Young people get a unique opportunity to implement their ideas in Issyk-Kul

Young people get a unique opportunity to implement their ideas in Issyk-Kul

published: 18 February 2013

Young people get a unique opportunity to implement their ideas in Issyk-KulYoung residents of the Issyk-Kul region will be granted a unique opportunity to implement their ideas for benefiting local communities through their active participation in the YouthBank for Issyk-Kul project. Initiatives will be prioritized and run by young people and will be supported through a network of YouthBanks established in six localities across the Issyk-Kul province including Balykchy, Karakol, Bokonbayevo, Tamga, Tup and Kyzyl Suu. The establishment and operation of six YouthBanks will be made possible with the support of Kumtor Operating Company, which regards the project as an innovative opportunity to promote sustainable development in Issyk-Kul province and one which will truly benefit young people and local residents.

YouthBank is not a financial institution but a bank of young people’s ideas. Young people are involved in developing and running community initiatives for themselves. Each YouthBank is composed of a group of 8-10 young volunteers acting as a local grant-making committee. YouthBank members assess local needs, review applications from other young people, select and fund youth-led community initiatives. All young people aged 14-25 who have ideas to make a difference in their community are encouraged to apply.

The YouthBank methodology is based on the promotion of core values – citizenship, capacity-building, and self-responsibility. It has a proven track record of success. Since its establishment in Northern Ireland in 1999, the methodology was implemented across different contexts around the world including Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia. From March 2010-May 2012, the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia (EFCA) applied the concept to unite young people from divided Kyrgyz and Tajik cross-border communities.

“Our young people learn how to gather ideas, how to attract and involve other young people in the work of the YouthBanks. I think it’s great that there is something like this that young people can engage in. I do not recall so many activities in our small town, and what is even more important is that one can do a lot with very small amounts of money,” said Tahmina Shermatova, member of one of the YouthBanks in the border region between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

The project will be implemented by young people with assistance of EFCA for a duration of two years. From February 2013 to March 2013, EFCA will start conducting a series of training workshops across the Issyk-Kul province to reach out target communities and support young people with the selection of YouthBank members and the establishment of six YouthBanks. Youth-led community initiatives can include infrastructure rehabilitation, employment and training activities, as well as cultural, sport and social events.
Eurasia Foundation of Central AsiaInformation about Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia is available at
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