The First-Ever Tour of Persons with Disabilities to the Kyrgyz Republic
On July 9 another tour to the Kyrgyz Republic ended. But that was not a usual one, without any exaggeration it could be called historic. It was the first-ever tour to the Kyrgyz Republic of persons with disabilities organized by Israeli 'Hotze Gvulot' organization. As their website says, 'Hotze Gvulot' is a group specializing in tourism planning and organizing trips for people with disabilities. The organisation wanted to arrange a tour to the Kyrgyz Republic and were refused by several companies until they asked Alex Supinski, who runs Kyrgyz Trips tour company.
According to 'Hotze Gvulot', the members of the ten-day tour wanted to stand with persons with disabilities in the Kyrgyz Republic and to demonstrate the will to live by personal example. It is also a demonstration to promote tourism for people with disabilities.
The group members also met with Kyrgyz people with disabilities on Monday to find out how they could support the former. Especially after traveling throughout the entire country and finding out that there is no infrastructure for people with disabilities. According to the delegation guide, Nastia, the problems have started to appear already at the airport. On top of that no building during the tour had wheelchair ramps or had too steep ones. The tour members have also presented some wheelchairs to Kyrgyz people with disabilities.
According to Alex Supinski, while traveling through Bokonbaevo village the group met an eight-year-old boy called Umar, who couldn't walk. The delegation decided to give a present for the boy, the scooter he wanted. Now Umar can go to school by himself in September.
Oren and his wife, who are the heads of the group, have made a statement saying that they are ready to help after seeing the state of things and problems Kyrgyz people with disabilities have. In their home country, Israel, there is a separate state body for working with people with disabilities under mayor's office in every city. They also added that people with disabilities in the Kyrgyz Republic should voice their problems — so that the media, the society and the state officials hear them, because the quality of life of people with disabilities depends on the former.