NURIA NIYAZOVA: IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR US TO PRESERVE OUR TRADITIONS
The Council of Mothers, an advisory and consultative body to the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, is successfully functioning. It brings together, on a voluntary basis, Kazakh women and mothers involved in shaping tolerant behaviour in the family, in the legal protection and support of minor children and in resolving the problems of children deprived of parental care.
In an interview to APK’s website, Nuriya Niyazova, Chairman of the Council of Mothers of Almaty Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, Chairman of Ildash Tatar Center for Human Development, and a member of Alatau district of Almaty, spoke in detail about the functions and activities of the Council, the supervision of children's shelters, and the model of upbringing of the younger generation of the Kazakh people.
—Nuria Ismagilovna, could you tell us when and for what purpose Council of Mothers was formed at the Assembly?
—The Council was established in 2014. The most important thing in the family is the mother. The Assembly of People of Kazakhstan unites 35 ethnic groups. In each nationality, the mother is mainly responsible for the upbringing of children, and all responsibility lies with her. It is not in vain that when a child achieves something in life, they pay attention to the father and say: "Look what kind of son he has or what kind of daughter he has! If a child has done something wrong, he has stumbled and always says: "Where did the mother look?! This can be observed literally in all people, in representatives of all ethnic groups. The Council of Mothers was created, first of all, to support socially vulnerable groups of the population. I already as three years head the Council of Mothers at the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan in Almaty. I love my work and I am very proud of it. I am grateful to everybody for their confidence. For six years, even before the establishment of the Council of Mothers, I supervised and continue to supervise orphanages for children as the Chairman of the Tatar Center for Human Development "Ildash".
We have two shelters in Almaty. One is located in Turksib district and is called the Center for Adaptation of Minors. The other is in the Alatau district, of which I am a member. This is a shelter for the temporary detention of minor children. I would like to note that shelters are not orphanages. Children who have run away fr om home are gathering there. We find them on the streets of the city, in computer clubs and in parks. When such children are found, they are taken to shelters rather than orphanages. These children often have no documents, they do not have identity cards or birth certificates. Most of these children live in single-parent families with stepfathers. Girls are subjected to physical violence and boys have physical conflicts with their stepfathers. This is a big problem! In the shelter according to the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan children stay fr om three to six months. A lot of work is done by the shelter administration, juvenile police, non-governmental organizations and, of course, the Council of Mothers in order to prevent such children from entering orphanages. If during three or six months it is possible to work with mothers of these children, other relatives, the pupils of shelters have an opportunity to return to the family. If the problem cannot be solved, the children have to move to orphanages. Sometimes several children from the same family go to orphanages at the same time. It is a pity that such cases arise. Sometimes children go to shelters two or three times a year. It seemed that the problem had only been resolved, only everybody had reconciled, the children had returned home, and again there were conflicts, difficulties, due to which the teenagers once again ran away. Such children are under the special control of the juvenile police and the administration of these shelters. I want to say that these children are wonderful, talented, and despite the fact that they run away from home, they write poems, songs, dedicating them to their mothers.
We support them with charitable activities and hold various festivals. Shelters have decent support from the state, but we, in turn, provide them with some assistance, give them gifts, necessary household items, equipment, take the guys out for picnics. Ethnocultural associations of the city are also involved in work with children. In addition, we provide a legal form of assistance to children whose parents died in a car accident. Such children need psychological support, they lie in the neurological departments of hospitals. I would also like to note that our boys from the shelter are advised to enter the military lyceum "Zhas Ulan", a specialized lyceum "Arystan". However, there is a problem. Such lyceums bring up the military elite of the country, which should be highly educated. Therefore, we help these guys to make up for the gaps in knowledge. Currently, we are preparing the student volunteer movement. Students will come several times a week, and will be engaged with children from shelters in Kazakh, Russian, English and history. We do all this to enable the children to enter worthy educational institutions. We are now looking for sponsors to help pay for the travel of students who have joined these volunteer ranks. Shelters are located in different parts of the city and it's quite expensive for students to travel several times a week. I am very grateful to my fellow MPs who support the shelters and make it a pleasant place to stay.
—Nuria Ismagilovna, the Council of Mothers also deals with and supports women's issues in the country. In your opinion, are the rights of the beautiful half of our country in the professional sphere infringed?
—Mother's councils mainly work with young people. We have a lot of work to do here. Look at this, today young people start families and easily break up after a year or two. All these problems should be looked for in their families. We tend to blame schools and organizations. Children and youth should be brought up in a family. The issues of gender inequality always make me smile. I believe that everything depends on the person. I am a mother, I have two children and will soon even be a grandmother. I have been living with my husband for 30 years, doing business, doing social work. This does not exempt me from being a wife and mother at home. I have time to do household chores, pay attention to my husband, my children, take care of my mother. My parents have made me realize that I have to be a wife, a mother and a good mistress in the house first of all. All this does not prevent me from building a career. I got three educations. I'm just saying that it's all up to us. If we are erudite, educated, energetic and active, we will be successful in family life, political, social life and business. I do not feel this gender inequality at all. Women need to carry themselves with dignity in the society, to achieve the set goals, but in no case try to take men's places, sit in their chairs. This is stupid and wrong. In any situation, you need to remain a woman. Women in politics with a different view, they are softer, more diplomatic, more selective, which is also true for business. Men are happy to work with us and accept our work. We see women as deputy akims and heads of departments. The presidential program to modernize the public consciousness shows that we need to start with ourselves. We always point to certain problems, blaming others. We try to educate young people late, when young boys and girls are studying at colleges and universities. It is necessary to bring up from birth and instill values on own examples within the family.
—It is known that the Council of Mothers is carrying out advisory and information work to improve the level of legal literacy among women. Could you tell us more about it?
—In the House of Friendship we often have round tables. We often hold meetings with representatives of the Health, Social Employment and Juvenile Police Departments, wh ere we talk about new state programs, raise issues of student employment, retraining of specialists, self-employment, mandatory social health insurance, and exchange opinions. We often hold forums of national importance, wh ere we meet with regional representatives of the Council of Mothers and exchange experience.
—Nuriya Ismagilovna, what is the role of the Council of Mothers in strengthening Kazakhstan's identity and social harmony?
—The work of the Council of Mothers is entrusted with a very great responsibility. Inter-ethnic and inter-confessional harmony has developed historically. In the 90s, historians and politicians prophesied instability in our country. The work of the Council of Mothers carries a deep philosophy of unity. It is not in vain that we have created the Scientific and Expert Council at the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan. The APK model is being studied all over the world today. All our state holidays unite the ethnoses living on the territory of the Republic. Raising the younger generation, many peoples are based on the model of education of children of the Kazakh people. It is very important for us to preserve our traditions of respect for the older generation. This is our foundation for building a successful, stable and bright future.