More than one year had passed from the moment when life of many inhabitants of the south part ofKyrgyzstanhas changed. To some of them it changed irreversibly. However, now when life is gradually improving, and people have started reconstruction of their dwellings, businesses and relations as newer before it is necessary to hold and sustain that cherished but unsteady peace and harmony. In this regards, people as a social resource, act as the most important and efficient instrument.
“At the beginning of disorders in Oshmy mother hadn’t let me left the home and go to Osh, and I am sure that while doing so she saved my life” said a young man named Iskender from Nookat Raion.
“I have many friends among Kyrgyz, and I am on friendly terms with neighbors who are of other ethnicities, and in my children I foster in tolerance and humanity independently from any circumstances. As you know, when a person is communicating with people of other religion, ethnicity and world-view, he is advancing both spiritually and mentally”, said Samida, a Jalal-Abad city resident.
And those are not the only examples when exactly women while being mothers, wives and sisters managed to prevent conflict intensification and development. In other words, women are acting as peacemakers; they possess wide capacity for making peace and for introducing positive changes in community development.
In November, 2010 UN Women have launched a Strengthening Women and Community Vulnerable Group Capacity in Reestablishment of Peace and Harmony in Kyrgyzstan Project. A network of women-peacemakers of Kyrgyzstan consisting of 20 Local Women Committees (LWC) of Batken, Jalal-Abad and Osh Oblasts became a main target resource of this project, which at regional, local and oblast levels is performing its activity on making peace and harmony in Kyrgyzstan.
Within a framework of the Structure on promotion of gender equality and protection of women rights, this project is aimed at enhancement of possibilities and provision of more wide involvement of women in the issues related to settlement of interethnic and social conflicts and to peace-making.
Project partners and main activity
The project unifies efforts of such institutions as a Foundation for Tolerance International (FTI), an Association of Women-Leaders in Djalal-Abad, Women Entrepreneurs Support Association and Rural Development Fund for execution of a wide policy plan, which includes but not limited to delivery of trainings and workshops, provision of legal advice, as well as implementation of a micro-grant program.
RDF and project sub-grant program
Under this project, the RDF is responsible for implementation of the Sub-Grant Program, which is covering members and target groups of the women network. The Sub-Grant Program total budget is US$50, 000, and it will be undertaken in two stages until mid-September of 2011.
Goals and objectives of the project sub-grant program
The Program is aimed at achievement of the following objectives:
– strengthening the image of the Women Peace Committees established under the project at Raion and Oblast levels, and their capacity on rendering assistance to the Network members and to committees in implementation of their practical activity targeted on reestablishment of peace and harmony in Kyrgyzstan;
– provision of skills for conflict analysis and settlement to members of Women Peace Committees;
– provision of capacity for search and finding out tools and methods of conflict resolution, and ways for making and strengthening peace and good-neighborliness;
– participation of Women Network’s and Peace Committees’ members in decision making process while settling down conflicts;
– increase a role of women and community vulnerable groups in prevention and settlement of conflict situations;
– approbation of practical methods and tools of conflict situations prevention and settlement.
Activities on the project sub-grant program
A main peculiarly of this project is its close relation to the work of each partner-implementer of the project. In the course of the project first stage implementation, the RDF experts have been closely cooperating with their colleges from partner institutions. For instance, after completion of training delivery on conflictology arranged by FTI, the representatives of Oblast and Raion Women Peace Committees have formulated the main directions for micro-grants. Under the next stage, the RDF had elaborated a Manual on Micro-projects and delivered training on drafting and execution of project proposals. Prospective grant recipients have been formulating their ideas in the form of application proposals, and have been submitting them to the WPC Raion representatives. To provide an application proposal selection process transparency, a selection of project has been conducted by the especially established Grant Committee. Representatives of State Oblast Administration, Non-governmental Organizations, and one officer of the Board on Rehabilitation of Osh andJalal-AbadCitieshave been included into its composition.
Sub-grants have been allocated for implementation of activity related to settlement, reduction, mitigation and prevention of interethnic and social conflicts. After a long selection process 11 project proposals had been selected that have been successfully implemented. Among projects there were applications on conduct of tolerance summer schools and on trainings on reduction of conflicts among the youth, friendship festivals, provision of updated, accurate information through radio cabins and many others. In the course of projects implementation, as well as after their completion, the RDF expects have carried out a systematic assessment and monitoring of each micro-project for tracking down the implementation process efficiency.
In October of 2011, a final workshop on discussion of the project grant component results have been carried out with participation of implemented micro-project group leaders, managers of Raion Women Peace Committees, representatives of partner organizations, such as a Network of Women-Peacemakers of Kyrgyzstan, For International Tolerance Public Fund, a Women-Entrepreneurs Association Public Union, as well as representatives of local and oblast mass media (Osh Janyrygy newspaper and KTR). The final event has become a symbolic feature for the project first stage in which the project participants have discussed difficulties and successes at round table, as well as lessons learnt from project implementation, and have discussed ideas for further joint activity.
Currently, a preparation for the project second stage is ongoing. It is planned to start it in January of next year to be implemented by partners involved in the project first stage.