Aiperi was 9 years old when she had to leave her school.

Like tens of thousands of other disabled Kyrgyzstani children, Aiperi’s access to education had been challenged by too many psychological and physical obstacles. This made her very upset and for a long time after that, she hated schools, books, and anything related to it.

Although Aiperi didn’t know how to read or write very well, at the age of 18 she joined a disabled persons’ organization called Nazik Kyz, which means Tender Girl in the Kyrgyz Language.

“I had realized that inaccessibility is a major barrier that prevents people with disabilities from actively participating in social and economic activities in Kyrgyzstan. I joined Nazik Kyz because I believe that together, we women with disabilities can contribute to building an inclusive environment.”

Alongside other women in Nazik Kyz, over the years Aiperi became increasingly active in addressing the social divides and stereotypes that negatively impact the rights of women with disabilities across the country.


As a part of their efforts to increase civic participation among marginalized groups, in February 2018 USAID Kyrgyz Republic and the International Foundation for Electoral System organized a contest for people with disabilities. They contacted Nazik Kyz and Aiperi volunteered to join the event.

The contest was organized exclusively for people with disabilities with the objective of increasing their inclusion in the country’s public life. The contest was simple: design a project or activity to increase people with disabilities’ access to decision-making processes.

I used to feel isolated and kind of clueless, but my participation in the contest turned my life around. You see, despite the fact that I could not read or write, and had to rely on a recorder and other people to help, I won! I had the best idea for a project to help people with disabilities.

Aiperi’s prize-winning project, called Jiger Kyzdar or Kind Girls in Kyrgyz, awarded her a small grant to make the project a reality.

At that moment I promised myself to combat my own barriers and help people with disabilities, focusing on their inclusion in our society.

Shortly after, Aiperi took it upon herself to learn how to read and write.

Aiperi saw in the news that her old acquaintance Gulmairam needed help and decided to visit her. Gulmairam is also a woman with a disability and gave birth to a daughter a short time ago.


Anyone who meets Aiperi would agree that she has a tremendous amount of positive energy, something she uses to lead and inspire others. She often finds herself in the role of a motivational speaker, and she is very engaged with other youth to help with community mobilization and advocacy.


In Bishkek, accessibility can be a serious challenge for Aiperi, who usually plans her travel a couple days in advance to make sure the streets and places she must visit will allow her to move around.

As a part of her Jiger Kyzdar project, Aiperi painstakingly travels across the city to carefully examine the accessibility of public places and buildings. She uses this information to create an accessibility map for people with disabilities.

Aiperi plans to use the information collected through her project to raise the public’s and the government’s awareness about places and buildings where accessibility is inadequate or even nonexistent.

Her first step will be to present her results to representatives of the Bishkek Mayor’s Office along with different possible solutions for their consideration.

I realized that it is much more helpful to peacefully negotiate and cooperate with authorities than just criticizing them and doing nothing.

Aiperi with her colleagues from Nazik Kyz examine the accessibility of the Bishkek Mayor’s Office building

By seeing our work, I am sure that, voluntarily or not, people will ask themselves: “Why are these disabled girls doing important things?’ This will contribute to fighting stereotypes against women with disabilities and help improve public opinions about disabled access to public places.


A little while ago, Aiperi’s story and project were noticed by a popular Kyrgyzstani news agency.

Together they came up with a kind of social experiment that Aiperi sometimes do after work. The idea is to directly engage car owners who improperly park their cars in a way that can reduce people with disabilities’ capacity to travel in the city.

When Aiperi finds a vehicle illegally parked on a pedestrian crossing, she leaves a note with her phone number:

“Sorry, I scratched your car. Please call me and I will pay for the repair”.

Most of the time, car owners call her. Aiperi then explains that there are no scratches at all but explains that their action has concrete impacts for people with disabilities.


Aiperi’s commitment to people with disabilities is not confined to the issue of accessibility and civic participation. She is now quickly catching up on her education and hopes to get her high school degree soon and then go on to university to study psychology.

I want to become a psychologist and assist other people with disabilities to overcome their internal and external barriers. This is my future, a future that is stable, where I can do anything and go anywhere I want!

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