Gulmira Parmysheva, social entrepreneur and founder of the Kishkentai project, produces eco-toys for the rehabilitation of children with special needs since 2019.
She has been able to do this thanks to training from the Tadamon Crowfunding Academy. From May to August 2021, 29 NGOs, including her public association “Centre for Social Initiatives “Belsen”, were trained at the Tadamon Crowdfunding Academy.
The goal of the initiative was to help civil society organizations access alternative sources of funding and connect them with potential partners, donors and like-minded people.
During the training, national and international experts helped organizations to obtain funding, increase the visibility of their projects and build relationships with donors, partners and beneficiaries.
Even before the Crowdfunding Academy was complete, some of the alumni, like Gulmira, launched their campaigns and managed to raise funding.
Gulmira says: “Three years ago I discovered social entrepreneurship through my own personal experience. During my son’s speech developmental therapy I faced many problems: high prices for specialists' services, the need for an integrated approach, a lack of resources in the state language, long queues in the national free therapy centres, among other issues. I understood how important early diagnosis and timely therapy are for children.
“I created the first simulators for speech therapy for children at home. We tested them in home settings and practiced with our son every day, and soon enough we began to see the first results. By believing in myself and in children’s potential, I was able to help other parents as well. This is how the idea of creating the social project Kishkentai came about.”
A project that began in a studio apartment where production and assembly involved all family members now takes place in an inclusive production workshop in the centre of Almaty.
The Kishkentai brand currently produces speech therapy, breathing sets and simulators. Now the project is preparing to produce Shanyraq sensory complex and speech therapy furniture like those already in use by developmental therapists in Kazakhstan and neighbouring countries (Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Uzbekistan).
Gulmira recounts: “In our inclusive workshop young people with mental impairments and hearing problems and developmental teachers create products. We are three years old today, and it is with confidence that we call ourselves a domestic manufacturer. My initial need as a mother has been transformed into a project of life.
“Funding for the workshop has become especially relevant with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic”, concludes Gulmira.
During the pandemic, crowdfunding became an alternative source of funding for many NGOS. This powerful tool provides more flexible, faster and more reliable financing without having to go through different financial institutions. But in order to attract funding, one needs to have a fundamental understanding of the principles of crowdfunding. This is where the Crowdfunding Academy has played a critical role for NGOs, providing them with the knowledge and training they need to develop the necessary skills to run a successful campaign.
Gulmira said, “Participation in the Tadamon Academy, first of all, taught our team discipline and the importance of growth. The academy taught us to constantly search for new ways of doing things and how to develop our communications strategy. In addition to professional skills from the strongest speakers, we received the support of a team of mentors who were passionate about our cause.
“Our mentor Aya was with us 24/7 and supervised us outside the academy. This has been so valuable for our team. I also want to highlight the training platform, the very detailed program and comprehensive material. All the homework made us into superheroes”.
Upon completion of the Tadamon Crowdfunding Academy, several organizations had already successfully run crowdfunding campaigns for their projects. The training ended, but the Tadamon team continues to provide support and mentoring to the training participants on their path to implementing and achieving socially significant goals.
The Tadamon Crowdfunding Academy is part of the Islamic Development Bank and Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development program that empower NGOs in order to reduce socio-economic inequalities. It is funded by the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, managed by the Islamic Development Bank and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and other strategic partners.