Democratic youth organizing


Countries in Central Asia are, in general, hierarchical societies where the influence of citizens and civil society is curtailed by the political system. As a result of an age-hierarchical social structure, the voice of youth is rarely heard and youth-based perspective is almost never considered in decision-making processes that impact lives of youth and their future. Furthermore, Central Asian societies are characterized by other structural obstacles, where ethnicity, class and social status determine one’s ability to make decisions about own life.

For example in Kyrgyzstan, a country that is often portrayed as an island of democracy when compared to neighboring countries, has several factors which severely limit active and meaningful participation of youth in civil society sector. As a result of limited knowledge, lack of influence and wide-spread corruption, the youth ends up in a situation, where they do not believe that they can have opportunities and ability to change their lives and to demand respect of their human and democratic rights. Although there are many youth organizations in the country, in most cases they are organized as hierarchical, discriminatory and exclusionary structures that already dominate all spheres of society. Such concepts as volunteering or activism are often reduced to passive participation in activities, while meaningful participation, which could reflect young people’s own situation and their needs is absent.

Some of CAG's activities

  • Organizational innovations with youth organizations such as Novi Ritm, Youth of Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan, etc
  • Support of construction and start-up of unique activity center for young people in Osh
  • Training courses and workshops in rural areas in Kyrgyzstan, including Aravan, Nookat, Kara-Suu, Uzgen, Tynylykyn and Suzak
  • Multiannual exchange programs with activists from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia, Turkey, Sweden, etc.
  • Participation in campaigns, conferences and advocacy work related to rights of young people in the region
  • Research and publication of study on child abuse in southern Kyrgyzstan