 days on site. Sometimes they taught the homeowners how to build the trusses themselves and simply made examples for them. At other homes, where the families were the poorest or unable to build themselves, they built the whole roof for them.

Lunch break for the roofers - Jalalabad SoS Project

When they arrived at the first roofing job, they were offered food by the owners of the home. They were hungry so they ate until they were full. When they moved on to the next site, again they were offered food. They quickly learned that itís impossible to say no to Uzbek hospitality being fed at every job site, usually eating 5 times a day, everything from freshly butchered chicken to homemade noodles to horse.

Football Clinic

Vanildo, Aika and Samat at the stadium - Jalalabad SoS Project

Vanildo decided to organize football (soccer) clinics for children in Jalalabad. One of our students who is from Jalalabad, Aika, went a few days before us setting things up for our arrival. She arranged for the clinics to be at school #5.

Student Viewpoint

by Aika Berkulova

Student Volunteer -
 Aika Berkulova

The staff of the Greenhouse offered students to go to Jalalabad. We had a project in order to help local people there. People of south capital were so hospitable that we were very pleased to see them, and they in turn us. They took us in as guests and cooked us plov, a sign of reverence and respect.

The goal of the team that I volunteered with was to gather as many kids as we could to compete in a football tournament at a local school. We wanted to teach, interest and entertain them after the violent events in the south that took place that June. In my opinion the children needed some sports and entertainment.

We divided the kids into teams and began to teach them different games. It seemed to me that the children really enjoyed everything we did. The children were very active in preparing for the tournament. They diligently prepared both physically and morally. We had a trophy which they were competing for.

Finally the day came they all had been waiting for. The fans and spectators came and the game started. I noticed that each player tried to help his team, having become friends with one another during this short period of time. The team that won was very deserving of the prize. We also decided to give them tracksuits, balls and lots of sweets for their victory. We gave each of the children a certificate for their participation. The children in fact did have a lot of fun.

As for our other teams of volunteers, they helped people by providing clothing - jackets, jeans, socks, all that they needed at that time. We also taught some women how to knit. The other team helped with the construction of houses which were burned during the events in the south. I think they even had nowhere to live, and our volunteers from America and Bishkek decided to help them with the construction of buildings. The affected residents of the south were so grateful to us, but they didn't know how to thank us.

I feel good that we were ready to help during these difficult times in Jalalabad. We didn't ignore the problem but we were ready to go to support and help them. I was very happy for the opportunity to visit the people there and speak with them personally about what had happened that June. I hope this will not happen again in our nation's history and our people will begin to understand each other better and appreciate what they have today. After all, we are one people and children in this world.

Vanildo teaches football drills - Jalalabad SoS Project

Vanildo teaches the children football drills. The training was for 5 days. Then they held a tournament.

Football Clinic participants - Jalalabad SoS Project

The day of the Football Championship - all those who participated.

Children's Activities

Patricia doing art with children - Jalalabad SoS Project

Patricia also prepared a few days of arts and crafts for the children in the neighborhood where they were staying.

Seek peace and pursue it
Jalalabad City - 
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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.