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Zhanna Dosmailova - Vannovka, Kazakhstan (Global Lives Project, 2009)

Excerpt from the Global Lives Project http://globallives.orgThe subject for our Global Lives Project shoot (Kazakhstan) is Zhanna Dosmailova, a 5 year old child living in Vannovka, a village in southern Kazakhstan. Located about 7-8 hours drive east from Almaty (Kazakhstan's former capital), Vannovka is located amid the beautiful Tien Shan mountain range, one of the longest mountain ranges in Central Asia.Since the average wage in Vannovka is not high and job opportunities are mainly limited to trading clothes, vegetables and fruits at the bazaar; running small grocery stores; working on fields (cattle-breeding and plowing) and working at the few schools and hospitals, many people leave Vannovka and move to the bigger cities to find work.Employed by an orphanage, Zhanna's parents earn USD 33 per each of the five family members per month, just over USD 1 per day. Zhanna's father Kairat is the driver and maintenance manager at the orphanage and Zhanna's mother Gulshat, is the director of the orphanage. Zhanna's eldest brother Kuanyush is in eleventh grade and her seven year old brother, Ilyas is in first grade.Beginning at 8-9am, Zhanna's days are spent with the orphans (when they are not at school) drawing and playing Wii (one of a few luxuries donated by non-profit organizations and American sponsors), sports and Lego. Zhanna also loves playing on the swings in her rose-filled garden and with dolls, beads and her cat. Zhanna will go to the local school from next year.Zhanna speaks Kazakh, the language of rural relations in Kazakhstan, with her family although due to growing up with the orphans (most of who are Russian) she is also capable in Russian—the language used in the bigger cities in Kazakhstan and for international relations.
Length: 05:02

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