The Ministry of Education and Science (MES) has supported the implementation of the LivingSidebySide® program in the Kyrgyz Republic since 2011.  Ministry staff facilitated communications with school principals in 20 schools at the outset of the pilot program in 2014.

Shanti Thompson, VP/Training and developer of the curriculum, brought a training team to Kyrgyzstan to train 20 teachers who then worked in inter-ethnic pairs to train 553 young people during three rounds of training. Upon completion of the 36 hour curriculum over 6 weeks, these students designed and delivered 60 service projects that benefitted 9000 persons.

Marlene Ginsberg of Legacy International and Asel Kuttubaeva of Legacy’s partner, International Center Interbilim have embarked on a three month planning process with Gulshan Abdyldaeva, (MES), Bermet Alymova (KAE), and Zarina Suraganova (KAE).

Selected by the Ministry of Education and Science and the Academy of Teacher Training (KAE), this Working Group will develop a plan to scale up the program nation-wide in the secondary schools with meetings taking place in person and via conferencing among members. A final 3-5 year plan will be presented end of June to key officials.

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.

Have one of you experienced any discrimination or even conflict on ethnic lines?

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.