Charities in UzbekistanUzbekistan has a population of 35 million citizens with nearly 17% of the population living below the national poverty line. Corruption and gender-based violence run rampant in the country with a lack of freedom of expression. Here are five charities in Uzbekistan that are actively guiding the country towards a better future.

5 Charities Operating in Uzbekistan

  1. The Rory Peck Trust – The Rory Peck Trust is an NGO dedicated to aiding freelance journalists and their families during challenging times across the globe. It was established two years after the death of Rory Peck, a brave freelance cameraman who died in a crossfire in Moscow. Peck was reporting Russia’s October coup during the Russian constitutional crises in 1993. The organization aims to elevate the visibility of journalists, safeguard their well-being and security and defend their freedom to report without constraints. One of the most innovative charities in Uzbekistan, they provide psychological support, monetary aid and safety training for journalists. The trust has supported more than 100 journalists reporting in Ukraine during the last 12 months of the Ukraine war. In 2019, at the Human Rights House Tbilisi in Georgia, the Trust partnered with the Justice for Journalists Foundation to provide safety training to Russian-speaking media professionals from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Belarus and Armenia. They also host the prestigious Rory Peck Awards annually, a celebration that honors the bravery and accomplishments of freelance journalists and filmmakers across the world.
  2. The Smile Train – The Smile Train empowers local medical professionals across the world by equipping them with the skills necessary to provide life-changing cleft care and free surgeries to patients who might otherwise not have access to such services. Out of all the charities in Uzbekistan, the Smile Train is the biggest cleft-focused NGO. The organization is dedicated to ensuring that children in need receive the best possible treatment for their condition. They have completed more than 4,000 surgeries in Uzbekistan.
  3. Anti-Slavery International – Anti-Slavery International is the world’s oldest international human rights organization. It was founded in 1839 by Thomas Clarkson, Thomas Fowell Buxton and several other abolitionists. It is not only one of the most important charities in Uzbekistan but the entire world. The organization supports the fundamental human right of freedom for everyone. Around 50 million people suffer from modern slavery around the world today. For 15 years, Anti-Slavery International, the Cotton Campaign, the Uzbek Forum for Human Rights and several other NGOs have been advocating with the United Nations and the International Labor Organization to stop forced and child labor in Uzbekistan. In 2021, the organization made a historic achievement by eliminating state-imposed forced labor in the Uzbek cotton harvest in the country. Uzbekistan has unlocked the potential to export cotton textiles to countries around the world. However, wider labor risks remain in the country. International companies need to be ethical and stop exploitation of Uzbekistan’s cotton textiles.
  4. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – Médecins Sans Frontières is French for ‘Doctors Without Borders.’ It is a renowned international medical humanitarian organization committed to delivering high-quality medical care to individuals facing crises, regardless of their race, religion or political beliefs. Over 1 million patients are admitted to MSF clinics across the globe. MSF was established in France by a group of journalists and doctors during the beginning of the war and famine in the temporary state of Biafra in Nigeria in 1971. They extend their assistance to people affected by war, disease, natural and human-made disasters and those marginalized from access to health care in over 70 countries. In Uzbekistan, MSF primarily focuses on addressing the challenges posed by multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) patients. They introduced directly observed treatment (DOT) to combat the issue. This is an innovative approach that was invented using video links during lockdowns. Through this method, TB patients receive their treatment at home, with the guidance and supervision of a nurse virtually. By leveraging technology, MSF aims to ensure the continuity of TB treatment even during challenging circumstances.
  5. SOS Children’s Villages – SOS Children’s Villages is a prominent international NGO dedicated to providing essential support to children without parental care and families facing the risk of separation. One of the major charities in Uzbekistan, they provide support to vulnerable families and children during crisis situations, offer educational aid to teachers and children in the region and create loving and nurturing homes for children who have lost parental care. So far, they have brought up more than 170 children in the cities of Tashkent, Samarkand and Urgench. The organization was founded by six individuals: Hermann Gmeiner, Maria Hofer, Josef Jestl, Ludwig Kögel, Herbert Pfanner and Hedwig Weingartner in 1949 in Austria. Thousands of children had lost their families because of the Second World War. In the past 70 years, they have supported around 4 million young people with programs that are flexible and can be suited to different races, cultures and religions. The organization has roots in the capital of Tashkent in 2000. They are currently supporting around 150 adolescents in the city.

These charities in Uzbekistan endeavor to create a positive impact on the lives of the Uzbek people as well as international journalists and reporters.

– Sharvi Rana
Photo: Unsplash

Kardashian's Charity Work
The Kardashians are members of one of the most famous celebrity families in the world. Known for their successful businesses and the popular reality TV show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” their lives of fame, glamour and wealth often distract spectators from the Kardashians’ valuable charitable contributions. Each Kardashian’s charity work exemplifies the organizations and ideals they care for most.

Kim Kardashian’s Charity Work

Kim Kardashian’s charity work includes donating $1 million to the Armenia Fund, which is a humanitarian organization established in 1992 that provides relief to Armenian citizens in need. Overall donations to the fund have contributed to creating schools, highways and medical centers for Armenians. The Armenia Fund has raised more than $100 million for communities in Armenia and Karabakh.

Kim Kardashian also advocates for disaster relief. For example, she answered phones to take donations for the telethon One Voice: Somos Live, organized by Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez and Marc Anthony in 2017. The television event raised $35 million for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in order to rebuild homes and provide families with the funds to recover their losses.

Kendall Jenner’s Charity Work

Kendall Jenner, a world-famous supermodel and Kardashian family member, also helped to reduce global injustice by donating to charity: water. Charity: water, founded in 2006, works with local organizations “to fund water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)” initiatives in rural areas across the globe. The organization monitors projects to ensure that the initiatives it funds to supply water are able to function sustainably for as long as possible. For her 22nd birthday, she asked fans, friends and family to donate to charity: water in place of a birthday gift. She encouraged donations by noting that she herself “made a donation to fund 25 wells in Ethiopia that will bring clean water to 5,000 people.” The birthday campaign raised more than $67,000.

Kylie Jenner’s Charitable Work

Many know Kylie Jenner as a prolific contributor to charities across a wide variety of humanitarian areas. She is an ambassador for Smile Train, which is a charity founded in 1999 that funds surgeries for people, mainly children, with cleft lips and palates around the globe. Smile Train also provides speech therapy, nutrition services, dental and orthodontics procedures and “emotional support” to the children it currently helps. So far, the organization has provided aid to more than 1.5 million children.

In 2016, Kylie gave Smile Train 100% of the proceeds of a special lip kit she sold to the public, totaling almost $500,000. Additionally, in March 2020, she donated $1 million to assist people facing the impacts of the Australian wildfires. In this way, Kylie has attempted to diminish inequality around the world.

Kris Jenner’s Charitable Work

Kris Jenner has public donated to charities like the Ronald McDonald House Charities, raising and donating $3 million to the organization for COVID-19 relief. The Ronald McDonald House (RMDH), founded in 1974, works to provide support to the families of ill or injured children around the world who require medical care. Kris, along with Kim, also visited Haiti after the 2010 earthquake to provide assistance to families in deep need.

Both Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian publicly state that they prefer not to discuss their charity work and donations with the public. Both the sisters have donated to charities but feel it is not appropriate to flaunt their contributions publicly. Each Kardashian’s charity work is unique and reflects the distinct personality of each member.

Outside of the limelight, the Kardashians’ charity work shows their commitment to helping the disadvantaged and contributing to global poverty reduction.

– Rachel Reardon
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

TrueheartMarried couple Amy and Scott Malin allow people to transform the lives of the poor with just one click. In late June 2021, the couple developed a search engine called Trueheart, enabling individuals to donate merely by surfing on the website. About 80% of the search engine’s proceeds go toward six major nonprofit companies including Smile Train, Action Against Hunger, Global Green, 4 Paws for Ability, PFLAG National and the Variety Boys & Girls Club.

Why Amy and Scott Malin Created Trueheart

Amy and Scott Malin made it possible to search and donate with Trueheart so that anyone can make an impact worldwide. Because the couple values honesty, they have made a website where people can view what the donations go toward. Inspirational video and image content show the benefits of the proceeds. As a result, this encourages people to click and donate as the donors view the significant influence of others collaborating to change the world.

Also, according to Authority Magazine, Scott stated that he and his wife support utilizing technology in a positive way where people who care about improving society can join forces. In addition, Amy noted that helping the less fortunate is important to their family. For example, the couple helps people by aiding low-income households, donating food to the homeless, cheering up sick children and children without their parents over the holidays and more.

Trueheart’s Celebration

Look To The Stars also reported that, in celebration of Trueheart’s introduction, “Beverly Hills 90210” star and “The Masked Dancer” panel member Brian Austin Green and “Dancing With The Stars” expert performer Sharna Burgess will collaborate to present the #Search4Smiles promotion. This promotion will assist Smile Train in treating babies and kids with cleft lips globally. If this condition does not receive treatment, it can cause challenges with food consumption, breathing, listening and talking. Smile Train has helped to treat over 1.5 million kids with cleft lips worldwide for 21 years. Thus, since people can search and donate free with Trueheart, people can significantly reduce this condition’s global impact.

More About Smile Train

According to the Smile Train website, the company trains and funds healthcare practitioners in more than 70 nations worldwide to help cleft patients at no cost. Babies and children that have clefts require more than merely surgical procedures. It may also be crucial for them to receive help with eating, chewing and speaking. Smile Train provides services for children in low-income areas. For instance, the company’s surgeons can finish a surgery in less than an hour. In addition, dentists are available to provide tooth care for children with cleft lips. Smile Train also supports kids with cleft lips emotionally as the children tend to suffer from scarring, speech impediments, low self-confidence and more. Other celebrities that support the organization include Kylie Jenner, Karrueche Tran, Quincy Brown and Howie Mandel.

Helping People Made Simple

According to Amy Malin, people often think that if they do not have fame or money to spare, that they will not have a significant impact. With support from celebrities, she and Scott Malin have made it possible for anyone to search and donate free with Trueheart. As a final point, Amy stated that many people wish to help change the world and now people can, even in a small way, by clicking and searching on Trueheart via cellular devices, tablets and computers.

– Jannique McDonald
Photo: Flickr

Smile TrainMore than 170,000 children in developing countries are born with cleft lips or palates. Children born with clefts in developing countries often go untreated due to a lack of trained surgeons and facilities as well as the high cost of corrective surgery. Without surgery, children struggle to eat, breathe, hear and speak. Smile Train is a nonprofit that works to provide life-enhancing services to children with clefts in developing countries.

Cleft Lips and Palates

Cleft lip occurs when the lip does not completely form during fetal development. On the other hand, cleft palate occurs when the roof of the mouth does not completely close during fetal development, leaving an opening that can extend into the nasal cavity. Clefts can also occur in varying degrees.

The cause of cleft lip and palate is unclear but research shows that both genes and the environment are contributing factors. In addition, several syndromes are commonly associated with cleft lip and palate. This includes Down’s syndrome and Stickler syndrome.

Cleft deformities can result in a range of issues such as feeding difficulties, dental problems, hearing impairments, speech impediments and breathing struggles. Cleft surgeries and other essential cleft services are imperative because they significantly improve a child’s quality of life.

Smile Train’s Mission

Smile Train is the world’s largest organization that focuses on helping children with clefts in developing countries. It works on a sustainable model that goes beyond simply providing cleft surgeries. It also works to provide other essential services to address the struggles that come with cleft lips or palates. These services include nutritional support, dental care, orthodontic treatment and speech therapy. Smile Train works in more than 70 countries and has helped more than 1.5 million children in the past 20 years.

Smile Train’s sustainable model focuses on providing training, funding and resources to empower medical staff in developing countries to provide free cleft surgeries and care in their very own communities. Once these doctors are trained, a ripple effect occurs as they train more doctors within their communities and beyond. This means that children with clefts will receive quality care and treatment for years to come.

A Smile Train Story

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines, a little girl named Elizabeth was born with a cleft lip. Financial difficulties made it impossible for her parents to afford the necessary treatment and care for her. The family learned about Smile Train partner, Tebow CURE. Through the assistance of Smile Train donors, Elizabeth was able to have surgery at no cost. The surgery helped to ensure that Elizabeth has a good quality of life ahead of her.

Smile Train gives parents in developing countries renewed hope that their children will lead healthy and productive lives despite difficulties.

Olivia Bay
Photo: Flickr

 Cleft Lip and Palate
Each year, more than 200,000 children in developing countries are born with a cleft lip or palate. It is the leading birth defect in nearly all developing countries. A cleft lip or palate may lead to premature death due to its effect on a person’s ability to eat, speak and even breathe properly. Many of these children are unable to lead normal lives because they often face discrimination in terms of access to education and job opportunities later in life.

The good news is that it only takes 45 minutes to surgically fix a cleft lip or palate, and this simple fix lasts a lifetime.

A Life-Changing Partnership

On July 19, Smile Train, an international children’s charity, and GSK Consumer Healthcare, a world leader in oral health care, announced a 5-year partnership to bring free cleft lip and palate surgeries and care to children around the world. With GSK providing funding and scientific expertise and Smile Train continuing their legacy of life-changing free care, this partnership has the potential to assist the wellbeing of both individual children and their communities.

Smile Train works using a sustainable model of education, training in locations across the globe. Since their inception in 1999, the charity has been responsible for more than one million cleft lip and palate surgeries and has left stronger, more capable communities in their wake. Smile Train is dedicated to empowering local medical professionals to create change for those around them, such as the ability to provide a better life for a child in just 45 minutes. However, Smile Train’s care continues after this life-changing surgery by providing orthodontic care and, in many locations, speech therapy to assist in the transition.

While the surgery itself costs around $250 USD, Smile Train, and now GSK, pays the bill for all patients. The communities themselves also benefit through Smile Train and GSK’s partnership; the education and training Smile Train provides helps communities continue their progress in creating a healthier world, which benefits the economy as a whole.  Due to an increase in patients’ economic prospects, local communities may benefit up to $42,000 per individual who undergoes this surgery.

Local and Global Benefits

In addition to local benefits, there is a connection between basic surgeries such as cleft lip or palate surgery and an economic boost on a global scale. One study shows that Smile Train’s one million new smiles added roughly $3 billion USD to the global economy between 2001 and 2011.

By providing free surgeries to children with cleft lips and palates, Smile Train and GSK are providing opportunities for education, socialization, jobs and, most importantly, for a healthy life. In a study on the economic benefits of cleft lip and palate surgeries provided by Smile Train over the past 11 years in 84 developing countries, it was determined that cleft lip and palate surgical programs could contribute up to $20.7 billion USD. The study’s author, Daniel Scott Corlew, states that the “expansion of surgical capacity in the developing world is of significant economic and health value and should be a priority in global health efforts.”

A Better Future for Children

One patient has already seen the benefits of free cleft lip and palate surgery and care provided by the Smile Train and GSK Consumer Healthcare partnership. Eight-month-old Jaya, from Chennai, India, was the first child to undergo a GSK-funded surgery. Her first surgery was successful, and she has one final surgery scheduled within the next few months to completely correct her cleft lip and palate. Jaya is just one example of the lives these surgeries will change. 

This five-year partnership will enable Smile Train and GSK Consumer Healthcare to provide life-changing cleft lip and palate surgeries and care to children of the developing world, changing lives both locally and globally.

– Anna Lally
Photo: Flickr

Kylie Lip Kit
Recently, Kylie Jenner has used her fame to put a smile on the face of children in developing countries. Earlier in October, Jenner released a brand new shade of her famous Kylie Lip Kits. One hundred percent of the proceeds went straight to the non-profit organization Smile Train, which funds surgeries for cleft lip, one of the leading birth defects that children in many developing countries suffer from. Raising nearly $160,000 in sales, hundreds of people will be able to afford the treatment that they need in order to eat and speak properly.

Clefts involve the lip and the palate, or roof of the mouth, and occur when there is a split as a result of certain structures not fusing together during fetal development. The cause of cleft lip is relatively unknown, but a genetic connection is an assumed possibility. Outside forces such as exposure to drug and alcohol use, smoking, maternal illness, infections or lack of vitamin B are also factors.

According to Smile Train’s website, cleft lip is an easily treatable issue. Though more than 170,000 children in 85 developing countries suffer from it, all it takes is $250 and 45 minutes for a surgery that will change a child’s life.

Children that don’t receive adequate medical care will often live in isolation, and struggle with carrying out basic physical tasks such as eating, breathing and speaking. As a result, most of these children don’t attend school or ever hold a job. Jenner has helped bring further attention to this issue and the launch of the Kylie Lip Kit will serve to ensure that hundreds of children can go on to lead better and healthier lives.

The light pink shade, “Smile,” was dropped on the Kylie Cosmetics website on Oct. 3 in recognition of World Smile Day. Incredibly popular, selling quickly like the other products in Jenner’s makeup collection, the unique Kylie Lip Kit collected a massive amount of money for the international organization.

As a new Smile Train Ambassador, Jenner presented a check for $159,500 to the organization’s CEO Susannah Schaefer. The money will fund cleft lip and palate surgeries for 638 children in need. On her collaboration with Smile Train, Jenner stated, “I’m excited to continue my relationship with Smile Train and see the difference we make together […] I wanted to use my social media platforms to help inform my fans about clefts and raise money to give these young kids the surgeries they need to get the smiles they deserve.”

In situations where the fulfillment of proper solutions is lacking, it is significant to note successful methods for giving back to those who are disadvantaged and ones that anyone can get involved in. The Kylie Lip Kit exemplifies this, acknowledging the generous efforts and tremendous effects that can come from the purchase of one simple product.

Mikaela Frigillana

Photo: Flickr

Surgery_health_economyIn developing countries, more than 170,000 children are born each year with cleft lip or cleft palate. These are facial and oral malformations that develop early in pregnancy where the child lacks sufficient tissues in the mouth or lip area and the available tissue cannot join together.

Cleft lips and palates disproportionately impact the developing world. In parts of Asia, South America and Africa, for example, babies born with cleft lip or palate often go untreated due to a lack of medical resources.

In some communities, children with cleft lip or palate are even ostracized or killed. Many are forced to live in isolation due to the stigma that surrounds the physical malformation. Because the condition causes a speech impediment, many sufferers cannot attend school or find work, as reported by Huffington Post.

Repairing this condition, however, requires only a simple surgery costing $250. The surgery can generate significant positive economic ripple effects. The cleft charity Smile Train predicts that performing a single cleft repair surgery puts $50,000 back into the economy, as that patient can then go on to lead a full life.

“It allows patients to return to economic productivity and meaningfully participate in their societies,” said Dr. Scott Corlew, an author of the study conducted by Smile Train: Economic Valuation of the Global Burden of Cleft Disease Averted by a Large Cleft Charity.

Smile Train and other charities like it provide free cleft repair surgery. They also provide the necessary training, facilities for surgeons to perform the procedure and offer the financial support necessary to maintain high standards of care.

According to this independent study, the total economic impact achieved as a result of cleft repair surgeries worldwide, measured across 83 countries between 2001 and 2011, amounted to $20 billion.

Michelle Simon

Photo: Flickr