A Kindergarten Opened at Ton, Issyk-Kul Province
A kindergarten opened in the village of Ton, Ton district, Issyk-Kul province. It was renovated with the support of Kumtor Operating Company. Also, the gold miner provided assistance in the purchasing of equipment, household appliances, toys and essential goods. The opening ceremony was attended by a good half of the village residents and a small concert was given by local children. The comfortable and fully-equipped building will receive its young charges as soon as September, 2011.
Noteworthily, as many as nine social projects have been launched with KOC’s support in the Ton district, Issyk-Kul province, this year. Cooperation is also developed with UNIFEM (UN Women), local authorities and NGOs. KOC has contributed US $130,000 to a small-grant program as part of the project designed to improve the social infrastructure of the Ton district. UN Women, for its part, has undertaken to organize and hold a competition of small-grant seeker projects. As a result, nine 10,000-dollar projects have been selected.
The kindergarten is a ninth project implemented in the Ton district so far with KOC’s backing. The Issyk-Kul Regional Development Fund, whose budget is formed out of KOC contributions, has also participated in the project.
A kindergarten is what the community residents have been dreaming about for more than twenty years. Ton is a village of over 2,000 with each family having at least three children who need care while their parents are at work. The village women have repeatedly brought up this issue after the former kindergarten was closed with the break-up of the Soviet Union, especially because the former building has survived intact. For a few years, it was used as a mosque, but stood idle for the most of the last year. The one-storey building erected at the dawn of the 1950s is in a poor state: the roof is leaky and plaster crumbling. Yet, it was worth renovating rather than building anew. A Balykchi contractor has overhauled the building: replaced the roofing, wiring, and heating, put new double-glazed windows, used gypsum plasterboard to smooth out the walls. The newly-repaired façade was painted gentle pistachio green and a playground with a teeter-totter was arranged nearby.
This is the first instance of cooperation ever developed between a major company and an international organization in the history of charities in Kyrgyzstan. This pilot project has become another evidence of KOC’s social responsibility and its willingness to participate in tackling serious social problems in the region.