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Boiling Room

Developing Project
Iran - Tehran -
2018

Just a few kilometers south of Iran’s capital city Tehran live over 150 mentally challenged and disabled men of differing ages. They dwell inside of a four-story building belonging to a semi-private institute. The building has barricaded windows, each of its doors is locked, and all of its staff rooms are heavily secured. Aside from a few patients who are attending the institute's theatre classes, on the first floor, the rest are either laying on their bed, roaming around a crowded room or clenching their fingers around the barricaded widows while gazing outside.

Due to the new US sanctions, health support, and medicine have experienced one of the most significant drops since the year 2000–and for such a small institution–it has come at a high cost, one that has diminished, and has almost ended their practice. This particular institution receives a small portion of a fund from the Iranian government, but donations and private funds cover the majority of the expenses. In just less than three months, the cost of “necessities” has risen over 40% and the medical cost has increased by 50%. The gap between revenue and loss faced by such institutions are enormous, and there is almost no way out.

On the other hand, in Iranian culture (even today), less developed kids or mentally challenged ones are mostly being either kept unseen or abandoned at orphanages. Unlike developed countries, Iranian society has yet to accept their exitance or given them their full rights. Moreover, there are no government regulations and support for special needs kids, nor are there any specific health programs which cover their health-related costs.

As a result, families feel ashamed to have family members with psychological or developmental issues. Furthermore, due to the lack of government assistance, their living costs are over the roof. In Iran society is not ready for them. Thus, many of these vulnerable individuals end up living in either non-profit or semi-private institutes.

Every day, ambulatory patients, spend few hours in the backyard, listening to music, exercising and having their lunch. While non-ambulatory patients mostly remain confined to their aluminum beds. For the first group, this quality time is the closest taste to freedom and social life that they might have. During this brief interval, they can breath fresh air, communicate with their friends,  and enjoy being outside of the “Boiling Room.”

Iranian life has been pressed harshly, by cause of the new sanctions imposed by the USA. Some people must have a second job or even a third job to make ends meet, and that's merely to cover the high cost of living and not for leisure, entertainment, trips and so on. As a result of the actions taken against Iran, not only has the standard of living been profoundly affected but so has the quality of life, it feels as if there is no more room to breathe for the Iranian people.

The consequences of this fragile economic situation are many, but for the hard-working team at The My Children Institute, there is only one. According to the–very concerned–head of the institute, if there are no financial changes or improvements  by the of this year, there will be no other choice but to close the Institute, and for its residents there will be no other place to go but the street.

Boiling Room

Third floor patients are divided to tow section. The ones with more aggression and capability of trouble making are being separated, while they can still observe the others through the big open window space in the wall. Normally staff keep them for few hours and then release them from that section. City of Kahrizak, Tehran, Iran, Dec 24, 2018

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Non-Verbal and Non-Ambulatory young boy spends most of his time in the aluminum crib. He lives in the first floor, right beside the big wall of glass. There is a small backyard right behind him which goes to kitchen and art classes. In this floor, majority of residents are youngsters with very limited movability and functionality. City of Kahrizak, Tehran, Iran, Dec 24, 2018

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The member of the second floor is praying loudly for everyone health and asks god to bring happiness to all the residents of the institute while one of the staff trying to move the crowd. This funny and friendly man is diagnosed with down syndrome. There are 43 residents at this floor. City of Kahrizak, Tehran, Iran, Dec 24, 2018

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List of weekly breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Everyday meals are being prepared for 130 patients and 20 staff. Kitchen is located in small backyard of the ground level. chef is a nice lady which 2 other young cooks are helping him. Also some of the Ambulatory patient with better condition, helping kitchen on daily bases.

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Restroom and showers are right beside each other in a small corridor in each floor as there are no females in the building except the chief, which she stays in first floor, sometimes it takes time to put pants on the patients.

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Recreational room is located at the end of the small backyard just opposite side of the kitchen. There are 3 table tennis sets, one round table for practicing theatrical plays and small space for painting.

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He is very quite, smiling and moves his head constantly towards right and left, specially when he gets exited. In each floor there is a mix of children, young and older range of age. In this floor (3rd) residents are more active and 40 out of the 48 can take care of their own basic daily activities, such as eating, washing their faces, clothing and communicating verbally.

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Windows and doors are fenced and secured in each floor to prevent any harm and scape. The resident of the Third floor is looking outside towards the sounding houses and the activities in the street. City of Kahrizak, Tehran, Iran, Dec 24, 2018

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Beds are sets in 3 line at each sections and residents are free to spend time in bed as much as they want. There are rectangular fenced windows which let the sun hit the room. By noon, rooms already heated and smell rises. Very little to do in the room as the main doors are locked at all time. City of Kahrizak, Tehran, Iran, Dec 24, 2018

Boiling Room

Restroom and showers are right beside each other in a small corridor in each floor and he is waiting to be washed. As there are no females in the building except the chief, which she stays in first floor, sometimes it takes time to put pants on the patients. City of Kahrizak, Tehran, Iran, Dec 24, 2018

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Non-Verbal and Non-Ambulatory patients are mostly living in a first floor. Most of the day, they are in the same room and in their own aluminum crib and Tv is always on. The majority are youngsters and there aren’t much to do in this situation.

Boiling Room

Beds are sets in 3 line at each sections and residents are free to spend time in bed as much as they want. There are rectangular fenced windows which let the sun hit the room. By noon, rooms already heated and smell rises. Very little to do in the room as the main doors are locked at all time. City of Kahrizak, Tehran, Iran, Dec 24, 2018

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Third floor patients are spending time in their bed and waiting for the lunch time. In this floor there are 48 patients living and few of them are aggressive. City of Kahrizak, Tehran, Iran, Dec 24, 2018

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Non-Verbal and Non-Ambulatory patients are mostly living in a first floor. Most of the day, they are in the same room and in their own aluminum crib and Tv is always on. The majority are youngsters and there aren’t much to do in this situation.

Boiling Room

In each floor there is a mix of children, young and older range of age. In the second Floor (2d), residents are semi active and 20 out of the 36 can take care of their own basic daily activities, such as eating, washing their face, clothing and communicating verbally. City of Kahrizak, Tehran, Iran, Dec 24, 2018

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Windows and doors are fenced and secured in each floor to prevent any harm and scape. The resident of the second floor is looking outside the door in the ground floor. He is one the few patients who is capable of communicating and helping the staff to distribute food and help the others to consume their lunch and dinner. City of Kahrizak, Tehran, Iran, Dec 24, 2018

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Lunch is being delivered from the kitchen to the big backyard, where ambulatory patients enjoy few minutes of fresh air and music.

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The lunch is served out side and there are smiles everywhere. 25 kg of Rice and 12 whole chicken were prepared for today’s lunch. Part of the lunch has been soften and blended for the ones with dysphagia (Difficulty Swallowing). City of Kahrizak, Tehran, Iran, Dec 24, 2018

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Outside of the main building, it is a time for the friends to get together and communicate as best as they can, while enjoying the fresh air.

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He keeps his drawing book handy, to sketch his simple dreams such a home, that he like to have one day and the bedroom sets. his showing me the first page which written by the person who gave this notebook to him.

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Outside of the main building, it is a time for the friends to get together and communicate as best as they can, while enjoying the fresh air.

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Each day, Ambulatory patients spending some times on a backyard, listening to the music, exercising and having their lunch, while Non-Ambulatory mostly stay at their aluminum beds.

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Due to a new wave of American sanctions against Iran, donations and private supports have been squeezed a lot. The price of living and commodities are sky rocketing and amount of meat sources that coming inside the institution are decreasing. Food becoming very simple, little bit of with cooked rice, with chicken brought and no side dish.

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Finally it’s the activity time. Patients of this mental institute are waiting all morning in the warm, smelly floors to get to this moment and come downstairs in the big backyard and spend some quality time. Friends gathering and communicating with each other. Music is streaming through the sound system. Few basic workout machine are there to be used and this is usually the best part of the day for this residents.