Partnership for Innovations Grantee Supports Parents in Need During Quarantine in the Kyrgyz Republic

Speeches Shim

Thursday, April 16, 2020
A family with food that will help to live them during the quarantine
Photo credit: Antonina Lee

In the Kyrgyz Republic, as elsewhere in the world, the government has resorted to quarantine measures in an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Unfortunately, many families were not able to stock up on food and supplies before the quarantine was enacted. Large families from vulnerable groups have been hit especially hard by lost income due to quarantine measures, leaving many without sufficient access to food.  

USAID is supporting large families from vulnerable groups through the project, ‘We Will Help Special Children Become Full Citizens of the Country,’  implemented by the public association Shoola-Kol through the USAID-funded Partnership for Innovations Program.  Antonina Lee, chair of Shoola-Kol, has continued to support at-risk families despite the challenges posed by the quarantine.

“We are working in the Tong district of the Issyk-Kul region of the Kyrgyz Republic and were the first to create new and early intervention social services in the Kyrgyz Republic.  Since November 6, 2019, we have been implementing the project, ‘We Will Help Special Children Become Full Citizens of the Country,’ supported by the USAID-funded Partnership for Innovations Program. Despite the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been working with the public foundation Fair and Sustainable Development Solutions to provide no-cost support to parents of at-risk children in our target group, because many people have found themselves out of a job and with no money to make ends meet. In collaboration with the foundation, since April 9, we have prepared a food basket for every family and we have been delivering them to people in need, using our own resources, so that parents and their young children do not go hungry,” says Antonina. 

Through its network and the capacity building support received from USAID, Shoola-Kol is working with sponsors and other actors to assist these vulnerable families. The organization has already helped 60 families from three villages in the district through food delivery. Yet the organization’s mission is to meet more than just nutritional needs.

“During the COVID-19 quarantine, we are also trying to improve the morale and psychological condition of parents with many children from among our beneficiary groups,” says Antonina. “We help families have strong foundations in order to overcome temporary difficulties, and foster resilience so that they can endure the hardships of our current conditions. At this difficult time, support for each other, psychological assistance, psychological recovery, and mental health recovery are more important than ever.”