Have one of you experienced any discrimination or even conflict on ethnic lines? If yes, how did you try to resolve the conflict or tension?

Participants interact in the "Group Juggling" exercise

This is one of the questions posed to a group of 20 Kyrgyz teachers prior to their training session with Legacy International trainers in the LivingSidebySide® Peacebuilding program.  The teachers came in pairs from 10 schools in Osh, Jalalabad and Batkin representing diverse and often conflicting ethnic groups. The external evaluation team, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute conducted a focus group discussion at the beginning of the session.

Another question posed to the group:

Please think of typical conflicts happening at school (and in your neighbourhood). What types of conflict are most common? (ethnic, socio-economic, gender, religious or perhaps a combination)

In over 3 decades of dialogue work,  Legacy International has helped  hundreds of adults and youths in the United States and in war-torn parts of the globe (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Cambodia, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Georgia and Abkhazia, Northern Ireland, and South Africa) to experience a personal healing and to construct new purpose and hope for their societies.

These methodologies, encapsulated in Legacy’s LivingSidebySide® Peace Building program, have been launched this year in the southern regions  of the Kyrgyz Republic. It  is the first comprehensive and experiential 36 hour curriculum to be introduced through public schools in Kyrgyzstan, aiming to increase knowledge and skills in interethnic understanding, conflict prevention, and mediation, among large numbers of teens and teachers in a short time.

In February 2014, Shanti Thompson, Legacy International Vice President and developer of the curriculum, trained 20 teachers in a Training of Trainers program.   By December 2014, these teachers will have trained approximately 550 teens.  In the first half of the year, upon completion of the 6-8 week program, teens used their project planning skills to carry out 40 school and/or community projects affecting more than 6700 people. Capacity building of teachers and implementing agencies is a signature Legacy impact.

Participant experience the "Concentric Circles" exercise

In collaboration with  partner International Center Interbilim, it is  supported by the  Ministry of Education and Science and the Department of Ethnic and Religious Policy and Interaction with Civil Society, President’s Office, Kyrgyz Republic.  The teachers from 10 schools met with Senior Specialist of the Ministry, Gulshan Abdyidaeva,  as the Training of Trainers program began.  Learn more about LivingSidebySide® programs.

Long-range plans for nation-wide implementation:

  1. a proven curriculum and manuals published in Russian, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, and English
  2. a capable local NGO, prepared to support long-term operations
  3. a corps of certified teacher-trainers, interested in carrying out quality LSBS training year after year with teenage audiences either in the classroom or as an after-school activity
  4. an advanced training of trainer’s program to yield larger numbers of teacher-trainers
  5. long-term support by the Ministry of Education.