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IVD inspires youth in Kyrgyzstan
14 December 2004

Bishkek: A series of seminars and lectures were conducted to promote United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and volunteerism. On 30 November, UNV Programme Officer Magnus Bjork made a presentation UNV and the private sector volunteer programme at the International Business Council Meeting in Hyatt Hotel, Bishkek. Seventy participants attended the event from international financial institutions, government and international development agencies, civil society organizations and the media.

On 1 December a lecture at the Bishkek Arabaev University, attended by 100 students, on UNV, volunteerism and HIV/AIDS conducted by the UN volunteers Team was conducted.

UNV also held lectures on media training, career advice, online volunteering and gave briefings about their current youth programme and the work of other UN agencies in the country.

On 3 December, JICA, Peace Corps and UNV held a joint press conference about the weeklong IVD celebrations, from 29 November to 6 December.

These volunteer-involving agencies have been working closely with each other in supporting the development of the country.

Peace Corps and UN volunteers help provide English classes while JICA and UNV are planning to a community-based project in Issyk-Kul Province.

Another highlight of the IVD week was exhibit of volunteer activities at the UNV Volunteer Information Centre, which was participated by high school and university students.

The exhibit, coordinated by the local NGO Kok-Jar’s and Youth Committee, depicted the diverse volunteer work in the country implemented by young local and international volunteers.

Kok-Jar has been working with the local schools to support children by organizing anti-smoking campaign, concerts, and study sessions on gender, healthy life and child rights. Bermet Keneshova, Coordinator of Kok-Jar’s, said “We have several very active volunteers in our organization. I believe that today’s event has given our children incentives to get more involved in volunteer work.”

Volunteer exhibits were also held at International University of Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyz State Pedagogical University, Kyrgyz State University of Transportation and Architecture and American University of Central Asia coordinated by student or teacher volunteers. Approximately 500 students in total visited the exhibit and some got inspired from what they witnessed.

Evidenced by one student saying, “I was also very much interested in volunteering, but did not know what I could do. Now I know I want to organize an English Club at my university. Students always talk about lack of opportunities to practice English. I can volunteer to make such opportunities for ourselves.”