Empowerment of youth organizations for building inclusive and equitable societies in Kyrgyzstan
A two-days’ national working meeting with major youth organizations of Kyrgyzstan were organized in the framework of recently launched UN Youth Strategy 2030.
More than half of the population in Kyrgyzstan is under the age of 25, whereas a third of the population is between 15 and 25 years old. Today there are more than 205 officially registered youth organizations working in different fields, including the most popular areas of involving young people in the process of the formation and development of civil society, support and creation of favorable conditions for sustainable socio-economic and cultural development, protection of rights and promotion of the interests of young people on the local and national levels.
Due to limited economic opportunities, a lack of access to educational services and absence of mechanisms that would allow the youth to make their voices heard and their ideas taken into consideration by the Government, youth organizations in Kyrgyzstan suffer from low participation among the youth and recognition by the public authorities.
The problems are mainly concerned about a lack of coordination among youth organizations’ activities and participation processes in the state youth policy, which covers all aspects of development of young people in Kyrgyzstan. Moreover, youth organizations in Kyrgyzstan are experiencing difficulties in development and implementation of their projects due to the lack of common guidelines and proper coordination of the youth programmes that implemented in the country. As a result, this leads to overlaps, and rise of unhealthy competition among youth organizations.
It is noteworthy that the majority of youth organizations in Kyrgyzstan implement socially- oriented projects, causing substantial positive changes among the youth of the country. But their projects and programmes could be more sustainable, if they were designed in collaboration with various stakeholders, including the state structures, which are responsible for youth affairs.
According to the recently launched UN Youth Strategy 2030 it is important to increase engagement of the youth organizations in building inclusive, peaceful and equitable societies. But to achieve their full participation in civic, economic and social life and to ensure the effective partnership for country’s sustainable development, it is necessary to support them in overcoming the challenges and meet their needs.
Thus, on 30-31 October 2018, UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office organized a two-days’ national working meeting with major youth organizations of Kyrgyzstan to discuss youth-related issues, share experiences in addressing the problems of youth and collectively develop the youth action plan for Kyrgyzstan in order to improve the coordination and better interaction between youth organizations and state authorities to implement more sustainable projects that will benefit all groups of the society, including the most vulnerable.
Moreover, youth organizations were introduced to the opportunities that UNESCO provides for the empowerment of young people worldwide, e.g. in the framework of the NetMed project implemented in the Mediterranean.