Nazari Digar was originally founded by an initiative which was established in March 2019 by Tahmina Hakimova-Rees -the mother of a child with Down syndrome who is originally from Tajikistan but lives in the UK. Nazari Digar United Kingdom was registered as a charity in March 2020 by Charity Commission in the UK.
Our mission is to enable people with Down syndrome to live fulfilling and active lives in Tajikistan and Central Asia.
Who We Are
For about 3 years Nazari Digar first as an initiative of parents of children with DS has been supporting children and adults with Down syndrome and their families in Tajikistan. Our unique approach to providing holistic services encompasses health, education, family support, psychological support to mothers, employment opportunities for people with DS, raising awareness about abilities of people with DS, working with medical personnel at maternity houses, doctors and inclusion in schools and wider society.
How We Work
We work in partnership with community based organisations, Civil Society Organisations (NGOs), governments and parent groups to improve the quality of life for children and adults with DS and their families.
We achieve this through:
For the last three years, we have made enormous impact into the lives of children and adults with DS in Tajikistan. The children were previously hidden in their homes, and the result of our work shows we gathered now more than 200 families and the number is growing. These families are empowered, strong and confident now.
What We Offer
Being based in the UK we became the bridge to Tajik specialists and parents. We share best practice from the UK and West to Tajikistan. We have an excellent track record of delivering innovative training programmes and participatory forum meetings, organising regional professional conferences and international study visits.
Nazari Digar builds local capacity, empowers local people and supports sustainable reforms. We assist local governments, professionals and civil society organisations in professional learning, strategy development, monitoring and evaluation, designing new projects and preparing funding proposals.
Nazari Digar, or Different View, is an initiative which was established in March 2019 by Tahmina Hakimova-Rees; the mother of a child with Down syndrome. Tahmina was born in Khujand, in the Northern part of Tajikistan, and has since moved to London, but grew up without seeing people with Down syndrome (DS) in Tajikistan. After she gave birth to a child with DS, Tahmina started to search for people with DS, and also their parents. With the support of local NGOs, around 35 children throughout the entire Northern part of Tajikistan were identified as having DS. As the total population of this area is over 2,600,000, the number of children identified as having DS could not be accurate, and so Tahmina was determined to rectify these figures.
On the 9th March Tahmina launched the first photography exhibition of children with DS from Tajikistan in London, at the historic and beautiful Langdon Down Theatre. The exhibition’s name was, ‘The Hidden Sunbeams of Tajikistan’ and raised enough funds to facilitate the start of the initiative. Tahmina travelled from her home in London to Tajikistan in March, to launch the initiative.
On the 10th April the exhibition ‘The Hidden Sunbeams of Tajikistan’ was presented in Khujand with massive success, raising awareness about the existence of people with DS in society. The exhibition was conducted in partnership with the National Democratic Party of Tajikistan.
Tahmina conducted the first training session for parents of children with DS in April 2019, in Khujand. Over March and April, health checks in all key areas were available to 99% of children for the first time. These included thyroid level blood tests, heart examinations, vision tests, but, because of the lack of necessary equipment for a hearing test, this is yet to be conducted. Children also started art therapy, musical therapy and gymnastics classes for the first time in Tajikistan.
Starting from May 2019 children and adults with DS went through an individual multi-disciplinary assessment by a psychologist, speech therapist, physiotherapist and paediatrician. After which one-to-one speech, psychologist and physiotherapies were started.
In August 2019, Tahmina conducted the first meeting of parents of children with DS in the Northern part of Tajikistan, and further strategy of Nazari Digar for 2019-2020 was discussed. A new training programme was delivered to new parents; ‘All About Down Syndrome,’ conducted by Tahmina.
Started initially as a one-time fundraiser by Tahmina, the initiative has become a movement and community for parents of children with DS in Tajikistan.
At the end of January 2020, as a result of our activism, we were in contact with 120 people who have Down syndrome in Tajikistan, includeing ethnic Tajik parents who live in Russia, the USA and France.
However, in saying this, we know that there are many more people with DS in Tajikistan, and with the help of others and Nazari Diagr, we constantly on the look out for families are in need of support.
Founder of Nazari Digar. Tahmina is an independent consultant on gender and development issues. She has more than 18 years experience working on gender issues. Initially, the initiative to support children with Down syndrome came to Tahmina’s mind because she wanted to give and do something positive and special for her anniversary. And the cause she chose was Down Syndrome as Tahmina has a gorgeous son Safroz (blessing) who happens to have an extra chromosome. Originally from Tajikistan, for the last decade Tahmina lives in England, and she never takes for granted for all the amazing support her son Safroz gets from the UK. And looking back to Tajikistan, she feels sad about the lack of opportunities for support, and Tahmina wanted to try to brighten and warm up ‘hidden sunbeams’ (children with Down syndrome) of Tajikistan.
Will is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years experience in both Practice and Industry in the UK. He has extensive experience both in campaigns and in British industry. Will has been involved in the registration of our Nazari Digar organization in the UK and heads the financial side of the organization. Will likes taking his dog for a walk and travelling.
Adiba is an architect and interior designer from Germany, was born in Tajikistan and takes an active part in expert and awareness-raising campaigns of “Nazari Digar”. Her main activity at Nazari Digar is to support and develop the information infrastructure, website and other creative ideas, that Adiba has got talent in. She is the one, who created a unique and gorgeous logo for “Nazari Digar” and was a tremendous support behind the scenes helping to edit all the photos for Tahmina’s photo exhibition “Hidden sunbeams of Tajikistan“ in London. As soon she found out about birth of a sunny boy, the son of Tahmina, she decided to help children with Down syndrome in Tajikistan with her.
Nick is a barrister specialising in commercial litigation and dispute resolution arising from breaches of contract and professional negligence. He acts for clients in the UK and overseas, including governments and multinationals. For over a decade he has held voluntary positions in third sector organisations in the fields of education and social care.
Shavkat Mamadjonov – Founder and CEO of ADMIRAL WORLD General Trading in UAE with it’s head office based in Dubai. Leading retailer and exclusive distributor of luxury brands such as Steinway & Sons, Bluthner Pianos, KURZWEIL and Russian Caviar House in the UAE and GCC. Born in Tajikistan. By profession simultaneous interpreter and teacher of English.