In the last five years, NGO activities in Crimean Tatar communities in Crimea, Ukraine, have increased considerably. Activities extend to the areas of education, health care, human and civil rights, family and women, and the revival of traditional culture. As Crimean Tatars strive to resettle in their ancestral homeland, after a fifty-year forced exile, their work at the grass-roots level is assisted by a number of international organizations.
Crimean Tatar Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)*
Among those involved in supporting NGO activities in Crimea are The National Endowment for Democracy (Washington, DC), The International Renaissance Foundation (Kiev office), Open Society Institute (New York), Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe (Washington, D.C. and Warsaw), Minority Rights Group (London), Westminster Foundation for Democracy (London), World Press Freedom Committee (New York), Education for Democracy Foundation (Warsaw), Helsinki Human Rights Group (Warsaw), International Organization for Migration (Kiev office), the Eurasia Foundation (Kiev office), the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (Kiev office), The Crimean Tatar Association of Culture and Mutual Aid (Ankara and Istanbul), Stefan Batory Foundation (Warsaw), and the Embassies of the Netherlands, Great Britain, the United States and Canada in Ukraine.
This Web presentation covers 13 Crimean Tatar NGOs (listed below) that are located in the cities of Simferopol, Bakhchisaray, and Yevpatoria. As we expect to include additional information on other Crimean NGOs, we invite you to visit this site again.
- The Crimean Tatar Initiative
- The Rebirth of Crimea Foundation
- The Evlâd Charitable Organization
- The Yashliq Cultural Center
- The League of Crimean Tatar Women
- Zaman: Young Journalists Club
- The Teachers Council
- Foundation for Naturalization and Human Rights
- Foundation for Research and Support of the Indigenous Peoples of Crimea
- The Marama Association
- Emel: Parents Committee
- The Yashliq Youth Center
- Zincirli Medrese Association
The Crimean Tatar Initiative (Simferopol)The Crimean Tatar Initiative (CTI) was registered in 1997 as a non-profit, non-governmental public organization. The main goals of the CTI is to coordinate activities of three organizations, the Rebirth of Crimea Foundation (Bakhchisaray), the Evlâd Charitable Organization (Simferopol), and the Yashlik Cultural Center (Yevpatoria) by ensuring the efficient use of their resources.
The Crimean Tatar Initiative conducts programs in several areas:
Civic EducationThis program offers seminars and round-tables for NGO representatives to share experiences in civic initiatives and administers training sessions for Crimean and Ukrainian NGOs on the following topics:
In 1997-1998, the project "Assistance in Writing Project Proposals" aimed to provide technical and consulting support to NGOs, schools and libraries, was implemented. The goal of this project was to get citizens from the far regions of Crimea to participate in the Soros Foundation program "Integration of formerly deported Crimean Tatar people, Armenians, Bulgarians, Greeks, and Germans into the Ukrainian society." As a result, 27 projects from 14 Crimean regions were approved.
- Democratic Leadership
- Strategic Planning of NGO Activities
- The Role of Civic Initiatives
- Fund raising
- Civic Education in Schools
- How to Write Successful Project Proposals
- Methods of Effective Partnership with Local Governments
- The Parents' Committees in Schools
- The School Self-Governance
The CTI seminars and training sessions are based on the methods of the Education for Democracy Foundation (Warsaw, Poland) and adapted to the practical needs of participants. In making selections, the trainers group takes into account the input from the representatives of local organizations. In general, teachers, doctors, journalists, and public activists are invited.
Because local authorities also take part in these sessions, the CTI began to develop a new series of seminars for NGOs on how to maintain effective partnership with local governments. The aims of these seminars are to assist in the development of local democracy through better understanding of the role of state and society, to establish contacts among them, and to share the positive experience of successful cooperation in other regions of Crimea.
To meet information needs of the Civic Education Program, a database called Civic Initiatives in Crimea was compiled and is being regularly updated. A small library with newspapers, bulletins, books and other needed publications has been established. Presently the CTI is also working on creating a WEB page.
Social ProgramThe goal of this program is to provide assistance to parents of seriously ill children and arrange for medical treatment. For the 1993-1998 period, hundreds of Crimean Tatars have received help from this program, which distributed humanitarian aid (mainly medicines, totaling 15 tons) to people with urgent needs.
13 doctors visited clinics in Poland, Russia, Germany, and Turkiye to improve and update skills, and further develop contacts with other NGOs working in the health-care areas. The CTI assisted in creating 10 self-help groups of parents of ill children in different regions of Crimea in order to develop local civic initiatives and join efforts to resolve problems.
Program for Youth and ChildrenThis program includes the following major activities:
- Organization of the International Camps in Crimea, where teenagers from various regions of Ukraine and foreign countries participate. In 1997, one hundred teenagers spent one month learning conversational English with the support of 15 professional teachers from the US, using methods of the Bridges for Education organization (Buffalo, New York).
- Administration of the Recent History Competition among school students. This competition covers the history of Crimean Tatar people from 1937 to 1964.
Internet for Schools and LibrariesThe program involves the development and realization of the Information Support Program for Education using Internet resources and other computer technologies in cooperation with schools and libraries. Within this program, Crimean Tatar schools and libraries were provided with computers and communication equipment at a total cost of $34,000.
76/74, 1st Konnaya Armiya Street, Simferopol
Tel/Fax: (0652) 497274
Executive Director: Ayder Seitosman
Program Coordinator: Elvedin Chubarov
The Rebirth of Crimea Foundation (Bakhchisaray)The Rebirth of Crimea Foundation (RCF) was established in 1994 in Bakhchisaray, with the purpose of assisting NGOs by acting as a 'resource center.' It provides advice, helps with proposal writing, identifies funding sources, and coordinates placements in training and other programs in Ukraine and abroad. The RCF maintains contact with representatives of American and Western European foundations in Ukraine, as well as with local governments in a number of Crimean cities.
The RCF performs a variety of services for Crimean NGO representatives. In addition to consultations at its office, it offers access to NGO networks and joint activities, sets up meetings with representatives of western foundations, and provides information about new training and funding opportunities. Similarly, the RCF representatives travel at least once each quarter to areas in Crimea where NGOs are located to meet with their representatives, offer advice and assistance with problem solving, and meet local officials and independent media.
The need for RCF activities has partly risen from the fact that Western foundations were previously inactive in Crimea. Ukrainian NGOs have also been slow to reach out to their Crimean counterparts, which are geographically isolated from the rest of Ukraine, Europe and the West. The Foundation employs four full-time staff members.
Update on 1999 Activities:
Rebirth of Crimea Foundation has continued to provide assistance to non-profit organizations in Crimea.
The folk dance group of Dzhemile Osmanova travelled to Poland and gave ten performances in various cities, where they were met with enthusiastic response. The tour was organized with the assistance of the Polish IDEE Foundation and the RCF.
The RFC assisted several organizations and national schools with writing project proposals that were submited to the regional branch of the International Renaissance Foundation. Among them are the Emel Parents Committee (Bakhchisaray), and schools of Mirnovka (Dzhankoy district) and Teplovka (Simferopol district). All three projects aimed to increase information support at schools by purchasing computer equipment (for Internet access), textbooks and books, and subscription to newspapers.
The Foundation staff provides technical assistance in publishing the socio-political magazine Ocaq in Crimean Tatar and Russian languages. Plans call for distributing this publication among the Crimean Tatar Diaspora abroad. In addition, using the computer facilities of the RCF, the Ukrainian House organization (Bakhchisaray) publishes its local independent biweekly newspaper Dumka in Ukrainian and Russian languages.
A new project, which aims to publish a digest of the historical Terjuman newspaper, has recently approved by the International Renaissance Foundation. First published in 1883 by the famous Crimean Tatar leader Ismail Bey Gasprinski, Terjuman continued to be published until 1918.
The Foundation was a co-sponsor of the recent journalism camp that was held in Bakhchisaray. Organized with financial support from the Stefan Batory Foundation (Poland), the camp offered to aspiring young journalists from Poland, Ukraine, and Crimea training in publishing newsletters. Besides producing three newsletters, the participants had an opportunity to learn about the culture, traditions, and customs of other ethnic groups, and to visit numerous historical and cultural sites in Crimea.
1, Pushkin Street, Bakhchisaray
334410 Crimea Ukraine
Tel: (+38 06554) 47491, 44584
Fax: (+38 06554) 47491
Chairman: Lutfi Osman
Assistant Chairman: Alim Memetov
The Evlâd Charitable Organization (Simferopol)A non-governmental organization, the Evlâd was officially registered in 1996. The aims of the Evlâd are to involve the community in the decision of medical treatment and rehabilitation of seriously ill children and to provide assistance to doctors in learning the effective methods of treatment. The following organizations are the partners of the Evlâd:
The organization evolved from community efforts to assist children with leukemia and related blood diseases. Later the group's activities included social protection of Crimean Tatars returning home. Thanks to the public attention to these problems, we received more than 15 tons of medicine for Crimean clinics. The joint efforts of parents, doctors and people resulted in the creation of an emergency fund for important medicines needed to save the lives of many children. About 70 people received medical and consultative assistance monthly. We arranged medical treatments in Ukraine, Germany, Turkiye, and Russia for extremely serious cases. The Evlâd also began to assist doctors, particularly hematologists, with training in new methods of treatment used in other countries.
- The Rebirth of Crimea Foundation, Bakhchisaray
- The Yashliq Cultural Center, Yevpatoria
- The Parents' Initiative Organization, Simferopol
- The Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe, Warsaw, Poland
- The Doctors of Hope Foundation, Krakow, Poland
- The Crimean Tatar Association of Culture and Mutual Aid, Istanbul, Turkiye
Since 1997 the Evlâd has been involved in the following projects:
Program of creating self-help groups in Crimean regions. This program aims to coordinate efforts of parents, regional and local self-governance bodies, various public organizations and doctors in the treatment and rehabilitation of ill children. There are already 10 such groups, among them the Ekim Association, created to protect professional and social interests of medical workers. We provide organizational, consultative and technical assistance to them.
Program of internships for Crimean doctors. The purpose of this program is to arrange for internship opportunities in the leading clinics and institutions in Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Turkiye and other countries.
Program of training for Crimean doctors. This program attempts to create opportunities for doctors to learn and practice new methods of treatment. In October 1998, we have organized a month-long seminar for Crimean hematologists, taught by leading Ukrainian professors of medicine. Similar seminars are planned for doctors in other specialities.
We have successfully implemented the following projects:
During his visit to Ukraine in May 1998, the President of the Turkish Republic, Mr. Suleyman Demirel, awarded the Evlâd a special humanitarian prize.
- A new project, "Let's help ourselves," funded by the International Organization for Migration
- "Consolidating efforts of parents and people in helping ill children," supported by the International Renaissance Foundation (Soros Foundation)
- A seminar for Crimean hematologists, sponsored by International Women's Club (Kiev)
The Evlâd's new plan, "Assistance to ill children during their treatment and medical consultation" aims to establish a hospice for children coming to Simferopol from other regions of Crimea for medical consultations, treatment and check-ups in the city's clinics.
76/74, 1 Konnaya Armiya Street, Simferopol
Tel/fax: (+38 0652) 497274
Tel: (+38 06554) 444843
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Chairman: Refat Memetov
Program Coordinator: Elvedin Chubarov
The Yashliq Cultural Center (Yevpatoria)A public organization, the Yashliq Cultural Center was established in 1994. The aim of the Center is to assist with the development of civic initiatives and civic education. Its first project was the opening of a library in the Ismail-bey Crimean Tatar settlement near Yevpatoria in 1994. Since that time, the Yashliq activists sponsored many events (seminars, training sessions, and round tables). In general, teachers, students, school pupils, medical workers, journalists, librarians, and representatives of Crimean public organizations are involved in these activities.
In 1997-1998, the Yashliq Center conducted seven seminars for Crimean NGOs. In cooperation with the Polish Education for Democracy Foundation, the "Training Trainers" seminar was held for teachers from Lviv, Kiev, Simferopol, Bakhchisaray and Yevpatoria in August 1998. Since November 1998, the trainers of the Yashliq Center have been conducting a series of seminars on local initiatives development in ten regions of Crimea. This project is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation. In addition, with the assistance of the Crimean Tatar Initiative, the Yashliq Center has been working on a project, "Consultation and technical support for public organizations, schools, and libraries planning to write grant proposals." In 1996, a workshop on "The Democratic Leadership" was offered for 17 youth organizations of Crimea.
It is important to note that the seminars and training sessions are adapted to the practical needs of participants. In the last two years, training sessions have focused on the following main topics:
- Democratic leadership
- Strategic planning for NGO activities
- Increasing the role of civic initiatives
- Fund raising
- Civic education in schools
- How to write project proposals
- Multimedia and Internet for schools
- Increasing the role of public libraries in civil society development
The Yashliq Center actively involves the local authorities in these seminars. For example, we have started a new program of seminars for NGO representatives called "Methods of effective partnership with local governments" in an effort to develop local democratic initiatives and maintain contacts between NGOs. The trainers of the Center are cooperating with colleagues from other public organizations in Ukraine and actively seeking new partnerships.
The Yashliq Cultural Center is also involved in the following activities that popularize the history and culture of Crimea:
- Assistance to school libraries in obtaining literature on the history and culture of Crimean Tatars
- Preparation of electronic texts of rare publications on the history and culture of Crimea
- Consulting on informational support for the history and culture of Crimea
Several projects that provide informational support to national schools in five regions of Crimea, at a cost of $30,000, were approved. The Center obtained more than 800 books and subscriptions to 39 newspapers and journals, made more than 3,000 photo copies of documents relating to the history and culture of Crimea, and purchased copy machines and computers for Internet access.
Youth oriented projects
To assist in resolving the problems of youth (especially Crimean Tatar youth, socially the most unprotected), the Yashliq Cultural Center is carrying out a program of social adaptation, called "Help yourself" in the Ismail-bey micro region of Yevpatoria. The goals of this program are:
The Yashliq Center has been able to find jobs for more than 170 young Crimean Tatars residing in the Yevpatoria area.
- to provide information and support for finding jobs and continuing education opportunities
- to offer training sessions on topics such as "How to find a job," "Youth and alcoholism," and "Why do I need the Internet?"
Address: 76/74, 1st Konnaya Armiya Street, Simferopol
Tel/Fax: (+38 0652) 497274
Chairman: Ayder Seitosman
The League of Crimean Tatar Women (Simferopol)The League of Crimean Tatar Women is a social, non-governmental organization, which was established in March 1994. It pursues the following goals and objectives:
The League's current activities include:
- Defense of women's rights, family, maternity and childhood interests
- Assistance in the revival of national education and culture
- Interaction with international democratic and women's organizations
The League's past activities may be summarized as:
- Coordinates activities of 35 regional offices of the League
- Assists national schools, classes and groups in kindergartens
- Organizes meetings with school children, students, and residents of Crimean Tatar settlements with the purpose of reviving family traditions
- Gathers a database about large families, orphans, the elderly, and the unemployed
- Maintains contact with international and Ukrainian women's organizations
- Provided humanitarian and consultative assistance to more than 3,000 families
- Undertook some cultural activities with the purpose of reviving national customs and traditions
- Participated in international conferences and seminars on family, education and democracy
- Received grants from Soros Foundation, Counterpart, Eurasia Foundation and NIS-US Women's Consortium
- Took part in the social political events, aimed at maintaining stability and international concord in Crimea and promoting active integration of the Crimean Tatar people into Ukrainian and world community
8, Samokish Street, Simferopol
333011 Crimea, Ukraine
Tel/Fax: (+38 0652) 497274, 273526
Chairperson: Mrs. Safinar Jemileva
Contact: Mrs. Lenara Alimova
Zaman: Young Journalists Club (Bakhchisaray)Established in 1998, this civic organization aims to create and develop a network of independent local newspapers in Crimea and to offer seminars, training sessions, and internship programs for the mass-media representatives in Crimea, Ukraine and abroad. Young journalists, who graduated from the one-year program of the School of Crimean Tatar Journalists (organized by the Rebirth of Crimea Foundation with the financial support of Westminster Foundation for Democracy, London) are associated with Zaman.
The Young Journalists are currently involved in the following activities:
Future plans of the Young Journalists include:
- Publish and disseminate Eski Yurt, a local independent newspaper in the Bakhchisaray region
- Help prepare the Aqbardaq (Snowdrop), the school newspaper of the National Crimean Tatar school in the village of Alma-Tarhan, Bakhchisaray district
- Publish materials in the Slava Trudu, official Bakhchisaray local newspaper
- Support initiatives of people and organizations, including technical assistance for the establishment and development of a network of local mass-media institutions
- Conduct seminars for journalists representing local Crimean Tatar newspapers
- Organize internships for journalists in other regions of Ukraine and abroad
- Give comprehensive support to National Crimean Tatar schools for publishing school newspapers
1, Pushkin Street, Bakhchisaray
334410 Crimea, Ukraine
Tel: (06554) 47491, 47487
Chairperson: Jemile Lyumanova
The Teachers Council (Bakhchisaray)The activities of this organization are directed to the establishment and further development of the Crimean Tatar national education system. The Council was officially registered in October 1994, with the purpose of developing the educational system by establishing schools with curriculum in Crimean Tatar language.
The Teachers Council is involved in the following activities:
- assists in organizing continuing education courses for teachers;
- conducts seminars for teachers on using the new effective methods of teaching in cooperation with Polish educational organizations;
- makes arrangements for visits to other countries, aimed at learning about their educational systems and new technologies;
- organizes free-time and out-of-school activities for children;
- prepares and disseminates method books and guides for teachers;
- helps create similar organizations in other regions of Crimea;
- discusses educational issues in mass-media;
There are 5 Council members who have passed the training courses of the Polish Foundation for Education for Democracy. The Teachers' Council has successfully implemented a number of projects, including the "Civic Education" and "The Crimean School - Steps Towards 21st Century," supported by the International Renaissance Foundation, International Organization for Migration, and the Eurasia Foundation.
Update on 1999 Activities:
Members of the Teachers' Council participated in many seminars, round tables and conferences relating to the problems of education in general and of instruction in native languages in particular. The issues of national education in Crimea, including the shortcomings and successes of newly opened Crimean Tatar national schools, are widely discussed at these meetings.
There is a close cooperation between the Teachers' Council and similar organizations in other countries. For instance, Belorussian activists expressed an interest in the work of the Council and would like to organize joint seminars and training sessions.
The Council continues to work with the Polish Foundation for Education for Democracy (FED). Recently, a seminar for members of National Mejlis (self-governing body of the Crimean Tatar people) was organized with the assistance of the FED. At this seminar, there was an interesting exchange of opinions on such democratic principles as basics of negotiation, determining goals and ways to achieve them, and holding conferences, meetings and congresses. Seminar participants (executive officers of regional Mejlis branches) said they would like to have similar seminars at the regional level.
In July and August, the Council members took part in a seminar that was organized by the Polish FED and Tashkent Center for Public Education (Uzbekistan). The seminar was attended by secondary school teachers from Central Asian countries.
In addition, the Council conducted a seminar on self-governance at the Crimean Tatar school in Stary Krym on 14-15 August. Five schools were represented by their students and teachers. Again, the seminar was organized with the cooperation of FED trainers.
After two-year long negotiations with government authorities, a new school with instruction in Crimean Tatar language was opened in Bakhchisaray on 1 September, along with 55 other secondary schools throughout Ukraine. The National Mejlis Chairman Mustafa Jemilev (MP), Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Kunitsin, and other officials attended the ceremony. The President Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine sent a telegram congratulating the new school.
43, Ostrovsky Street, Bakhchisaray
334410 Crimea, Ukraine
Tel/fax: (+38 06554) 47111
Chairperson: Mrs. Dilara Seitvelieva
Foundation for Naturalization and Human Rights (Simferopol)Citizenship--the basic right of humans,
because it is the right to have the rights
According to the official data, in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea there are about 100,000 people who do not have Ukrainian citizenship. The overwhelming majority of them are representatives of the formerly deported peoples. By their legal status these people are either citizens of other countries (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, etc.) or persons without any citizenship. All of them have returned from exile with the strong intention to reside permanently in Crimea. Despite this fact, the existing legislation and conditions do not allow them to obtain Ukrainian citizenship in a relatively short time. These people remain without most of the rights that Ukrainian citizens have and practically are excluded from normal public life.
Since its establishment in 1997, the Foundation has been working on the citizenship issue. It carefully keeps up with the legislation updates, maintains close contacts with the state offices working on related matters and with international organizations. (In particular, good cooperation was established with the UN High Commissioner on Refugees Office in Ukraine). The Foundation staff assists people in filling out the required forms to obtain Ukrainian citizenship. The Foundation also helps people identify and solve problems caused by the lack of Ukrainian citizenship.
77/4, Kievskaya Street, Room 215
Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine
Tel/Fax: (+038 0652) 276436
Director: Konstantin Rustemov
Foundation for Research and Support of the Indigenous Peoples of Crimea (Simferopol)The Foundation for Research and Support of the Indigenous Peoples Crimea is a public, charitable, and nonprofit organization that protects national and cultural rights of individuals. It was created with the purposes of fostering interest in national, cultural, social, legal and economic issues and assisting in the development of a multi-national society in Crimea.
The main goal of the Foundation is to provide assistance in the revival of cultures, traditions and customs of indigenous peoples (Crimean Tatars, Karaites, Krymchaks) as well as other ethnic groups of Crimea. The Foundation works at solving problems in cooperation with the state authorities, associations and unions, and international organizations.
The Foundation is not a political organization, but one that strives to promote and maintain inter-cultural, inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialog in Crimea, which hopefully will help prevent possible inter-ethnic conflicts and strengthen civil peace and order.
Among the Foundation's founders are people of different nationalities, creeds, and professions: historians, museum workers, journalists and archivists. They have wide experience in public administration and scientific fields.
The Foundation actively works at the international level. Our representatives participated in the projects of the UN Working Group on Minorities in May 1998, as well as the UN Working Group on Indigenous Population. The Foundation has close contacts and cooperates with several international organizations, including UN agencies like UNHCR, IMO, UNDP, OSCE, and ILO.
In October 1998, the Foundation received a grant from the International Renaissance Foundation's Program of Integration of formerly deported Crimean Tatars, Armenians, Bulgars, Greeks, and Germans into the Ukrainian society. As part of this project, "Development of the multi cultural tolerant civil society: necessary condition for securing of indigenous peoples rights," a publication was issued: "International law on indigenous peoples." Another one, "NGOs mission and possibilities in preservation of the national identity, development of national cultures and forming pluralistic multi-cultural society" is in preparation.
The second stage of the project involves publishing three issues of the bulletin Altin Besik, supported by the International Renaissance Foundation and the Minority Rights Group International (Great Britain). The following themes are to be discussed in these publications: Collection of international documents and Acts of Ukraine on national minorities, languages, deportation and deported peoples, and collection of legislative literature on deportations of 1941-1944.
37/8, Zhelyabov Street, Apt. 88, Simferopol
333000 Crimea, Ukraine
Tel/fax: (+38 0652) 278739
The Marama Association (Bakhchisaray)A non-governmental organization, the Marama Association was officially founded in September 1997, with the support of the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe and the Rebirth of Crimea Foundation.
The word Marama is the name of traditional headdress worn by Crimean Tatar women. After the deportation of Crimean Tatars, we have lost most of our culture and art. It is clear that restoring traditional arts and crafts of Crimean Tatars demands enormous effort and large financial resources. During the last 10 years following the return of Crimean Tatars to their motherland, more problems appeared, including unemployment. Considering the urgent need for new jobs, along with the revival and development of national arts and crafts, the Association has adopted the following goals and objectives:
In 1998, 15 women were involved in our project of reviving Crimean Tatar art of gold embroidering. They are presently making souvenirs using the gold embroidering technique at home.
- to revive and further develop Crimean national arts and crafts
- to provide assistance in the creation of new jobs
- to carry out exhibitions and auctions
- to assist in the creation of courses in various educational institutions, public organizations and state enterprises
The future plans include organizing a puppet studio, "The legends and tales of Crimean Tatars" in Bakhchisaray, and an embroidery club for children of school age in Crimean Tatar settlements.
102, 6th microregion, Bakhchisaray
334410 Crimea, Ukraine
Tel: (+38 06554) 44584
Chairperson: Ayshe Osmanova
Emel: Parents Committee (Bakhchisaray)The Emel Committee is a non-governmental and non-profit organization, which was officially registered in May 1998. It represents parents of students attending four Bakhchisaray schools. The aims of this organization are to assist with the opening of new educational institutions that teach in the Crimean Tatar language and to provide parental input into school activities in order to produce the best educational results.
The organization achieves its goals thru the implementation of the following activities:
- informs parents about the school rules and Ukrainian laws relating to education;
- undertakes fund-raising activities to support schools;
- sponsors events to cultivate the love of Motherland, culture and traditions, and native language;
- conducts programs on the history of religion;
- supports preservation and restoration of cultural and historical monuments in Crimea;
- organizes internship programs and continuing education courses for teachers within Ukraine and abroad;
- arranges out-of-school and free-time activities for students;
- holds meetings for parents to share experiences and undertake joint projects;
- develops contacts with similar organizations in other countries.
Currently, the Parents Committee includes 21 members. Soon after its official registration, the organization began to work actively on creating the Crimean Tatar school in Bakhchisaray, with the support of other public organizations such as the Teachers' Council and the Rebirth of Crimea Foundation. The Committee members gathered more than 850 signatures from parents who wanted to send their children to a Crimean Tatar national school. Several meetings were held with the Educational Department of the District State Administration. Consequently, the State Administration approved the establishment of a national Crimean Tatar school in Bakhchisaray in August 1998. The Committee continues to work with governmental offices and civic organizations on issues relating to national education. Recently, it was awarded a grant by the International Renaissance Foundation to purchase equipment for a computer laboratory at the new school.
1, Pushkin Street, Bakhchisaray
334410 Crimea, Ukraine
Tel: (+38 06554) 41217, 47491
Chairman: Amet Refatov
The Yashliq Youth Center (Bakhchisaray)TheYashliq Center is a youth oriented organization, attached to the Bakhchisaray local Mejlis. Registered in 1995, it aims to develop patriotism and sense of civic responsibility. There are two clubs that function within the organization: Debates Club and Interesting Meetings Club.
Teenagers active in the Debates Club learn not only to express their own opinions but also gain experience in public speaking. In the Interesting Meetings Club, young people have the opportunity to meet with politicians, poets, writers, and educators. Teenagers of every school in Bakhchisaray are organized in special groups, with the aim of providing social services for elderly people. The Youth Center organizes holidays and festivals, and maintains close contact with the Teachers Council.
Contact person: Mrs. Elvira Derdarova
Tel: (+38 06554) 44278 (h)
Fax: (+38 06554) 47111
Zincirli Medrese Association (Bakhchisaray)Crimean Tatar non-profit organizations work not only in traditional spheres, but also in areas relating to the repatriation of the deportees. Among such activities are the restoration and further development of historical and cultural traditions.
The Zincirli Medrese Association has borrowed its name from the historical Zincirli Medrese, one of the oldest educational institutions in eastern Europe. The Medrese in turn takes its name from the large chain that hangs over its door. First established in the 16th century, it became a progressive school in Crimea, especially under the leadership of the famous Crimean Tatar leader and publisher Ismail Gaspirali (1851-1914).
The Zincirli Medrese Association was founded in 1997, with the purpose of restoring the Medrese building and turning it into a functioning educational facility once again. The Association has taken the initial steps toward restoring the historical structure and is currently seeking additional funding for the completion of the restoration project.
The Zincirli Medrese is also active in reviving nearly forgotten Crimean Tatar traditions. Since 1998 the Association has been involved in reviving a national sport: Kuresh or wrestling. Two qualified trainers, a wrestler and a professional athlete, now offer classes for more than 50 interested teenagers. It is also worth noting that the training sessions are not limited only to Crimean Tatar youth but include teenagers of other ethnic backgrounds.
In order to collect more information about Kuresh, the trainers have traveled to various regions of Crimea to meet older people familiar with the tactics of wrestling matches or descendants of famous wrestler families. In February 1999, the organization received a grant from the Canadian Embassy in Ukraine for establishing a School of Crimean Tatar National Wrestling in Bakhchisaray. The funds were used to purchase the necessary equipment and uniforms for the sportsmen. The Association is also planning to organize a conference to determine the general rules of Kuresh. According to an agreement reached with the Crimean Republican Association of Sport Affairs, the Federation of Kuresh will soon be registered officially.
In 1999 the Zincirli Medrese Association established an Experimental Theater in Bakhchisaray. Aspiring young actors (ages 16-20) participate in classes, offered by Elmar Ablayev, a talented graduate student from the Kiev State Theater Institute, and other teachers. The theater performances, consisting of short plays, will be in the Crimean Tatar language. The premiere performance is scheduled for October 1999. The financial assistance for the Experimental Theater project has been provided by IDEE-Warsaw Foundation.
1, Pushkin Street, Bakhchisaray
334410 Crimea, Ukraine
Tel/Fax: (+38 06554) 47111
Chairman: Riza Seitveliev
Program Coordinator: Gennadi Samusev
(*) The above information about Crimean Tatar non-governmental organizations was provided by Ayder Seitosman, Crimean Tatar Initiative, Simferopol. It was compiled by Alim Memetov, Rebirth of Crimea Foundation, Bakhchisaray, and edited by Inci Bowman, Washington, D.C. Its publication on World Wide Web has been made possible by the International Committee for Crimea. All digital photographs are the courtesy of the Crimean Tatar Initiative.
25 February 1999
Updated: 30 September 1999