EVS volunteer from Russia

Hej, everyone! My name is Kseniia Grishniakova and in the middle of November I’ve started my volunteer year in Centralasiengrupperna. Originally I’m from Saint Petersburg, Russia, but here to Sweden came straight forward from Gdynia, Poland where I’ve resided for a bit more than year (1 year and 3 months, to be exact) .According to my education, I’m a specialist in International relations related with Nordic region and a teacher of Russian as a foreign language. After I’ve graduated from my second university in 2015, I got to know Children of Saint Petersburg – volunteer organisation, which provides free Russian […]

Coming home from Kyrgyzstan – three months later

It has now almost been three months since me and Emma arrived back in Sweden, after spending four months in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Previously when I’ve spent some time abroad, I’ve marvelled at the fact that your life just goes back to normal so quickly; you meet up with old friends, walk the same streets as you’ve always walked before, go back to work or school – and all of a sudden it’s like you forget that you’ve just spent the last four or six months in a foreign country – with new friends and different streets – and that you, […]

Creating spaces for young people – the opening of a “KulturCafe” in Naryn

This weekend Novi Ritm was invited to the opening of a “KulturCafé” in the city of Naryn. It’s a city situated in the central parts of the country and it’s the administrative center of the region of Naryn. According to the university students that initiated Naryn’s “KulturCafé”, social life in the city is mostly centered around the family. Public spaces to hang out at and meet other people – especially for young people, are rare, even non-existing. Therefore, the goal of creating this “KulturCafé” was to increase the quality of life as well as knowledge building between different cultures (as […]

“They should respect girls like they respect each other” – International Women’s Day in Osh

Today is International Women’s Day and in Kyrgyzstan this is a public holiday. Banners are put up all over the city, wishing women happiness and prosperous lives with many children. For two days the streets in the city center has been filled with flower stands and everywhere you see men caring bouquets and gifts for their wives, mothers and sister. Even I have gotten my fair share of well wishes (for instance, a lady I met at the banya (russian sauna) two weeks ago, sent me a text with roses and hearts). To tell you the truth, I have been […]

Trainings in Batken Oblast with the 1325-team

As many of you know, part of Novi Ritms work during 2016-2017 has been and still is to raise awareness among Kyrgyz youth in relation to the UN Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. It has previous featured on this blog here and here. Last week the 1325-team plus me and Emma went to Batken Oblast, in order to conduct two trainings on human rights – especially focusing on women rights and 1325. As a way of highlighting harmful structures in society as well as the level of inequality between Kyrgyz men and women, part of the training focused […]

(English) Presentation of the new CAG intern Amanda

Hi everyone, So far, 2017 has been treating me good. At the end of last year I got a call from Annika at CAG telling me that I’d gotten an internship at CAG – going to Osh, Kyrgyzstan to work with their partner organization Novi Ritm for four months. I guess most of you reading this already know about CAG and Novi Ritm – and probably also something about Kyrgyzstan. Therefore I wont be going into details about this part. I’ll just say that right now me and Emma (the other intern whom I’ll be going with) are in middle […]

Part 2. Women’s Roles in the Construction of Identity in Kyrgyzstan: Ideas and Expectations of Women

Welcome to the second blogpost in the miniseries about the roles of women in Kyrgyz national identity! In the first blogpost, I introduced and elaborated on concepts such as national identity. Ethnicity, religion, and nomadism are all important, yet in very different ways, in Kyrgyzstani identity. In this part, I will continue to elaborate on how these are part in shaping ideas and expectations of Kyrgyz women, and how this might have an impact on women’s situation in Kyrgyzstan today. Because of rather limited space, much will be generalized, thus I want to highlight that there exists multiple dimensions and […]

Women, Peace and Security in Southern Kyrgyzstan – About Novi Ritm’s Project 1325

  Kyrgyzstan is considered the most progressive and democratic out of the five post-Soviet Central Asian republics. However, in regards to the realization of women’s rights and human security, the Kyrgyz republic struggles. Since independence three violent conflicts have occurred, the latest in the Osh region of Southern Kyrgyzstan in 2010. These outbreaks of violence have given strength to two trends of nationalism and retraditionalization, which continues to severely limit women’s freedom and control over their own lives. For example, according to the latest National Review of the Kyrgyz Republic in the framework of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for […]

Introduction of the Intern Isabelle and Women’s Roles in the Construction of Identity in Kyrgyzstan

  Hi everyone, My name is Isabelle Persson, and I am currently working in Southern Kyrgyzstan with Centralasiengrupperna’s main local partner Novi Ritm in Osh. At 25 years, I have managed to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at Malmö University, where I previously studied pedagogics and drama. I also studied abroad one semester in Melbourne, Australia, where I had the pleasure of not only enjoying the amazing culture of the First Peoples but also get out of my comfort zone and study Macroeconomics and International Business. My civil society engagement has largely been party political throughout […]