Our History

Margaret Gordon, founder of Fountain of Life, came to Kyrgyzstan in January of 2003. One day, having prepared a meal for friends who were unable to come she looked out the window and saw three homeless people eating out of the dustbins in the yard. A verse she knew well came to mind, “share your food with the hungry”, so she carried her casserole dish downstairs and approached the group of homeless people and in English she asked them if they would like to eat some stew. She continued to make food weekly for a month or so giving it to any homeless people she saw. In this way Margaret got to know some of the homeless. On realizing she was a nurse one lady whose finger she had dressed asked her to come and see other sick homeless people. On occasions she took them to hospital and saw how they were often turned away. It seemed almost impossible to access medical care for the homeless.

Margaret shared with some of her local friends about her concerns for the homeless. Some months later one of this group came back to her suggesting as a group they could meet to discuss how they could help the homeless. In time they started to feed the homeless once a month.

The work continued for almost a year before they had to stop as others who used the same building were not happy about homeless being served there, particularly as there was no running water. Margaret herself continued to do dressings for the homeless on the street and some of the young students who had been involved as volunteers also went with her.

In December 2006 they bought their first day center with money that had been donated and in February 2007 they opened. The team consisted of the young volunteers and the nurse and hairdresser all who had helped serve the homeless in the previous venue. Azamat, the youngest and very passionate about the homeless, became the caretaker (he is now the Assistant Director). Azamat showed so much potential as a future leader that they supported his management studies at university.

a copy of our official certificate of state registration in Kyrgyzstan, when we registered as a charity in 2009.

In time some volunteers joined as full time workers. Initially the team fed the homeless every Saturday but when the work force expanded the ministry they started to feed the homeless 3 times a week. In addition they provided first aid and wound care, taking the homeless to hospitals and clinics when necessary and a dentist for dental care. More local volunteers joined them.

After a year and a half the neighbors started to complain about the homeless coming through the common yard to get to the center so they had to move to another venue. They found a better venue further out of the city center, they are still located there today. Azamat along with a local lawyer succeeded in registering Fountain of Life as a charity in 2009.

In 2010 Margaret and her team began to feel very unhappy about the lack of terminal care available for dying homeless. The hospitals did not want them to die in hospital. Most of the homeless were estranged from their families so, although they did succeed in sending some dying people home, many had nowhere to go. They prayed asking God to give the means to set up a hospice for the dying themselves.

In 2012 they bought both land and foundations in a village outside Bishkek. Two years later some friends from a nearby village helped them build the surrounding walls. They then found a builder with a good reputation in the city he agreed to build the hospice with his team. The milestone of opening the hospice was reached in 2021.