The Center for the Protection of Children in Kyrgyzstan nominated Aichurek Sulaimanova as a candidate for the prestigious international award The International Children’s Peace Prize from KidsRights. This is an annual award to teenagers for outstanding achievements in the protection of children’s rights. The country gained familiarity with the girl, who was collecting bags and boxes at the Osh market to provide for her family. Now she is one of 169 children from all over the world who have been nominated for this award.
Aichurek was first mentioned in 2015. At the age of 11, she was the sole breadwinner for her sick mother and younger brother. Aichurek had to pick up bags at the market to support her family. By the time when the public learned about Aichurek, she had already been earning money for two years, supporting payment of rent and utilities for a tiny room without basic living conditions. After media began publishing about Aichurek, many people volunteered to help her. Thanks to the support of kind people, Aichurek began to regularly go to school.
What happened in the family that the child had to work? Aichurek’s mom, Yryskan Sulaimanova, suffered a stroke and was subsequently paralyzed. The disabled woman was unable to support the family, and a disability allowance was hardly enough to cover life expenses. Seeing her mom’s suffering and distress, the then 11-year old Aichurek decided to work. The girl went to the market near the house and began collecting bags. She went there immediately after classes finished, and collected up to 10 kilos by the evening.
She spent the money she earned for rent payment at a humble dwelling without basic living conditions, and on food, utilities, medicine for her sick mother and school fees. She did not only earn money daily, but tried not to miss a day of school, do the housework and take care of her mom.
People non-indifferent to their plight started to help the Sulaimanovs. One organization leased housing for them, and thanks to support of others, Aichurek did not have to work. She did not miss school, and even became a trainer at the day center for the protection of children. Now she trains her peers who turned out to be in a difficult life situation in leadership skills, and in protecting their rights and interests. More than 400 children have been trained thanks to Aichurek.
Currently, Aichurek is the only representative from Kyrgyzstan who was nominated for prestigious international award The International Children’s Peace Prize from Kids Rights. A special committee will select winners this November, and an awarding ceremony will take place in Amsterdam (Netherlands), the Open Asia writes. If she wins, the organization will support Aichurek in future endeavors and projects.
Currently, Aichurek is studying hard to become a doctor in the future. She also dreams of organizing a charity center “Nadezhda” (Hope) to provide a help to children who have found themselves in difficult life situations.