central asia

Central Asia and the Caucuses

Legacy has been working to build capacity and more peaceful and secure societies in Central Asia and the Caucasus region since 1993. Our programs in Central Asia have engaged religious and civic leaders, and non-profit organizations in from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan. We have also done conflict resolution and youth development in Georgia and Abkhazia. Legacy’s current Kyrgyz Women’s Leadership program is designed to strengthen grassroots organizations in that country.

Svetlana Beissova, Executive Director of the Taraz Initiative Centre, worked closely with Sergui Kislov and Varvara Naidenova, also alumni.  Sergui works in local governmetn and is responsible for 22 cultural groups.  Varvara’s NGO trains women in skills that can generate income for them. Inspired by what they had seen in Goodwill in Roanoke, VA, they approached an NGO in Taraz that represents handicapped persons about the concept of setting up a Goodwill organization.  In June 2005, TIC undertook the venture itself, involving women who were unemployed.  They found a room, and put an announcement in the paper. They solicited and received donations from two political parties to place more newspaper ads, and handed out and posted flyers. And the word spread…

“…at first, only volunteers brought in recycled goods.  They inventoried the merchandise and washed, repaired, and ironed them.  Next other people called them to bring in their items.  After that, others came to buy or if they had no money, they just gave the clothes away.  The venture continues working…”  Svetlana Beissova , Religion, Human Rights and Democracy: Peer Interactions Between Religious & Civic Leaders in the U.S. & Kazakhstan.

New Initiative in Kyrgyzstan yields results! Developed and tested over three decades,  LivingSidebySide® features complete manuals for facilitators, worksheets for participants, and custom training and certification services.  The program has been implemented with mixed populations in the US, and with Israelis and Palestinians, Northern Irish Protestants and Catholics, various Nigerian groups, and Croats, Muslims, and Serbs from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Learn more: 20 Kyrgyz teachers receive Train the Trainers peace building program