Launched in 2002, You Are Not Alone foundation is the initiative of Uzbek couple Lola Tillyaeva and Timur Tillyaev. Though they are now based overseas, Lola and Timur share a love for the land of their birth. That is why, over the past two decades, the couple has felt great satisfaction in the projects You Are Not Alone has undertaken in Uzbekistan.
Focused on helping underprivileged kids and their families, You Are Not Alone’s goal is to “ensure that vulnerable children grow up in a caring and loving environment.” The foundation started out by funding upgrades and refurbishments of existing orphanages and mercy homes in Uzbekistan. As time passed and Lola Tillyaeva and Timur Tillyaev’s expertise developed, so did the scope of the foundation’s operations. For instance, now where they identify a facility as not fit for purpose, they are able to design and construct a new one. Lola Tillyaeva also ensures the orphanages employ highly qualified staff and have the latest equipment.
Education is a major priority and “at the heart of everything the You Are Not Alone foundation does.” Working in collaboration with a second organization, The Educational Centre, the foundation strives to help vulnerable kids stay in school. The obstacles they seek to overcome include financial hardship, lack of family support, learning difficulties and physical disabilities. Through You Are Not Alone, Lola Tillyaeva provides specialist educators skilled in identifying the children’s needs and creating tailored programs to assist them.
In many cases, what is required is a mentor to help fill the void left by absentee parents. The results of this program have been quite impressive. Absenteeism among students has dropped and their behavior, both inside the school and beyond, has improved. So far, the foundation has helped over 3,000 students complete high school, with a significant number going onto university.
Lola Tillyaeva has said:
“The Educational Centre’s specialists seek to create a culture of learning and to boost the children’s confidence by treating each child as an individual. Theyacknowledge and build on their strong points, while providing them with support and encouragement as they explore the many career options available to them, and helping them to find their own best match.”
The second goal of You Are Not Alone is providing healthcare to the underprivileged in Uzbekistan, for which the organization has a number of ongoing programs. The foundation aims to improve patient care in clinics and hospitals by rectifying equipment shortages. Recently, they provided the State Perinatal Centre in Tashkent with an array of new equipment including x-ray systems, cardiac monitors and ultrasound machines, leading to a dramatic rise in patient care.
You Are Not Alone also enjoys a long-standing partnership with French NGO, La Chaîne de l’Espoir (Chain of Hope). Within this partnership, medical experts in the field of chronic cardiac conditions, together with Lola’s team, have treated hundreds of underprivileged Uzbeks who may otherwise have gone without medical care due to lack of financial means. Where necessary, Lola Tillyaeva and Timur Tillyaev also fly patients to medical facilities overseas to ensure they receive the best possible care.
Through these programs, the You Are Not Alone foundation is fulfilling its goal of helping the most underprivileged of Uzbekistan and providing them with the resources needed to thrive.