[Nfbmo] Fw: [Nfbc-info] Building the Federation in Kyrgyzstan

Nancy Lynn freespirit.stl at att.net
Sat Apr 11 13:40:19 UTC 2015

from Nancy Lynn freespirit.stl at att.net
-----Original Message----- 
From: Serena O. via Nfbc-info
Sent: Saturday, April 11, 2015 5:52 AM
To: NFB Chapter Presidents discussion list ; nfbc-east-bay ; nfbc-info ; 
Subject: [Nfbc-info] Building the Federation in Kyrgyzstan

Greetings from Kyrgyzstan Federation Family!

Winter snow has melted for the last time, spring has sprung, and
summer heat is already sweeping the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek.
With each passing season, the movement to change what it means to be
blind in Central Asia grows and thrives even more.A little
organization called Empower Blind People started just a few years ago
from the curiosity and passion of Elnura Emilkanova, who some of you
may know from her time in Louisiana and with the Federation, and
Gulnaz Zhezbaeva, who Elnura brought to be a student at the Louisiana
Center for the Blind and who is now a vital part in making the work of
this new organization happen.  EBP is growing from a variety of
short-term outreach and training projects to a fully functioning
training center, graduating ten students from its first comprehensive
residential training program of five months, a second residential
training cycle nearly complete with seven new students and three
return students continuing their training and learning to become
trainers themselves, and grant funding secured for a third training
cycle to begin in July with new students and trainers-in-training.  An
organization for Parents of Blind Children has been established and
after school programs will introduce blind children to braille, canes,
and blind role models.

When Elnura connected with the Federation and especially when she
finally arrived in Ruston herself, she knew that no one back in
Kyrgyzstan would believe or truly understand what it really meant for
blind people to live full, active, and independent lives unless they
saw it themselves, and that is why she brought Gulnaz to LCB and
arranged for other Kyrgyz blind people and service providers to come
to the US and see it for themselves.  And so the quandry remains, As
lond as Elnura and Gulnaz are the primary few who truly understand the
full lives that can be led by blind people, the growth of this
movement in Central Asia will grow very slowly.  For this reason, it
is vital in these early stages of development to get key future Kyrgyz
blind leaders to get that firsthand experience to bring back and share
with others here.

A bright young lady by the name of Hayot will be that next leader.
Thanks to the contributions and support of our Federation Family and
others, She has a summer job at Enchanted Hills Camp lined up for her
with the LightHouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired San Francisco
and will attend the NFB national convention in Orlando in July thanks
to the Louisiana Center for the Blind.  In both of these places, she
will connect with hundreds, perhaps thousands of competent blind role
models and peers, soak for the summer in the high-expectations and
positive philosophy of the Federation, and bring the corresponding
confidence back to Kyrgyzstan, where she will be finishing her English
degree at Osh State University, where she lives in the southern part
of Kyrgyzstan.

This is the part where we urgently need your generous support.  Hayot
can't have these unique experiences, not yet available in Kyrgyzstan,
if we can't her there, and the only piece missing now is the airfare
from Bishkek to San Fransisco and back and between San Fransisco and
Orlando.  We launched a Go Fund Me campaign to cover the cost of these
tickets and it is 30% funded, but we can't buy 30% of a plane ticket
and 30% of the distance doesn't connect her to the thriving blind
community we know in the US.  Here's how you can support:

Make a contrribution at www.gofundme.com/blindleadersKG.  This is our
most immediate need to fulfill this project and premiums are available
for contributions of $50 or more.

Spread the word.  Forward this email, share the
www.gofundme.com/blindleadersKG link with your friends, families,
and/or other networks.

Is there a creative way you can organize a force multiplier in your
contribution?  Ask others to match?  Take a collection at the office?
Bake sale?  Car wash?  A challenge to do something unexpected?

Join Empower Blind People on Facebook and Twitter @ebp_kg to follow
the exciting things that are developing here all the time, like and
share our posts and help us tell the world that EBP is changing what
it means to be blind in Central Asia.

As for me, Serena, serving as a Peace Corps Bolunteer in the service
of EBP, the action never stops, my Kyrgyz gets a little better
everyday, and the opportunities for learning & growing are limitless.
I look forward with great pleasure to attending national convention
this summer and a brief visit back to California thereafter, and hope
to connect with as many of you as I can!

Thanks in advance for your contributions and support!

With gratitude,

Serena Olsen, MAIPS, NCLB
Peace Corps Volunteer, Kyrgyz Republic 2014-15: Empower Blind People
Blog: http://blindbroadabroad.wordpress.com

"We are all born to be the hero of our own story." --Deepak Chopra

Nfbc-info mailing list
Nfbc-info at nfbnet.org
To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for 

More information about the NFBMO mailing list