NUR-SULTAN – Determined, strong-willed and determined. This is how the personality of Dinara Naumova can be described. Her story proves that a diagnosis of cerebral palsy does not define her life, but rather can become a powerful motivator.
Childhood, the role and education of a grandmother
Naumova, 24, was born in the village of Kabanbai Batyr in the Akmola region. Her parents were not ready to raise a child, so the girl was brought up by her grandmother and lived in a three-year-old village at the end of the ninth grade.
“My grandmother was totally invested in my treatment and education. She is a great person for me because she learned all the sources of information to help me. She went to all the doctors and found a great teacher, Alibek Abdrakhmanov, who was examining me some time ago and with whom I am still in contact,” Naumova said in an interview with The Astana Times.
Naumova had to learn from home, and her favorite subject was chemistry. For this reason, she entered the college of technology and commerce to study oil and gas processing after graduating from ninth grade.
“I took exams, went to college and lived in a dormitory [I still used to be on two crutches]. At that time, I was engaged in social projects. I was a member of the youth committee, took part in various events and worked with young people,” Naumova added.
After graduating from college, she continued her education at a university because Naumova believes higher education is important. She managed to move forward with her project and social activity through distance learning.
From idea to reality in six years
According to her, she was around 18 when she first thought of opening the inclusion center in her village.
“I spoke to the mothers of the children in the village, who had no financial possibility of treatment, transport to go to the rehabilitation centers or the child was not able to move. At one point I asked myself: what can I do for this village and for these people? How can I help them? Naumova said.
In 2017, she became a participant in the Menin Armanym (My Dream) national competition with her project proposal for a sports and health center in the village of Kabanbai Batyr. Although she didn’t earn enough points to go to the final round, she decided not to give up.
A year later, Naumova applied again and finally took third place among 10,000 participants. However, the difficulties did not end after his project’s investor refused to provide funding because he saw no prospects.
After six years of hard work, she managed to launch her project. The main sponsor was the Qamqorlyq Qory public fund and Naumova also invested the three million tenge (US$6,450,000) she won from the Tauelsizdik urpaktary (independence generation) presidential grant in 2021.
About the inclusion center and future plans
Currently, 98 people with disabilities live in the village and 17 of them are children under the age of 18. In total, the population of the village is 10,000 people.
The center is located in the House of Culture and its territory reaches 98 square meters. It has been running for two months and exists on subscriptions, purchased by people who come to train in the gym. The gym is now used by 30 people, and 10 children come to benefit from physiotherapy.
“When we provide free services to children with mental and physical disabilities, it is my initiative, it is the pain I have experienced. I always represent the child and would like to do everything possible. If it helps me a times, it can help them,” Naumova said.
The center now faces challenges. Naumova makes no profit from her farm, but she is convinced that it is better to continue working. She believes in the future of her project.
Speaking of the future, Naumova says she plans to expand the range of services in the center and scale the project.
Besides her work at the center, she is the President of the Association for the Development of an Inclusive Society, a member of the Presidential Council for Youth Policy and a member of the Public Council of the Ministry of Information and Social Development.