Girls in rural areas of Kyrgyzstan are very vulnerable and insecure. They are targeted for bride-kidnapping, domestic violence and early childhood marriages. According to UNDP’s report in 2016 on “Violence against Women and Girls”, the cases of early marriage are noted in all regions, but the most widespread were in Naryn and Chui oblasts (about 13%), the least - in Bishkek (2.4%). As it is analyzed in the report, more than 20% of marriages in the Kyrgyz Republic happen through the abduction of a woman/girl. The abduction of a woman/girl for marriage in rural areas occurs twice as much as in urban areas.
Thus, girls are in a very vulnerable situation, which is alarming and requires taking action. They are human beings and should have freedom to make their own decisions. Therefore, it is crucial to invest in their healthy, happy and successful future, as they are going to bring a new generation.
The project “Village Girl” is the continuation of 2018 activities that was led by Meerim Nurlanbekova, AUCA alumni. In 2019, Aigul Saparova took the initiative to continue this project, the focus of which is creating a positive ‘girl power’ culture. In addition, the second round of the Village Girl Project included the objective of improving the relationship between a daughter and parents. Success, self-confidence, responsibility and being independent start right from the families. It is crucial for the teenagers and parents to have this unique connection because the stronger the family, the stronger the youth!
16 former participants of the first round of the project in order to enhance the skills and knowledge they gained the year before. They are 16-17 year-old girls studying in 10th and 11th grades from four schools (i.e., Kydyraliev, Jundubaeva, Kalygul Bai uulu, Arabaev schools) in Kochkor village, Naryn region.
Additionally, 13 parents went through a special 2 hours long training on building stronger relationships with their daughters.
To create a positive ‘girl power’ culture by empowering high school girls in remote Kochkor village, Naryn region; to enable them to reach their full potential and nurture their leadership skills by organizing 3-day workshop and panel discussions on capacity building and self-development. The objective is to make them shift the prevailing paradigm of girl culture in their village and become more confident in shaping their own future. In other words, to raise an awareness of girl’s power and girl’s empowerment by equipping these girls with necessary skills for them to create a life they wish to live in.
First, 3-day workshops on gaining hard and soft skills and panel discussions on building self-love, self-confidence and strong parent-daughter relationship in Kyrgyz language are organized. Each workshop is carefully structured by the trainers and backed up with their real stories of failure and success.
Second, a gynecologist is invited to conduct a session on reproductive health awareness for girls. Also, a professional trainer Mrs. Seyil is hired to lead our adult learning session for parents called “My Child Is Not Alone!”; she works as a psychologist in Bishkek and often travels around Kyrgyzstan conducting trainings for school teachers, parents and the youth in general.
Third, after the workshop, participants should conduct at least three workshops by themselves in their schools for other girls within one academic year. They are to be supervised by Cholponai Batyrbekova, a local leader and an alumna of the FLEX program, via regular meetings once a month.
There are 8 people in the team who are passionate about their topics based on which they lead workshops and sessions:
Sophomore student at AUCA majoring in Business Administration
Workshop and session topics: “Self-care: life hacks I can use to take care of my physical body” and “Mental Health”
FLEX Alumna 2019 and a manager of English Zone Kochkor
Freshman student in Sociology at the American University of Central Asia
Workshop and session topics: “Leadership: Ways of discovering leadership skills in myself” and “Professional Orientation and opportunities: Who do I want to become”
Workshop and session topics: “Girls contribution in achieving SDGoals” and “Time Management”
Junior Student in ICP department, AUCA
Workshop and session topics: “Digital Literacy”
Junior student of BA department, AUCA
Workshop and session topics: “EQ and IQ: What’s more important?”
Couch and expert at aha.kg (online education platform)
Workshop and session topics: adult learning: “My Child Is Not Alone!”
Team building activities and time management session
Social media management
American Councils for International Education (ACCELS) – FLEX assistant coordinator leads a session on exchange opportunities and scholarships.
Eldik Medicine Clinik – the psychologist holds training for parents.
New Generation Academy (NGA) – the program alumna is one of the trainers who shares NGA information lists within “opportunities” sessions.
English Zone Kochkor – the manager of the EZ Kochkor is a coordinator assistant of the ‘Village Girl”. She conducts monthly meetings with the girls at English Zone.
Jundubaeva school - school principal Ainura Aitalievna.
Kalygul Bai uulu school - school principal Dayir Amanov.
Kydyraliev school - school principal Nuriia Alievna.
Arabaev school - school principal Jyrgal Sheishenovna.
SIDP covers the main costs: transportation, food, accommodation for 6 trainers, stationary and mobile phone expenses.
The local community represented as a school named after Ninakan Jundubaeva provides a free place to conduct workshops for two days as well as the project leader’s family gives free accommodation for three trainers.
Aigul Saparova - firstname.lastname@example.org