We continue our Giving Tuesday series, How I See Change, with the story shared by Asel Baidyldaeva, a social entrepreneur from the Kyrgyz Republic. See how your support helps people like Asel work with communities to improve their quality of life. Do you have a story to tell? Share with us how you see change by submitting a #HowISeeChange selfie!

Asel Baidyldaeva, Social Entrepreneur, Sees Change through Community Wellness

How do you see change?

The image of opportunity is what comes to my mind. We can’t see the impact of our new diabetes fitness facility yet, since it just started. The aim is to promote a healthy lifestyle for people with diabetes and the habit of exercise, since we know that’s an essential part of diabetes Type 2 treatment. This studio is a place where people with diabetes Type 2 can learn a healthy way of life.

When did you first encounter the Aga Khan Development Network?

I first heard about the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) from friends who graduated from the Aga Khan School in Osh, Kyrgyz Republic. I knew that it provided a high-quality education and the best environment for studying. However my own first encounter with AKDN was the social entrepreneurship contest managed by the University of Central Asia. Through that project, funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation, I was able to realize my dream of this diabetes fitness center in February 2014.

Have you seen benefits of your social enterprise that you didn’t foresee when you began?

I did not expect that the fitness center would receive so much support from the stakeholders and members. They enjoy the training we provide and with regular contact are likely to take it seriously.

What is your hope for the future of the fitness center?

With the help of Diabetes and Endocrinology Association in Kyrgyzstan, I would love to extend the project and replicate it in other regions of the country.

Feel inspired to help people like Asel make change in their community? Donate today!