In correspondence with the close partnership that Centralasiengrupperna and Novi Ritm share, this week Annika (Coordinator on Gender and Women’s Rights) and Jessica (previous EVS-volunteer at Novi Ritm and currently working with budgeting and economy in the two projects on a voluntary basis) are visiting from Sweden, the main purpose being to evaluate not only how the projects are coming along, but also in what ways we can continue our partnership.

Today we spent the day outside of Osh, namely in Alay (roughly one and half hours drive from Osh), with the purpose of doing a bit of teambuilding but also to start evaluating our partnership and to plan for the future.

After arriving in Alay, we had breakfast together.

Then we checked out what was apparently some kind of spa or resort (though still closed for the season). After that we conducted a couple of exercises aiming at getting to know each other better and to reflect upon our strengths and weaknesses in relation to the work that we do.

The weather was incredible. Our original plan was to find a place along the road in Alay, where we could cook the food that we had brought with us, but since most places were closed, we had to drive to the nearby village of Gulcha, where we found a place to cook our food (actually we didn’t cook it, we just handed it over to some women at a small café who cooked it for us in exchange for money).

While waiting for the lunch to get ready, we continued working on some of the organizational challenges that Novi Ritm has been experiencing for the last couple of months. Basically, what we have initiated is a way to try and map out the organization so as to get a better picture of what we need to improve within the organizations as well as when collaborating with each other.

After lunch, we had a our last session constituting of two parts: introducing Tanya (Novi Ritm’s new volunteer who’s going to be based in Osh for one month and help the organization develop a better organizational structure among other things) and talking about how to continue developing our collaborations: what challenges and opportunities we might face. Tomorrow we’ll continue by talking/planing/evaluating the two different projects individually and more in dept.

Written by, Amanda Sonesson, based in Osh, Kyrgyzstan