After years of severe neglect, infrastructure in the small town of Balykchy, Kyrgyzstan, was in dismal condition. The number of children in crisis remains high due to economic uncertainty and poverty throughout the region. Many live in extreme poverty in smaller towns throughout Kyrgyzstan, lacking access to hygiene supplies and educational materials.
The Fishermen received a request from a Kyrgyz nonprofit, Children of Tien Shan, requesting immediate dispatch of hygiene supplies for orphaned, fostered, and parented children in and around Balykchy, KG, in early May, 2013. Such supplies are always in need, but during the time the request was made the requirement was urgent.
With the help of UPS and Airlink, The Fishermen dispatched an assortment of typical hygiene supplies as well as education materials such as backpacks, pens, pencils, crayons, and paper to the town. Following the delivery of the cargo shipment, the Children of Tien Shan set up a charity event to distribute the contents to children of poor families in Balykchy. Volunteer staff organized games for children with prizes, and a dancing group from the town was invited to perform. One of the parents in attendance at this charity event approached Children of Tien Shan staff, commenting, “There are a lot of people and organizations who just talk about the need of helping poor families, but few have actually followed through. But you are different – you do care for us and we appreciate you very much for this.” Another parent, a mother of five, said that, prior to this shipment, she had no hope to prepare her children to school for the coming year, and now she can take her kids to school without any shame of being poor.
The Children of Tien-Shan is grateful for the help that UPS, The Fishermen, and Airlink were able to provide to children of Kyrgyzstan.