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OneMinutesJr workshop in Batken - Day 3

BATKEN, Kyrgyzstan, 20 November 2013 - The third day of the OneMinutesJr workshop in the South of the Kyrgyz Republic in Central Asia reminds us of the fact that the winter can be an extremely hard season in this part of the world.

We leave the city of Batken at 9 o'clock in the morning and the temperature is still at 3 degrees Celsius. The road takes us towards the Kyrgyz-Tajik border and the landscapes looks like we are already on the planet Mars. Red soil, barren plains and a heavy wind create an eerie atmosphere. 

After about an hour and well into the Leilek Region of the Batken District we enter a mountain range and are welcomed by a snow storm. Visibility is around 20 meters and the roads are bad, so the driver takes it extra slow to be on the safe side. After another hour we arrive in Osgorush, a village along a raging mountain river and framed on both sides by steep and rocky mountains.

Madina, one of the participants, comes from Osgorush. She remembers the old school building here that was partly drstroyed by an earthquake. In the new school building she shows us pictures from the time when the reconstruction was ongoing and the children were schooled in tents. This is the topic of her OneMinutesJr video that we are about to film here today.

Emergency measures in Osgorush, remembered by the people from the village - UNICEF / David Djindjikhashvili / 2013

Marlen (14) and a friend are having a snowball fight in the schoolyard. They love the winter season, but Marlen reminds his friend that it is not just fun but also dangerous. There are avalanches, car accidents due to icy roads, old people cannot leave the houses and sometimes this remote village cannot be reached at all and supplies cannot be brought in. Also, when the snow melts in the springtime, there are floods and mudslides that endanger the people and the animals.

The new school in Osgorush, rebuilt after an earthquake partly destroyed the old building - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2013

On the way back we stop "on Mars". Aiganysh (17) agrees with the trainers that this is the perfect setting for her film about the danger of lightning. Fall and winter are storm seasons here and some of the children are not aware of the dangers that a lightning strike can bring. Aiganysh's film will be funny but also educational. It is filmed now, the rest will come during the editing process.

Back in Batken we film another couple of films about earthquakes and what to do or not to do in a case of emergency. Right now we are all happy that we are not up in the snowy mountains anymore when the night starts in the South of Kyrgyzstan.





OneMinutesJr workshop in Batken, Kyrgyzstan (2013)


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