Young people from 25 localities develop innovative solutions to overcome the negative effects of isolation during COVID-19 pandemic

Selected projects will receive technical and financial support

06 May 2020
UPSHIFT workshop
UNICEF
UPSHIFT participants are discussing the ideas

Bishkek, 6 May 2020- 16 innovative solutions developed by young people have been selected as a result of the virtual workshop organized with the support of UNICEF and finalized on 24th April. A total of 140 young people from 25 cities and villages participated in this online event. The initiative, organized as part of the "Child and Youth Friendly Cities" initiative under the State Agency for Youth, Physical Culture and Sports aims to find innovative solutions to overcome the harmful effects that confinement might be having on adolescents and young people.

The virtual workshop, started on 7 April, included several stages, in which teams were formed with three to six members who collaborated through digital platforms and studied issues that concern young people in their communities, held consultations with local authorities and residents and designed their solutions to issues identified, occurring during the lockdown period.

UNICEF, supported by civil society partners, assisted the teams in the development of the projects, contributing indirectly to improve the digital and research skills of the participants and enhancing their teamwork competencies. A key aspect for the participants is the mentorship component: trained and experienced mentors provided daily support throughout the duration of the online workshop.

"It is very important that young people are given not only the opportunity to identify the main challenges they are facing during the lockdown period, but to develop their own solutions. When we provide them with the necessary support to come up with their ideas, these young people demonstrate a high creativity and capacity to innovate. Moreover, their solutions are likely to be better tailored to their needs, whether it is about addressing the emotional stress they are facing or the need to stay active during quarantine", stated Christine Jaulmes, UNICEF Representative in Kyrgyzstan.

At the end of the process, the 16 projects selected from the 32 initial submissions will receive financial and technical support for their implementation.

The innovative projects include ideas ranging from short video for parents and youth with tips on how to spend time in a healthy manner and coping with mental health issues to strategies to bust fake news about COVID-19, contributing to the overall well-being of adolescents and young people while quarantine continues.

As a follow-up to the online workshop and based on lessons learnt UNICEF and partners will develop a guide on how to engage young people in social initiatives through online and off-line communication. The guide can be used by young people themselves, teachers, community leaders and other stakeholders working with young people. The purpose of the guide is to increase youth engagement in social initiatives, contributing to their communities and enhancing their sense of belonging.

Further information on the project:

"Child and Youth Friendly Cities" is an international initiative that has been successfully adapted in Kyrgyzstan. This initiative involves the implementation of a strategy to support the participation of children and youth in raising  issues related to their well-being and in taking active part in decision-making processes and at the local government level, including local budget planning so that youth and adolescents issues can taken into account and addressed.

The State Agency for Youth, Physical Culture and Sports under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, jointly with the UNICEF and with public organizations, implements the "Child Friendly Cities" initiative in cities and towns included in the Regional Development Concept for the period of 2018-2022, considered as "growth points".

Media Contacts

Mavliuda Dzhaparova
Communication Officer
UNICEF Kyrgyzstan
Tel: +996 777 919 142

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