On International Children's Day, June 1, 2021, social work specialists in Balkanabat city organized a celebration for children in need and their families.
The event that gathered around 150 children with their families was organized by Myrat Gylychmammedov and Orazmuhammed Rejeptaganov, social work specialists of the Balkanabat city. “Balkanenergo” Production Association provided a venue for the event and local music and art groups, responding to the invitation of social work specialists, volunteered to entertain children with their performance and games.
Myrat Gylychmammedov says: “It was so much fun for kids and their parents. All children received gifts with support of local donors. This event was one of the celebrations of the International Children’s Day in our city. It was so much rewarding for us to see children’s eyes shining from happiness.” He also added that they invited families with children they were working with, whom they have identified as a result of conducting needs assessment. With the word-of-mouth, many other community members and children also joined the event.
The event coincided with the specialized training of social work specialists, which allowed other specialists from Gyzylarbat and Turkmenbashy city and their trainers to participate in the event. Rustam Geldiyev, one of the trainers, reported that it was an important cross-fertilization opportunity, where the social work professionals shared not only the event, but also could demonstrate the importance of resource mobilization at the community level.
He added: “This event demonstrated the aspiration of new specialists in working with families with children and understanding the importance of holding not only one-time events, but also conducting comprehensive work with target groups and strengthening preventive work with the involvement of allied workforce.”
At the end of the event, families expressed their gratitude to social work specialists and thanked donors of the event for supporting such a wonderful celebration for their children. They emphasized the importance of such events that bring parents and children closer to each other. In their turn, the social work specialists thanked all participants, donors of the event, the management of local music and art groups, who provided strong support to this local initiative.
45 social work specialists were recruited by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Turkmenistan as part of the Joint Programme on community-based social services and are working in 20 etraps of Turkmenistan. They are at the stage of finalizing their 45-day training in social work that was provided with intervals over the 9 months as part of Joint Programme. They also receive supervision support and support of their coordinator from the Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Turkmenistan.