The residents of the social village Manas come from the children’s rehabilitation center, from state children’s homes or homes for adult persons with disabilities; Some are brought by their families, others by people from their immediate vicinity. The paths they take into the social village Manas are therefore very individual. Some stay short, others are already for very long in the social village Manas and do not want to go anywhere else. Some develop very well, and learn to be independently in domestic work, and can go back home to live with their families and assign for work to contribute to the family income.
Here we present some of the residents of the Social Village Manas:
… but I would like to live in the social village
Meerim was abandoned as a baby. The man who found her took her to his family and accomodated her, even though they were very poor. When she was six years old, they brought Meerim to the state nursery. They often visited her there. Someday they stopped visiting her and no one knew where they were and whether they were still alive. Then, Meerim was brought to a new nursery and she did not have any contact with her foster family for a very long time. Meerim stayed for at least 10 years at the nursery which is in the small town of Bielovodsk (close to Murake, the village where the Social Village Manas is).
Meerim is living now for 15 years in the Social Village Manas and feels very comfortable there. She doesn`t want to leave anymore. When a newspaper published her story, her foster family read the report and came to the Social Village Manas. They even asked her if she did not want to come back to stay with them. But Meerim wanted to stay in her new home, the Social Village Manas. She has the feeling of making something meaningful by bringing herself into the community. That gives her a lot of joy. She is a hardworking sewer in the felt workshop, takes care of her friend Leyla and helps a lot in the household. Meerim is 28 years old.
I love to spread good mood
Everybody calls Adilbek simply Adil.
Adil who is by now 22 years old, came 2016 from the children´s home in Belovodsk into his new home. He quickly felt at ease in the Social Village and is since then everybody´s favourite. With his cheeky smirk and mischievous smile, he often spreads good mood.
At the institution in Belovodsk he spent one part of his childhood. At the beginning his mother visited him there but at some point she stopped coming. In 2019 her mother and her aunt visited him after many years. Adil uses a wheelchair and can only limitedly move his arms and legs. This does not hinder him from making jokes. He laughs a lot and likes to joke around with volunteers and staff.
During the day he spends his time at the workshop or is busy with the volunteers. He loves the sensorimotor exercises to stretch his shortened tendons, likes puzzling, enjoys watching books and draws with enthusiasm. Adil knows what he wants and show it with his facial expression and gestures. He also likes being in the nature and he especially falls for dogs. He is fascinated by lions and tigers. Moreover, he likes listening to music or making sounds by himself.
Adil learned at the Social Village to drink by himself and to eat bread. He obviously enjoys the Social Village and became the centre of the Social Village.
Today I don´t want to.
Until Orungul was 17 she lived at home with her mother in Dschalal-Abad. As her father died, her mother started to drink, and she could not look after Orungul anymore. She brought her into the children´s home in Belowodsk. Now Orungul has barely contact to her mother.
Orungul is now 24 years old and during the last 6 years she is living in the Social Village, she has undertaken several different tasks. At the beginning she milked the cows every evening, but meanwhile she is rarely in the cow barn. Now she helps a lot in the household and works in the felt workshop.
Orungul likes to go for a walk. Here her mobile phone is her continuous companion. Often, she is looking for new friends for talking at the phone or meeting up. Thereby she is not always aware of the possible danger of strangers.
Her quickly changing mood makes the interactions with her not always easy. She likes setting the tone and does not like it when someone dictates something to her.
She likes living in the Social Village – it is her big family. The director and other older women she calls “Mom”, they are for her a compensation for a mother.
In her free time Orungul likes to dance and to sing. She is very good at it. At performances she demonstrates her skills when she dances together with Bayaman and confidently performs songs.
Tour guide and creative craftsmen are my main professions.
Ruslan moved 2011 from the children’s home to the Social Village Manas to Murake. Animals in general and in particular cows are his great passion. He used to milk the cows of the Social Village in the morning and bring them to the shepherd of the village. Because the agricultural tasks changed, his work shifted. He helps everywhere around the house and the barn where he is needed. Only sewing he doesn´t like.
He also likes leading guests through the village of Murake, where the Social Village Manas lays at the outskirts. Ruslan knows every person and every corner in the village. He always knows where a bitch has just got a puppy. He can also tell a lot of insider information during his tours.
Ruslan is sociable, but he does not like to talk about his time in the orphanage. It was not nice. He rather tells of his parents, and how well they were to him. He says, “They died many years ago in a car accident. That’s why I had to go to the orphanage”. He loves the Social Village Manas and likes to live there. “All I need for being happy is here – tea, food, friends and cows.” He likes to make small gifts of felt for the manager or guests. He is not able to write and cannot memorize numbers, so he sometimes asks the volunteers or staff to write a letter to them. Only the employees of the Social Village Manas know that Ruslan was found at the street with a letter in the pocket as a baby by a policeman. The policeman then took him to the orphanage. But Ruslan is very happy and satisfied with his reality. He is 28 years old.
In 2019/2020 he visited a course about organic farming in the state lyceum. He learned about composting and in general about work in the garden and greenhouse and can now introduce his knowledge in these areas at the Social Village.
My parents have not decided for the apparently easier way.
Bektur is the savant among the inhabitants of the Social Village Manas. He would have liked to become an anthropologist or a historian. He is 37 years old, lives sometimes at the external group and sews with perseverance cushions.
He likes to talk with the volunteers about kings, revolutions, religions and history. He is a man of philosophy. Sometimes he calls himself an anarchist. Mathematics is difficult for him, but he likes to grab the volunteers in the evening to practice with him.
He has a family that he regularly visits. But his parents are very poor and sick, so they cannot take care of Bektur. He says his childhood was quite normal. He was allowed to go to school in Nadjeshda for nine years. He could not go to a public school because of a defect of his legs. Education is not provided for people with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan. His parents, however, have always done all they could to provide Bektur a normal life. Now that they can no longer support him, he is also dependent on the help of donors.
Hello, it´s me… (is it you?)
Gulja came to the Social Villag in February 2018. She was born in 2000 and has already experienced a lot. Until she was 3 years old she lived with her parents. After that she was sent from one rehabilitation centre to another. Her father once promised to accommodate Gulja when she is of age. Unfortunately, that did not work. When she visited him for one week, she was strongly hoping to stay there. Gulja is originally from Talas and when she is asked where she comes from, she points into the right direction and laughs.
Gulja is very curious, diligent, powerful and attentive. Already since the first day she came into the Social Village she lovingly cares about Adil, but also about her friend Ajana, Ernis and the volunteers. She is happy about every visitor at the Social Village.
If something undesirable happens to Gulja, she is deeply sad. But her sorriness is not lasting for long. Soon the sun shines for her again. Gulja loves music and regularly asks Maxim who is currently singing in the radio. She really likes to dance, preferably together with other friends. It is wonderful when she sings to hits.
Gulja skillfully sews and when she finished, she proudly shows the cushion. She also helps a lot in garden and household. Sometimes she recognizes tasks by herself or happily helps when she is asked to do so. In the garden Gulja detects each earthworm, every large stone deep in the earth and every ripe strawberry.
She is certainly a real support for everyone.
Baiaman was born in Jalalabad without disabilities. Because of an accident he cannot move his legs and has to use a wheelchair. But he is very strong as he regularly exercises with dumbbells. That´s why he always wins arm wrestling competitions.
He used to live with his family at different places in Russia and Kyrgyzstan. His parents work in Russia and visit him when they are in Kyrgyzstan. His relatives in Kyrgyzstan visit him regularly and support the Social Village with donations in kind.
Baiaman spent 3 years at the children´s home in Belowodsk, but never visited a school and thus did not learn to read or to write.
When he was eighteen, he was allowed to move to the Social Village Manas.
Within the previous years he lived during summertime at the external group and during winter in the Social Village.
Baiaman sews very nice cushions.
Maxim already has been in Dubai and wants to fly there one day again. He already owns a travelling bag and a passport. Now he only needs a ticket. Then the journey could start. Also, the visit at the airport was really impressing to him.
Maxim spots every airplane at the sky and asks himself where it is heading and who is sitting in the airplane. Preferably he would also sit in the airplane and travel somewhere.
Maxim was born in 2001 and is therefore the youngest resident. He came 2018 together with Gulja and Ajana to the Social Village. Also Ernis has become a good friend of Maxim. At the beginning Maxim made plans how to run away to his `real` home when it is warmer. But by now he realizes that he just has to stay where he is as he is already in his `real` home.