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The Gift of the Grandmothers’ Rug
Dina Aidzhanova, Kazakhstan

We invited Dina Aidzhanova to come from Kazakhstan to NAEYC several years ago. Together with Andrew Ikupu from Papua New Guinea, Dina shared global perspective on early childhood issues. She gifted us this rug which is treasured.

“It’s a fine story about the run, but it happened at a hard time. Our country got independence, but the economic situation was destroyed, our population was in poverty, hundreds were unemployed, and there was great depression. We did our best and offered teachers and parents in one of our kindergartens the opportunity to renew skills in weaving little rugs for children to sit on the floor. Grandmothers/fathers were involved and prepared machine tool using little old beds. One by one parents provided wool, paint, and brought  strings from home. This region of Kyzylorda was well-known for rugs woven by forewomen were of high level and it was a prestige to purchase them. American trainers purchased many of the rugs. I brought several little rugs to a Step by Step Forum in Bratislava and suggested my colleagues buy them to help our kindergarten. It was a fun auction and people enjoyed the process — play, performance and real funds of $500.  When I came back we called a press conference and told about charity auction supported by SbS people. Kindergarten expended funds for repair and toys. We published the article in SBS news and, of course, grandmothers/parents were proud. This little weaving workshop became a separate endeavor and is managed by one of the parents. It is not easy to imagine but believe me it was unforgettable time for people who passed through problems, difficulties and the wonderful story is the best for them — all together parents, teachers, children — wrote a little book and our organization published it.”

—Dina Aidzhanova

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