On August 12-19, 2014, Kyrgyzstan is marking International Youth Week (IYW) under the slogan “I’m Man! Mental health is a human right” organized by UN Volunteers (UNV), the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Youth, Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic, and others.
The purpose of this year’s International Youth Week (IYW) is to pay special attention to youth with mental health conditions, who often experience unnecessary stigma, by organizing a number of joint initiatives, including sporting events. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 500 million people across the globe who experience mental health conditions including, statistically, 68,000 in Kyrgyzstan of whom one-quarter are young people. Many of these people are victims of discrimination, which, in turn, often leads to exclusion and discourages people from seeking help.
IYW in Kyrgyzstan was sponsored by Kumtor Company. The awareness campaign includes an opening concert, a football tournament titled “I am Man”, a debate contest, a series of photo shows, visits to homes for psycho-neurologically ill youth and a forum focusing on mental health issues. Geographically, the events will take place both in Bishkek and in the regions of the Kyrgyz Republic.
A grand mini-football tournament titled “I am Man” was held on the fields of the Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic on August 16, 2014, which involved eight teams. Moreover, an exhibition match was held involving girls’ football teams. The team “At-Bashi Bulls” became the winner of the tournament. Medals and souvenirs were handed to all the winning teams of the tournament.
“We are happy to support IYW in Kyrgyzstan as it is a special project. Being a socially responsible company, we believe it’s very important to inform the public on the existing difficulties and provide any kind of support to handicapped people. The IYW program is entirely built so as to make the rest of the public aware of problems faced by handicapped children and adolescents every day and of what can be done to overcome the stigmas by making it absolutely clear that possible deviations in health cannot be a barrier to the enjoyment of human rights,” commented Douglas Grier, Director for Sustainable Development, Kumtor Gold Company.
For reference: International Youth Week (IYW) is an official UN observance celebrated all over the world. It was designated by the UN General Assembly on December 17, 1999, on the initiative of the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth held in Lisbon, 8-12 August, 1998. International Youth Day (IYD) was observed for the first time on August 12, 2000. The theme of IYD in 2013 was Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward.