An initiative to create an audio book stock in kyrgyz language for users of the Republican library for the sightless and visually impaired people (RLFSVIP)

Aigine CRC has been getting involved handicapped people in its activities for recent few years. In March of the current year we came across a counterintuitive phenomenon: the sightless and visually impaired people in Kyrgyzstan have a very limited access to any information in Kyrgyz language.    In particular, they have no access to traditional knowledge, folk music and folklore in Kyrgyz language. Technologically advanced sightless and visually impaired people use Internet do download audio files of varying  content in Russian, English and other languages, however, according to their words, there are no reliable audio sources in Kyrgyz language.

Having taken into consideration such a pity fact and entreaties of RLFSVIP workers, Aigine CRC suggested an initiative to create an audio book stock in Kyrgyz language for the users of the RLFSVIP.  International donors helped RLFSVIP to buy a sound recording studio few years ago; however, the library had very limited book stock for recording. But the main problem was that the library had no people to conduct recording. Aigine CRC charged itself with enriching the book stock and creating a group of narrators. Trough the social networks and Aigine website a call to assist people with disabilities was disseminated.  We announced a call for volunteers who are fluent in Kyrgyz and ready to help in recording of audio files.  Within just a few days the number of volunteers registered reached 25!  The majority of volunteers turned out to be young workers of Beeline and Megacom companies, there were students of the American, Slavic and National Universities and a flight attendant of the Kyrgyz Airways.

On March, 2, 2011 Aigine CRC conducted the first joint meeting with the volunteers, representatives of the visually impaired people’s society and the representatives of the RLFSVIP. At the meeting all the necessary matters were discussed and the recording sessions schedule was worked out. Jumabai Duishonaliev, the head of the library, Talant Joldoshbekov, a member of the visually impaired people’s society as well as the Aigine staff members were impressed by young people’s eagerness  to put their energy and time in creation of audio book stock. Since March an active and fruitful work has been being done to record books in Kyrgyz language. Aigine’s books on sacred sites and traditional wisdom are some of the first books that soon will enrich the audio book stock of  RLFSVIP.