Dilafruz Sharifbaeva ’11 (Dushanbe, Tajikistan)
Event Location: Dushanbe, Tajikistan
$500  FLEX Alumni Grant Funding
$518 cost share from: U.S. Embassy and FLEX alumni donations 

11208666_1584294121811541_3235560920555312048_nOn April 18-19, Dilafruz Sharifbaeva ’11 together with 29 volunteers set out to renovate a gym at School #104 for Visually Impaired Children.  Since the school couldn’t afford to do renovation, the gym had been closed for a long while.

Besides youth volunteers and 15 FLEX alumni, members of the local community, professional constructors hired by the school, and U.S. Ambassador in Tajikistan Susan Elliott were involved in the project. Over the course of two days volunteers scrubbed old paint off the walls, patched up all the cracks and repainted the gym.  1Once the job was finished, new sports equipment, including games, mats, and skipping ropes, was brought in. To celebrate the successful ending of the project, on April 24 a concert was organized where school students performed alongside FLEX alumni.

The project was featured by the media group Asia-Plus and served as a great source of inspiration for all sides – school students and teachers, FLEX alumni and members of local community. It also proved cooperation on the grassroots level can make a significant difference even with limited funding.