Empowering young people and advancing youth rights in Southern Kyrgyzstan: recent highlights from our collaboration with Novi Ritm

Centralasiengrupperna partners with Novi Ritm, a youth-led organization from the south of Kyrgyzstan. Our joint efforts are dedicated to enhancing young people’s awareness of their rights and encouraging their participation in decision-making processes, both at the national and community levels. This blog post offers a summary of our recent activities together. 

For a more in-depth look at our collaborative work throughout 2023, we invite you to explore our previous blog posts, available here and here

Throughout October and November, Novi Ritm hosted several meetings and training sessions for its Girls Group. These gatherings served as a platform for promoting sisterhood, raising awareness about individual rights, and advocating for gender equality. The sessions covered diverse topics such as mental health, feminism, and human rights, allowing participants to voice their opinions, share personal experiences, and learn from each other.

Special training sessions were conducted to deepen the understanding of human rights and freedoms, engaging the girls in discussions about the history of the women’s movement and achievements in the field of gender equality. Additionally, trainings were organized focused on enhancing the participants’ skills in communication, leadership, and decision-making.

Participants of the Girls Group

On October 19, marking the International Day of the Girl Child, we hosted a Conference in collaboration with the initiative group ‘Feministter’ within Novi Ritm, bringing together 70 girls aged 14 to 20 from Osh city and the Osh region. The concept of this annual conference is to establish a supportive environment, where girls can expand their knowledge on various topics and learn more about opportunities available to them in today’s world. The conference’s objective was to spark interest among the participants in a variety of fields, such as politics and education, while also encouraging them to embark on their own projects. A central theme of the conference was the promotion of feminist ideals and human rights values.

Eldana FourEyes (on the left), a well-known Kyrgyz and Kazakh blogger, participated in the conference. She’s known for her short videos challenging modern societal stereotypes and prejudices. During the conference, she discussed her blog, its origins, and inspired participants to take proactive steps.

The Human Rights Group, initiated with the goal of deepening young people’s understanding of human rights, organized a series of training sessions. Participants were immersed in discussions on topics such as ensuring freedom of expression, the right to equality before the law, and protection from torture and ill-treatment. As the participants exchanged views and experiences, they gained a deeper understanding of how to effectively exercise their rights in fostering a just and safe society. This engagement helped club participants to not only grasp the fundamental principles of human rights but also learn to apply them across different domains of their lives.

The program concluded with a screening of a film that showcased stories of individuals fighting for their rights. This was intended to help participants see themselves as part of a worldwide effort for justice, reinforcing the importance and impact of their own actions.

Participants of the Human Rights Group

Additionally, Novi Ritm hosted a retreat for its Discussion Club, focusing on deepening the participants’ understanding of human rights. The retreat covered topics like the history and formation of human rights institutions and international human rights protection. It began with an interactive quiz on the philosophy of human rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and human rights protection. This was followed by an informative lecture on national human rights protection mechanisms, featuring expert insights and fostering open discussions that encouraged active participation from all attendees.

Discussion Club participants during a retreat

In November, Novi Ritm successfully concluded their Volunteer Programme 2023. This marked the completion of the volunteer initiatives that began in September and October. Over these two months, volunteers actively participated in numerous meetings and training sessions designed to enhance their skills, facilitate the exchange of experiences, and cultivate support and understanding within the groups.

Another initiative that was concluded at the end of the year was Novi Ritm’s Debate Club, designed to foster young people’s skills in the art of debating. The main objective of the club was to improve participants’ critical thinking abilities and analytical skills. As the club concluded, the volunteer leaders who implemented it shared positive feedback regarding the participants’ progress. They observed notable improvements in the participants’ critical thinking and eloquence.

Follow the pages below for more updates about our collaboration:

Learn more about how you can support our work in Central Asia here.