It is all about trust and being there for each other!
NEW HORIZONS program teaches and helps youth to develop a tolerant, diverse and democratic society, in which people are aware of their responsibility and different individuals with different backgrounds and culture get along well with each other.
Starting in 2012, the “Center for Supporting Network Initiatives” has been implementing the NEW HORIZONS program for youth in the Northern Caucasus.
In December 2016, I was invited to the closing ceremony of New Horizons program. More than 50 young people from different parts of North Caucasus took part in the event, in which they could not only learn, but also present their projects in the frame of the program. I got in touch with the hero of my interview, whose name is Dzhamilya, at the presentation of her project. Dzhamilya has an adorable smile and a positive charisma.
Dzhamilya, can you tell us about yourself?
I was born in the capital of Kabardino–Balkariya, in Nalchik. I am 23. When I was a child I wasn’t much sociable and remember my school years not as best ones. But when I entered Kabardino–Balkariya State University everything changed. It was a great event in my life. I studied Hotel Service. A student’s life was very comfortable and I appreciated this time and the opportunities I got.
I have heart you were a volunteer while studying. In what kind of program?
I couldn’t imagine that I would become so active in volunteering. When I was a second-year student I learnt about the organization “Help Your Neighbour” and then started my volunteer’s way. At that time refugees from Syria arrived in our city. They were located in “Swan” sanatorium in Nalchik. There were many children. We, the students, decided to perform a concert for them and prepared a program, in which I helped to do Art and Aqua makeup. I didn’t notice how I got involved in the volunteer movement and started participating in different events like planting trees, fundraising for ill children and the families in need. By now I am a member of the volunteer movement and continue to be a volunteer. I take part in “Goodness Fair”, where volunteers sell handmade things by children. The money they get from the fair are allocated for poor people needs. I tell young people about the possibilities which provide volunteering and still keep on studying and self-educating.
It is interesting to learn about self-education. Do you follow your interest in a certain topic or just make use of educational opportunities, which are offered to you?
I am interested in social project planning. I found out that the Ministry of Education and the Public Chamber provide social training courses and I attended and finished such course. Before that I had finished a so called “befriending school” that teaches communication skills between children and adults with special abilities: https://vk.com/befreinding I am planning to attend “Social technologist course” to develop my skills. This is a new qualification, which helps to teach others new methods of arranging trainings.
Dzhamilya, thank you very much. I have never heard about befriending It’s a new field for me and I will certainly learn more about it. But how did you get into the New Horizons program?
I learnt about the program on the internet. I filled in the application and sent it and after a month I got the mail that I was included into the waiting list. If one of the participants wouldn’t be able to come to the event, I would be taken as the next participant. And it turned out this way so that I could attend the event. It was difficult for me at the first stage, but the more I got involved into the program the more I started to love it. I have a problem with my eyesight, but there were people, who have worse problems. I felt ashamed to speak about mine. Participating in the program has become an important event in my life. I worked hard and felt that I am personally growing. It’s a nice feeling when you realize that you are changing for better, and that people next to you also see it. I found friends in the program, support of coaches and a friendly team. I also realized negative influence of stereotypes in our life and understood how much it depends on us to make our dreams come true.
Dzhamilya, I know that you implemented your own project on the basis of New Horizons platform. What is it about? What is the idea?
I noticed that the problems of disabled children lack attention and I always wanted to express my attitude to them. I got the chance to do it in the New Horizons program. I could not only present my idea, but also learned how to present it in the project proposal, and social project planning skills, but the best is that I got the support to implement it. The issue can be called a burning one in our society, as it is not much highlighted in the media, and there is no feedback from the society. I wanted people to see the problems of children with special abilities from a different point of view. So I developed the idea to make photos of those children. I wanted people to see the children’s emotions, to show how they live and what they think. I wanted to draw the attention of society on the issue and make people think about ways how to solve problems. I made an exhibition which helped to make the issue known and create understanding in society. As a result, volunteers wanted to organize workshops for integrated groups and rehabilitation centers for such children.
The Institute of Advanced Training promised to support me in arranging workshops aiming at personal development and career building for children with special abilities. I want to continue organize exhibitions of children’s paintings and expand the exhibitions. With permission of the parents I want to make pictures at home where these children live. I have many ideas, so I don’t want to stop because I know that there are no disabled people, but there are only people with unlimited abilities and the main thing is to trust in them and be there for them!
Prepared by Kheidi Omarkhadzhieva