A girl’s growing world

One year ago, a single mother with four children approached Salem Social Village for help. This kind-hearted and open woman, who had already been on her own for a number of years, was called Gulzhamal. She had a pretty tough situation – her husband had died, she was left looking after a big family alone, and the money available (no social security payments available) barely covered their needs.

Last year Salem was able to help Gulzhamal by giving her a bed with a specialist mattress, which was shipped to us from the wonderful people at Crossroads. This gift was for her ‘special princess’, her eldest daughter Zhansaya, who has cerebral palsy.

A year later, we invited Gulzhamal again so that we could give her eldest daughter a new wheelchair, part of a shipment of wheelchairs received by Salem for the people of Kazakhstan and donated by Medline Industries. Zhansaya is now 14, and as a teenager she’s now far too big for the children’s wheelchair that she had for many years.


Gulzhamal used the opportunity to tell us about how her ‘princess’ lives. The bed with the orthopaedic mattress which the family received a year ago gave this young lady a whole new world. As Zhansaya can’t get around at home independently, she spends most of the time in bed. That’s where she reads, dreams, sings (whether happy or sad), and most importantly sleeps very well. Thanks to the high quality mattress, Zhansaya is now not troubled by the discomfort and pain that she used to suffer with the old soft mattress which was all that they could afford.

It turns out that an enormous world can fit onto a bed.

This year, the Salem team are very pleased that Zhansaya, together with her Mum and other friends, will be able to go out again and enjoy the city thanks to her new ‘carriage’. And then being able to return home to a warm bed will bring yet more joy and comfort each day.