Law enforcers near Bella Shakhmirzova's house. Photo: screenshot of the video posted on Bella Shakhmirzova's page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bella.shakhmirza/videos/10219809696494557/

09 August 2019, 20:13

In Karachay-Cherkessia, organizer of summer school claims pressure from law enforcers

In Karachay-Cherkessia, law enforcers visited Bella Shakhmirzova, an organizer of a creative school for children, and said they were to verify an anonymous message they had got about her. According to Bella Shakhmirzova, she did not let them into her house, since the visitors failed to produce the necessary documents.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Bella Shakhmirzova notes the "Balapanlar" summer school for children is subjected to pressure by officials, who claim "not all the necessary documents for the school's operation were submitted to the administration." Claims from officials to state-independent initiatives are typical of Northern Caucasus and Russia as a whole, believes political analyst Alexei Malashenko.

The project "Balapanlar" ("Children", as translated from the Nogai language) initiated by journalist and translator Bella Shakhmirzova is designed for children from rural areas who do not have access to additional education of high quality. The format of the school, where everything is free for children, while teachers come as they wish and receive no remuneration for their work at the school, turns out to be a new idea not only for the district, but also for the whole of Karachay-Cherkessia.

It should be noted that the project "Balapanlar", in which children studied their native language for free, played folk instruments, and mastered jiu jitsu, won the first place in the Google contest "Far from the Capital" in the nomination "Education and Development". However, according to the organizer, without the support of the authorities, it is hardly possible to increase the number of participants in the project.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 9, 2019 at 10:58 m MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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