Legacy’s Vice President of Professional Programs, Marlene Ginsberg, writes about our work in Kyrgyzstan and hopes for the future of that country:
Having worked in Central Asia since 2003, I have personally witnessed a change in the political, economic, and social environment of the Kyrgyz Republic: from peaceful revolution, major violence has occurred. This saddens me, yet I remain hopeful that the Kyrgyz people will exercise their rights to create and implement a stable and transparent government concerned with meeting the needs of its people. We at Legacy continue our work in Kyrgyzstan to strengthen civic involvement and build capacity in local government and non-governmental organization.
In 2003, Legacy staff conceived of and delivered a conflict prevention program for a multi-sector delegation of Kyrgyz leaders (from government, media, law enforcement, and non-governmental sectors). At the conclusion of this program, in 2005, I flew out of Bishkek to Dushanbe one day before the start of the Tulip Revolution.
Five years later, our staff witnessed the calm before the storm, when the most recent violence broke out and the world became aware of a crisis between cultures in the south. We look forward to elections planned to be held in October and hope they will help to normalize the situation in the country.
Legacy continues its commitment to civil society development in Kyrgyzstan. For October we are preparing a program for awomen’s leadership development program, hosting delegation of 12 brave women leaders from three cities: Bishkek, Osh, and Jelalabad. We have great admiration for their courage and fortitude in the face of great obstacles. We are designing their program to increase their skills in leadership and training for citizen participation. We look forward to giving these women tools to help their citizens write a new and more peaceful chapter in Kyrgyz history.