Childhood is the happiest part of the life, they say. Indeed what a wonderful time it was when we had no concern and grieve, playing, jumping and laughing days long. At the same time, some others have different destinies losing both parents in young age. Though government is doing everything to support orphans, it will never do it as good as parents would.
One of the important issues in the society today is a growing number of parentless children. Kazakhs say “Be good to orphans” and “Teardrops of orphans are much bitter than poison”. The society should raise every member of the young generation as a kind, fair and spiritually wealthy citizen of the future.
According to the official figures, Kazakhstan’s orphan population is over 80,000 people.
Thousands of teenagers and kids are under government’s care now, but who knows where they will go after graduation? One will finish school, enter a university of choice and settle in a dormitory for four years. What is there after? Find job? Without domicile registration no employer will hire an orphan. Who will help these souls out of bureaucratic maze then?
Unemployed graduates have a few paths to go – earn bread by doing day-labor or become a career criminal.
Many prisoners today are foster home ‘thrown-outs’. Is there a hope when nobody is waiting outside the jail feeling concern about your future?
Full provision of public housing to orphanage graduates is a big problem today.
Law says parentless alumni may live in public apartments until the age of 23 and have to leave exactly on the expiry date, even those given house after waiting for years.
Yet plenty of them fall short of this basic benefit.
Tutors and orphanage directors, who substitute both the mother and the father to the kids, worry about their future as well.
Worth mentioning, life grants them bright moments sometimes.
I spoke to a businessman from Atyrau once upon a time, to the owner of Neftestroiservice Ibragim Akdrashev. His successful decades-long business included several enterprises. During conversation, he wondered how the kids in our foster home were. In my response I couldn’t hush up my anxiety about their future after graduation. Agreeing to the bitter truth, the man expressed willingness to take care of as many as he could afford then.
So, in 2006 we trusted five kids to Mr Akdrashev as agreed. The first thing, he gave them opportunities to learn crafts, gave them accommodation in a dormitory with three meals a day. They studied in a training center for free. From apprentices the five grew into qualified specialists and now work for their good-doer’s company. The ones who chose to marry enjoyed another support – the company shares their mortgage interests. Happiness is to find your place in the world and be a dignified member of society!
“By now, over 30 orphans from the foster home of Alga town have been trained and hired to work with our company. When a teenager comes here, tutors ask what profession he or she would like to learn and we teach them based on that. If one wishes to continue studies in a university, we pay tuition fees. We should help them become true citizens of our country. I am happy to say that every of them has lived up to expectations. Everyone is working now, found love and raising own children. In a word, the company management has created every opportunity for them,” says Ademi Kayyirbekova, the company’s training center principal.
Good examples are Arman Tankeyev, now a quality control inspector, Mirbolat Kaziyev, a rigger, Yerbol Oralov, a welder, Vladimir Konotopets, a woodcutter, Alexey Chernigov, an electrician and many others who do painting, packing, construction and many other useful jobs.
“I worked as a pipe fitter at first. Never was tired of doing it. The meals were timely given and I had a place to live with a gym and recreation venues. Now I have been promoted to a QC inspector,” says Arman Tankeyev.
He was a sharp and good mannered boy when I fist saw him. Perhaps that’s why he was able to settle in life.
At a picnic, to which we all gathered recently, all of these guys expressed happiness over the paths they had chosen – Vladimir Konotopets now studies geodesy in the Aktobe Oil and Gas Institute, Yerbol Kurbangaliyev is a fitness instructor. Nurgul Shakibayeva has chosen to be a tailor. Having mastered this trade she has married and now is babysitting. Nurlan Toktabayev works as an instrumentation locksmith.
This is the destiny of those whom Mr Akdrashev once took under his wing. He still occasionally aids us in repairing our venues.
Unfortunately, many people concern about themselves only, busy building two-storey houses, driving luxury cars, keeping and boasting of several huge dogs in the yard and seeing nothing except money.
Likewise, there are lots of men and women like Ibragim, an example to follow!
In one of his hadiths, Prophet Mukhammad (Peace on Him) said “He who strokes an orphan’s head will get as much reward as his hair on head for his piety”.
Kenzhegazy Baigazin, Alga Foster Home Principal
Aktobe Oblast, Kazakhstan