UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND
Kyrgyzstan launched a new program dedicated to social cohesion and violence prevention among youths and young children. The program was announced in July 2017 with the assistance of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and UNICEF.
The four-year, $2.5 million program will focus on the border areas of Batken and Jalal-abad, as well as in Issyk-Ata and Karakol. It will promote social cohesion and respect for children’s rights while helping to reduce inequity and prevent future conflict. The announcement was made by Kyrgyzstan’s Deputy Prime Minister Jenish Razzakov, British Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Robin Ord-Smith, and UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Afshan Khan.
“Adolescents are essential to achieving peace and prosperity,” Khan said. “This new program will help create safer communities and increase understanding across borders by protecting the rights of young people and ensuring their opinions are included in decisions that affect their lives. This will not only benefit young people themselves, but society as a whole and future generations.”
The program will standardize civic education so adolescents learn the tools to think and respond to social issues. Young people will then be given opportunities to contribute to community planning and decision-making to support local administrators’ development of youth- and child-friendly municipalities and districts.
“The program, which includes multilingual education, improving access to child justice and building the capacity of local government, will play a crucial role in building social cohesion and preventing violence,” Ambassador Ord-Smith said. “Together, we will help Kyrgyzstan’s youth develop a more tolerant and resilient outlook and gain the skills to succeed in life.”
Multilingual education will be extended to preschools and schools. The program will prioritize the most vulnerable girls and boys with essential services such as psychological support, legal assistance and specialized care for those who have experienced violence and abuse.