Schools Support Project
Photo Georgia Britton
USCAP has a project to support schools in the district around the headquarters of the Karakalpak-Australian Expedition. Since Uzbekistan obtained its independence in 1991, funding to schools has been cut and many are struggling to survive. A significant number of children in rural areas do not attend school as their parents cannot afford pens and paper. Uzbekistan is ethnically mixed and although the official language is Uzbek (together with Karakalpak in Karakalpakstan) there are a variety of schools catering to specific linguistic and cultural groups. The headquarters of the KAE is on land belonging to the Collective Farm Azat. The local population is predominantly Turkman and the schools provide education in Turkman. The government provides a limited number of textbooks for Uzbek schools but those working in a non-official language must find their own.
The Schools Support Project is funded solely by donations from volunteers visiting the excavations. Over the years a large volume of books, paper, pens, pencils and miscellaneous stationery has been donated and brought in from Australia. In 2000 a generous grant of US$400 was given to the largest school for urgent repairs and renovations. In 2001, a total of 110 text books in the Turkman language were purchased locally and donated to the same school. In 2002 we were approached for assistance by a smaller school which educates the children of a number of our workmen. They requested schoolbooks and sports equipment. Through gifts offered by volunteers we were able to donate a large quantity of pens, pencils, notebooks and other items as well as over a hundred textbooks and several basket balls and soccer balls. Similar donations of books, sporting equipment and stationery have been donated in 2003 and 2004. In 2005 and 2006 we also provided support for the local kindergarten which was badly in need of basic essentials such as well as toys.
USCAP would like to thank all who have generously donated funds and gifts to the Project. For any inquiries please contact