Best Practice

Orphans get a sporting chance in Tajikistan

18 | 2 | 2014

The lives of orphans in Tajikistan are being transformed courtesy of the nation’s heroic Olympians.

Many young people were orphaned during the Civil War between 1992 and 1995, and many others took part in large scale migration to Russia and Kazakhstan due to a lack of jobs.

Thanks to the work of the Tajikistan Olympians Association and the Olympic Academy, steps are being taken to offer orphans access to education and leisure pursuits. Special competitions for street children have been launched under the From the Yard to the Olympic Games banner, focussing on football, athletics and relay sports.

The programme offers physical education training seminars for school children, while orphans at boarding schools are also offered access to training and competitions.

As well as focussing on orphans, Olympians have also set out to tackle the lack of access to sport for girls. Using the inspiration of London 2012 Boxing Bronze Medallist, Mavzuna Chorieva, the Olympians Association visits remote areas to organise volleyball, relay races and other sporting competitions for girls.

With the help of the European Commission and private finance, The Tajik Olympians Association have also provided sports equipment and organised competitions for children from all backgrounds.

President of the Tajik NOA, Zebiniso Rustamova, said: “We are very proud of the work we have done so far but we want to do more. We hope that with further funding and continued hard work we can continue to make a difference to lives of orphans in Tajikistan.”