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>> Digital Youth Dialogue
                                                                               March News
                                                                            & Winter Camp Debrief




     Digital Youth Dialogue (DYD) is a program of the United States Embassy in Kyrgyzstan.
www.irex.org

>> In this Issue

        DYD Helps Bring New Training         After Hard Days’ Work,
        Sessions to Kyrgyzstan’s             Campers Meet with
        Schools                              Television Leaders in Kyr-
                                             gyzstan, See Bishkek’s Media
        Students Use IT Skills to            Outlets with Their Own Eyes
        Research for Cultural Event
                                             Returning to Their Homes,
        Teachers Learn New Presen-           DYD Winter Camp Partici-
        tation Approaches Using              pants Begin Their Next Steps
        High-Tech Tools                      to Apply Their Skills in Their
                                             Communities
        DYD Libraries Provide New
        Knowledge, Opportunities for
        Community Members                    DYD Students Discuss Tough
                                             Issues During International
        Jalal-Abad Educator Uses             Women’s Day
        Internet at Local Library to
        Enrich Lessons

        Librarians Using New IT Skills
        to Inform Patrons of Library
        Services

        Students from Across
        Kyrgyzstan Travel to Bishkek
        to Develop Skills, Start
        Citizen Journalism Clubs in
        Their Communities

        Day Two: From Students to
        Journalists, Photographers,
        Leaders, and Peacemakers




                                         2
www.irex.org

                                                         Since Kasymov began his lessons for faculty and
 IT Training at Schools                                  students, enthusiasm has only grown for technol-
                                                         ogy. Aiturgan Kamal kyzy, a student at Abdyshev
 DYD Helps Bring New Training                            School, shared that ―I got valuable information
 Sessions to Kyrgyzstan’s Schools                        from the internet, thanks to the DYD program.”
                                                         Abdyshev’s administration is just as enthusiastic
Following his return from the Digital Youth Dia-         about the new technology training program; “I
logue (DYD) Training of Trainers in Bishkek on           was pleasantly surprised by his initiative to con-
January 8, 2011, Gulcho village’s Abdyshev school        duct this training,” shared Adbyshev School direc-
IT teacher Omurzak Kasymov has begun conduct-            tor Altyn Moldokulova. ―I would encourage all our
ing a series of training sessions for teachers and       teachers to [take advantage] of these opportuni-
students on basic computing skills and how to in-        ties at work.”
tegrate technology into the classroom.
                                                         Meanwhile, in Jalal-Abad, students at School-
                                                         Lyceum No. 14 are using the internet to research
                                                         information to complete their school assignments.
                                                         Students used to have to rely on obsolete text-
                                                         books for their English lessons, but now that Digi-
                                                         tal Youth Dialogue has helped connect their
                                                         schools to the internet, they are able to find con-
                                                         temporary information online to supplement their
                                                         schoolbooks. Students are now learning how to
                                                         properly search and discern useful educational
                                                         tools and materials from search engine results
                                                         online. English teacher Aliya Ganzina is very ex-
      IT trainings for students at Abdyshev School
                                                         cited about the new developments at her school,
                                                         sharing that “These new materials are good for
                                                         developing [my students’] speaking and reading
During the training, Kasymov is teaching educa-          skills.” Ajara, a student in the 11th grade at
tors at Abdyshev School how to properly use the          School-Lyceum No. 14, wholeheartedly agrees: “It
Microsoft Office Suite, in addition to giving them       was very captivating to find these new things on
their first experience with the internet in a pro-       the internet. After [my teacher’s] lessons, we
fessional context. Kasymov pointed the teachers          managed to find resources online ourselves, and
to the Educational Portal Bilimkeni.kg, where the        we are learning a lot from them.”
teachers registered for accounts and began to
post on the teachers’ discussion forums. Mean-
                                                          Students Use IT Skills to Research
while, Kasymov taught students how to access in-
formation on the internet and use Microsoft’s             for Cultural Event
Windows Movie Maker program to produce video
content; the students have begun editing their           On February 9, 2011, at Aitmatov School in Kara-
own videos to capture life at their school and           Suu, seven students used their new knowledge in
their own personal successes.                            searching for cultural and educational resources


                                                     3
www.irex.org

online to find materials to host an event com-
memorating the birthday of Uzbek poet Alisher               Teachers Learn New Presentation
Navoi, including recitals of his poetry, and a play         Approaches Using High-Tech Tools
about the life of Navoi.
                                                          In January 2011, DYD IT teacher Odina Kosimova
                                                          at Aitmatov School in Kara-Suu trained teachers
                                                          on how to conduct more effective presentations in
                                                          their careers using visual aids and tools like Micro-
                                                          soft PowerPoint to capture their audience’s atten-
                                                          tion.




           Students at Aitmatov School used
         internet research to plan an event on
                   poet Alisher Navoi


The students, ranging from the fifth to the elev-
                                                                     Teachers using new resources in
enth grades, worked with their teachers to pre-
                                                                        their meetings at school
pare for the poet’s birthday event. After receiving
training on how to effectively use search engines,
they used the Kyrgyz-language version of Google           On January 27th, two of her teacher trainees con-
Image Search to download images of Navoi and              ducted a training session on curriculum planning
decorate the school with them to promote the              and student evaluation for 20 of their colleagues,
event. In preparation for the play, the students          during which they practiced their new skills in
used Google.kg to research the life of the poet –         creating engaging, high-tech presentation materi-
tasks which were much more complicated in the             als. In the past, teachers attending training ses-
past, before DYD helped bring internet to Aitma-          sions practically attended their own equivalent of
tov School, previously using obscure textbooks            a low-tech classroom, and trainers were forced to
and old magazines as their only sources. Today,           rely on old blackboards as a visual aid and spend-
they were able to conduct their research and              ing large amounts of time and energy re-creating
preparation in a fraction of the time.                    materials for the trainees by hand. Today, pre-
                                                          senters and trainers are learning how to captivate
Aitmatov teacher Mahmuda Sheralieva com-                  their audiences with helpful visualizations and
mented on the students’ work in preparing for             diagrams, and are helping keep their audiences
Alisher Navoi’s birthday event: “The students did         engaged and receptive to new information.
a good job. They were even able to find a lot of
new information from the internet that we                 It definitely helped Barno Ergashboeva as she held
teachers never even knew. We were amazed by               her training: she reflected, “Thanks to the DYD
their creativity.”                                        program I learned what PowerPoint is; I had no


                                                      4
www.irex.org

idea before. I will definitely keep using [and            modernized library: “Now that we have internet,
making] presentations for my class.”                      I spend all my free time here,” she said.


                                                           Jalal-Abad Educator Uses Internet at
 DYD in Kyrgyzstan’s Libraries                             Local Library to Enrich Lessons

 DYD Libraries Provide New                                The Jalal-Abad Oblast Library is becoming a com-
 Knowledge, Opportunities for                             munity gathering center where teachers, stu-
                                                          dents, and youth looking for employment opportu-
                                                          nities can assemble and learn how to use IT to
Since being equipped with internet by the Digital         benefit their lives.
Youth Dialogue program, the Kyzyl-Kiya Library
has helped over a hundred students and teachers
better integrate technology into their lives to
benefit learning.




                                                               Teacher Aigul Djaratova uses the internet to
                                                                          improve her lessons

                                                          One excellent example of the library’s new bene-
                                                          ficiaries is Aigul Djaratova, a teacher at the Chil-
                                                          dren’s Education Center in Jalal-Abad, does not
         Students practice their IT skills while
                                                          have internet access where she works, nor does
         working on school assignments at the
                  Kyzyl-Kiya library                      she have the personal finances to afford paying
                                                          for the use of internet-connected computers at
                                                          local internet cafes. At the library, however, she
Many of the more than 90 students who have be-            was able to access the internet for free, and she
gun visiting the library regularly are now learning       uses this resource to develop better lessons for
for the first time how to use productivity applica-       her students. Having recently designed a lesson
tions for school; rather than writing everything by       for her class on the topic of peace and friendship,
hand, students are now learning how to create             she was able to conduct her own research for the
professional documents using word processing ap-          lesson plan, and enriched its content with power-
plications. Perizat Zyadinova, a student at Kyzyl         ful imagery found online. In making use of educa-
Kiya’s School No. 6, is very enthusiastic about the       tional online resources and materials, she would-
new opportunities for her at Kyzyl-Kiya’s newly           n’t have known where to start, had it not been for


                                                      5
www.irex.org

internet training she attended at the library, held
by DYD IT trainers. Djaratova took a moment to              ―We often make posters and book exhibitions;
express her gratitude for these new resources at            using photos makes them look more visual and
her disposal: “Thanks to the DYD program, we                transfers the mood and content of the material,”
have access to the internet and IT training, which          explained Svetlana Krasovskaya, a Jalal-Abad li-
are really important tools in achieving great re-           brarian. “Using photos starts a [more] creative
sults in our activities.”                                   dialogue with people, and working with new tech-
                                                            nologies helps us to develop professionally.”

 Librarians Using New IT Skills to
 Inform Patrons of Library Services
                                                             DYD Winter Journalism Camp
In December 2010, librarians at the Jalal-Abad
Oblast Library received two weeks of IT training,            Students from Across Kyrgyzstan
thanks to the DYD program, including intensive               Travel to Bishkek to Develop Skills,
lessons on document creation using the Microsoft             Start Citizen Journalism Clubs in
Office Suite. Now, four of them are putting their            Their Communities
new skills to good use, creating posters for the
library, explaining the library’s new services for          From January 24 to 30, 2011, the 22 most tal-
patrons and librarians’ new training experience             ented and promising students were chosen from a
since joining the DYD program.                              pool of 153 applicants from southern Kyrgyzstan
                                                            to participate in the Journalism, Technology and
The library has always sought to inform visitors of         Leadership Winter Camp. Young motivated and
what they can do, and what new events are taking            enthusiastic students from Osh, Batken and Jalal-
place using posters and visual materials – but now,         Abad oblasts developed their technical and pro-
they are able to produce more professional items            fessional skills through IT training, journalism
in a fraction of the time using their new skills in         seminars, conflict mitigation classes, and leader-
PowerPoint.                                                 ship workshops in a week-long camp in Bishkek.

                                                            Each training participant of the camp developed
                                                            their own ―IT toolkit,‖ in order to better facilitate
                                                            the implementation of their journalism clubs at
                                                            schools. One of the participants, Minura Be-
                                                            gishbekova from Osh oblast commented: “Before I
                                                            never thought that IT knowledge might bring so
                                                            many different opportunities. I knew how to send
                                                            emails and search for information, however what
                                                            we learned during the IT day was truly amazing.”
  Jalal-Abad librarians used PowerPoint and Publisher       Using the knowledge she gained during the camp’s
    to create posters informing patrons of new DYD          IT toolkit training, one participant created a video
                activities in their library
                                                            about her experience in Bishkek:             http://
                                                            goo.gl/16Nkk


                                                        6
www.irex.org

In the evenings, Winter Camp participants had            news reports using the skills they developed dur-
informal sessions on teambuilding and networking.        ing prior sessions. A recording of the television
IREX involved ECA alumni to mentor evening ac-           journalism group’s reports is available for viewing
                                                         at http://goo.gl/2GPbE, while podcasts of the
                                                         radio journalism group’s reports are available at
                                                         http://goo.gl/S2Ylw.

                                                         Participant Jamilya Tashtanova shared that “This
                                                         camp has been great! Thanks to all its organizers,
                                                         I gained knowledge which will help me to achieve
                                                         my goals.” Tech Age Girl Janara Asizova added,
                                                         “The topics of the sessions were really interest-
                                                         ing, not only for DYD winter camp participants,
       TAG alumni helped Winter Camp partici-
                                                         but for us TAG alumni too.”
        pants open their own email accounts

tivities. UGRAD alumni Bermet Mambetshaeva and
Dastan Kasmamytov led ice-breaking games,
teambuilding activities, and showed journalism
movies.


 Day Two: From Students to new
 Journalists, Photographers,
 Leaders, and Peacemakers
                                                                  Trainer Mamasadyk Bagyshev explains
                                                                  journalistic principles and practices to
Starting from the second day of the camp, stu-
                                                                                participants
dents took part in an intensive course on journal-
ism and had sessions on leadership, conflict miti-
gation, and photography. The journalism seminars         Every day, after their intensive training sessions,
were conducted by Mamasadyk Bagyshev, FLEX               the camp participants had opportunities to be ex-
alum and a Director of Smart Media Group. Win-           posed to the ―real world‖ of journalism, meeting
ter camp participants learned about news and its         with important personalities from Kyrgyzstan’s
structure, types of reports, journalism club or-         various news and entertainment media, and tour-
ganization, how to set a news agenda, how to cre-        ing several of Bishkek’s media outlets.
ate a layout for a school newspaper, basics of in-
terviewing, and types of numbers that add to             Guest speakers throughout the week included rep-
good reporting.                                          resentatives from the radio, television, and online
                                                         journalism and media sectors in Kyrgyzstan. By
The students broke out into four groups, repre-          many accounts, however, the most exciting guest
senting television, radio, print, and online jour-       event during the week included a mock press con-
nalism. Each group worked to develop its own             ference with Kyrgyzstan’s famous musician,


                                                     7
www.irex.org

Kanykey, during which camp participants served           Otunchiev School came to hear them speak on
as the journalists.                                      their experience. The two participants enthusias-
                                                         tically explained to their peers about the value of
                                                         citizen journalism for a community, and rallied
                                                         the group to work with them to form their
                                                         school’s first ever journalism club.

                                                         Salamat, a student in attendance, shared her
                                                         thoughts on the talk: “I learned a lot of things
                                                         that I never knew before. This program really
                                                         gives great opportunities to both teachers and
                                                         students and I will definitely join the journalism
        Enthusiastic students at the DYD Winter
       Journalism Camp serve as journalists at a         club.” The camp alumni are working to form the
       press conference with famous Kyrgyzstan           club now, which will set out to create a school
                   musician Kanykey                      newspaper and publish it on their school website.
                                                         Meanwhile, Upon returning to Jalal-Abad, two
The speakers took time to answer questions from
the Winter Camp group, and many shared a com-
mon belief that in pursuing their futures as jour-
nalists or leaders in their communities, persever-
ance will be key.

“I really liked how open [the media representa-
tives] were; After talking to them I really want
to become a good journalist,” reflected partici-
pant Aisulu Abdubalit kyzy.

                                                                   DYD winter camp participants train a
                                                                  peer in video editing skills back home,
 Campers Take Action at Home
                                                         DYD Winter Camp participants have begun putting
 Returning to Their Homes, DYD                           their new IT skills to practice. Adilet Azimkanov
 Winter Camp Participants Begin                          and Jamila Tashtanova of School No. 14 created a
 Their Next Steps to Apply Their                         short video about their school using Windows
 Skills in Their Communities                             Movie Maker, a skill they learned for the first time
                                                         at the camp in Bishkek. The video has been
After returning from the DYD Winter Camp for             posted to Kyrgyzstan’s Educational Portal (link:
journalism, Minura Begishbek kyzy and Aisulu Ab-         http://goo.gl/fwZ2I) and also on the school’s
dubaly kyzy shared their impressions on their            website. The students are now working to train
week in Bishkek with fellow students at the Alay         their peers in the same skills that they learned, to
Library. In all, approximately 20 students from          share the knowledge with the entire youth com-
the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades of the nearby              munity.


                                                     8
www.irex.org

                                                           context of Kyrgyzstan, a sensitive issue for youth
 International Women’s Day 2011                            and adults in the country. All agreed, however,
                                                           that taking a girl away to be married against her
 DYD Students Discuss Tough Issues                         will—tradition or not—is a violent act against her
                                                           rights. Aitmatova concurred, adding that “Many
During the week of International Women’s Day               people consider that bride kidnapping is bad only
(March 8, 2011), more than 150 students and their          for the girl, but a man who kidnaps a girl to
teachers from 22 schools in Kyrgyzstan took part           marry her is forcing himself as well to live in an
in discussions on women’s rights and gender issues         unhappy marriage.”
with Rozetta Aitmatova, president of the
Women’s Help Center, and a published author on
the topic of bride kidnapping, a common problem
in some areas of Kyrgyzstan.

Before meeting with her online, the participating
students read a number of articles written by Ait-
matova for the national periodical We, on the
topic of bride kidnapping. The students then
logged on to Kyrgyzstan’s Educational Portal and
posted their opinions on what they read. The dis-
cussion was a unique opportunity for youth across
the country to sound off on a controversial issue
that directly impacts many families’ lives. Tok-
togul student Asel Biyalieva shared her view on
the topic, stating that “bride kidnapping is a
crime. In most cases, the girl will be unhappy
throughout her life, with her rights being ig-
nored. Boys should not commit a crime – rather,
they should try to find mutual love.”

Joining the discussion, Aitmatova explained in
greater detail the legality and cultural position of
bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan; while officially
illegal, Aitmatova suggested that the solution to
the matter lies not in prosecution of the crimes
                                                             In preparing for a discussion with Rozetta Aitmatova,
alone, but also in shedding light on how boys are              DYD students read articles about bride kidnapping
encouraged to commit these acts, often being de-
picted as ―heroes.‖

The discussion with Aitmatova also served as an
opportunity to debate whether bride kidnapping
should be considered a tradition in the cultural


                                                       9

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Digital Youth Dialogue_newsletter_march 2011

  • 1. >> Digital Youth Dialogue March News & Winter Camp Debrief Digital Youth Dialogue (DYD) is a program of the United States Embassy in Kyrgyzstan.
  • 2. www.irex.org >> In this Issue DYD Helps Bring New Training After Hard Days’ Work, Sessions to Kyrgyzstan’s Campers Meet with Schools Television Leaders in Kyr- gyzstan, See Bishkek’s Media Students Use IT Skills to Outlets with Their Own Eyes Research for Cultural Event Returning to Their Homes, Teachers Learn New Presen- DYD Winter Camp Partici- tation Approaches Using pants Begin Their Next Steps High-Tech Tools to Apply Their Skills in Their Communities DYD Libraries Provide New Knowledge, Opportunities for Community Members DYD Students Discuss Tough Issues During International Jalal-Abad Educator Uses Women’s Day Internet at Local Library to Enrich Lessons Librarians Using New IT Skills to Inform Patrons of Library Services Students from Across Kyrgyzstan Travel to Bishkek to Develop Skills, Start Citizen Journalism Clubs in Their Communities Day Two: From Students to Journalists, Photographers, Leaders, and Peacemakers 2
  • 3. www.irex.org Since Kasymov began his lessons for faculty and IT Training at Schools students, enthusiasm has only grown for technol- ogy. Aiturgan Kamal kyzy, a student at Abdyshev DYD Helps Bring New Training School, shared that ―I got valuable information Sessions to Kyrgyzstan’s Schools from the internet, thanks to the DYD program.” Abdyshev’s administration is just as enthusiastic Following his return from the Digital Youth Dia- about the new technology training program; “I logue (DYD) Training of Trainers in Bishkek on was pleasantly surprised by his initiative to con- January 8, 2011, Gulcho village’s Abdyshev school duct this training,” shared Adbyshev School direc- IT teacher Omurzak Kasymov has begun conduct- tor Altyn Moldokulova. ―I would encourage all our ing a series of training sessions for teachers and teachers to [take advantage] of these opportuni- students on basic computing skills and how to in- ties at work.” tegrate technology into the classroom. Meanwhile, in Jalal-Abad, students at School- Lyceum No. 14 are using the internet to research information to complete their school assignments. Students used to have to rely on obsolete text- books for their English lessons, but now that Digi- tal Youth Dialogue has helped connect their schools to the internet, they are able to find con- temporary information online to supplement their schoolbooks. Students are now learning how to properly search and discern useful educational tools and materials from search engine results online. English teacher Aliya Ganzina is very ex- IT trainings for students at Abdyshev School cited about the new developments at her school, sharing that “These new materials are good for developing [my students’] speaking and reading During the training, Kasymov is teaching educa- skills.” Ajara, a student in the 11th grade at tors at Abdyshev School how to properly use the School-Lyceum No. 14, wholeheartedly agrees: “It Microsoft Office Suite, in addition to giving them was very captivating to find these new things on their first experience with the internet in a pro- the internet. After [my teacher’s] lessons, we fessional context. Kasymov pointed the teachers managed to find resources online ourselves, and to the Educational Portal Bilimkeni.kg, where the we are learning a lot from them.” teachers registered for accounts and began to post on the teachers’ discussion forums. Mean- Students Use IT Skills to Research while, Kasymov taught students how to access in- formation on the internet and use Microsoft’s for Cultural Event Windows Movie Maker program to produce video content; the students have begun editing their On February 9, 2011, at Aitmatov School in Kara- own videos to capture life at their school and Suu, seven students used their new knowledge in their own personal successes. searching for cultural and educational resources 3
  • 4. www.irex.org online to find materials to host an event com- memorating the birthday of Uzbek poet Alisher Teachers Learn New Presentation Navoi, including recitals of his poetry, and a play Approaches Using High-Tech Tools about the life of Navoi. In January 2011, DYD IT teacher Odina Kosimova at Aitmatov School in Kara-Suu trained teachers on how to conduct more effective presentations in their careers using visual aids and tools like Micro- soft PowerPoint to capture their audience’s atten- tion. Students at Aitmatov School used internet research to plan an event on poet Alisher Navoi The students, ranging from the fifth to the elev- Teachers using new resources in enth grades, worked with their teachers to pre- their meetings at school pare for the poet’s birthday event. After receiving training on how to effectively use search engines, they used the Kyrgyz-language version of Google On January 27th, two of her teacher trainees con- Image Search to download images of Navoi and ducted a training session on curriculum planning decorate the school with them to promote the and student evaluation for 20 of their colleagues, event. In preparation for the play, the students during which they practiced their new skills in used Google.kg to research the life of the poet – creating engaging, high-tech presentation materi- tasks which were much more complicated in the als. In the past, teachers attending training ses- past, before DYD helped bring internet to Aitma- sions practically attended their own equivalent of tov School, previously using obscure textbooks a low-tech classroom, and trainers were forced to and old magazines as their only sources. Today, rely on old blackboards as a visual aid and spend- they were able to conduct their research and ing large amounts of time and energy re-creating preparation in a fraction of the time. materials for the trainees by hand. Today, pre- senters and trainers are learning how to captivate Aitmatov teacher Mahmuda Sheralieva com- their audiences with helpful visualizations and mented on the students’ work in preparing for diagrams, and are helping keep their audiences Alisher Navoi’s birthday event: “The students did engaged and receptive to new information. a good job. They were even able to find a lot of new information from the internet that we It definitely helped Barno Ergashboeva as she held teachers never even knew. We were amazed by her training: she reflected, “Thanks to the DYD their creativity.” program I learned what PowerPoint is; I had no 4
  • 5. www.irex.org idea before. I will definitely keep using [and modernized library: “Now that we have internet, making] presentations for my class.” I spend all my free time here,” she said. Jalal-Abad Educator Uses Internet at DYD in Kyrgyzstan’s Libraries Local Library to Enrich Lessons DYD Libraries Provide New The Jalal-Abad Oblast Library is becoming a com- Knowledge, Opportunities for munity gathering center where teachers, stu- dents, and youth looking for employment opportu- nities can assemble and learn how to use IT to Since being equipped with internet by the Digital benefit their lives. Youth Dialogue program, the Kyzyl-Kiya Library has helped over a hundred students and teachers better integrate technology into their lives to benefit learning. Teacher Aigul Djaratova uses the internet to improve her lessons One excellent example of the library’s new bene- ficiaries is Aigul Djaratova, a teacher at the Chil- dren’s Education Center in Jalal-Abad, does not Students practice their IT skills while have internet access where she works, nor does working on school assignments at the Kyzyl-Kiya library she have the personal finances to afford paying for the use of internet-connected computers at local internet cafes. At the library, however, she Many of the more than 90 students who have be- was able to access the internet for free, and she gun visiting the library regularly are now learning uses this resource to develop better lessons for for the first time how to use productivity applica- her students. Having recently designed a lesson tions for school; rather than writing everything by for her class on the topic of peace and friendship, hand, students are now learning how to create she was able to conduct her own research for the professional documents using word processing ap- lesson plan, and enriched its content with power- plications. Perizat Zyadinova, a student at Kyzyl ful imagery found online. In making use of educa- Kiya’s School No. 6, is very enthusiastic about the tional online resources and materials, she would- new opportunities for her at Kyzyl-Kiya’s newly n’t have known where to start, had it not been for 5
  • 6. www.irex.org internet training she attended at the library, held by DYD IT trainers. Djaratova took a moment to ―We often make posters and book exhibitions; express her gratitude for these new resources at using photos makes them look more visual and her disposal: “Thanks to the DYD program, we transfers the mood and content of the material,” have access to the internet and IT training, which explained Svetlana Krasovskaya, a Jalal-Abad li- are really important tools in achieving great re- brarian. “Using photos starts a [more] creative sults in our activities.” dialogue with people, and working with new tech- nologies helps us to develop professionally.” Librarians Using New IT Skills to Inform Patrons of Library Services DYD Winter Journalism Camp In December 2010, librarians at the Jalal-Abad Oblast Library received two weeks of IT training, Students from Across Kyrgyzstan thanks to the DYD program, including intensive Travel to Bishkek to Develop Skills, lessons on document creation using the Microsoft Start Citizen Journalism Clubs in Office Suite. Now, four of them are putting their Their Communities new skills to good use, creating posters for the library, explaining the library’s new services for From January 24 to 30, 2011, the 22 most tal- patrons and librarians’ new training experience ented and promising students were chosen from a since joining the DYD program. pool of 153 applicants from southern Kyrgyzstan to participate in the Journalism, Technology and The library has always sought to inform visitors of Leadership Winter Camp. Young motivated and what they can do, and what new events are taking enthusiastic students from Osh, Batken and Jalal- place using posters and visual materials – but now, Abad oblasts developed their technical and pro- they are able to produce more professional items fessional skills through IT training, journalism in a fraction of the time using their new skills in seminars, conflict mitigation classes, and leader- PowerPoint. ship workshops in a week-long camp in Bishkek. Each training participant of the camp developed their own ―IT toolkit,‖ in order to better facilitate the implementation of their journalism clubs at schools. One of the participants, Minura Be- gishbekova from Osh oblast commented: “Before I never thought that IT knowledge might bring so many different opportunities. I knew how to send emails and search for information, however what we learned during the IT day was truly amazing.” Jalal-Abad librarians used PowerPoint and Publisher Using the knowledge she gained during the camp’s to create posters informing patrons of new DYD IT toolkit training, one participant created a video activities in their library about her experience in Bishkek: http:// goo.gl/16Nkk 6
  • 7. www.irex.org In the evenings, Winter Camp participants had news reports using the skills they developed dur- informal sessions on teambuilding and networking. ing prior sessions. A recording of the television IREX involved ECA alumni to mentor evening ac- journalism group’s reports is available for viewing at http://goo.gl/2GPbE, while podcasts of the radio journalism group’s reports are available at http://goo.gl/S2Ylw. Participant Jamilya Tashtanova shared that “This camp has been great! Thanks to all its organizers, I gained knowledge which will help me to achieve my goals.” Tech Age Girl Janara Asizova added, “The topics of the sessions were really interest- ing, not only for DYD winter camp participants, TAG alumni helped Winter Camp partici- but for us TAG alumni too.” pants open their own email accounts tivities. UGRAD alumni Bermet Mambetshaeva and Dastan Kasmamytov led ice-breaking games, teambuilding activities, and showed journalism movies. Day Two: From Students to new Journalists, Photographers, Leaders, and Peacemakers Trainer Mamasadyk Bagyshev explains journalistic principles and practices to Starting from the second day of the camp, stu- participants dents took part in an intensive course on journal- ism and had sessions on leadership, conflict miti- gation, and photography. The journalism seminars Every day, after their intensive training sessions, were conducted by Mamasadyk Bagyshev, FLEX the camp participants had opportunities to be ex- alum and a Director of Smart Media Group. Win- posed to the ―real world‖ of journalism, meeting ter camp participants learned about news and its with important personalities from Kyrgyzstan’s structure, types of reports, journalism club or- various news and entertainment media, and tour- ganization, how to set a news agenda, how to cre- ing several of Bishkek’s media outlets. ate a layout for a school newspaper, basics of in- terviewing, and types of numbers that add to Guest speakers throughout the week included rep- good reporting. resentatives from the radio, television, and online journalism and media sectors in Kyrgyzstan. By The students broke out into four groups, repre- many accounts, however, the most exciting guest senting television, radio, print, and online jour- event during the week included a mock press con- nalism. Each group worked to develop its own ference with Kyrgyzstan’s famous musician, 7
  • 8. www.irex.org Kanykey, during which camp participants served Otunchiev School came to hear them speak on as the journalists. their experience. The two participants enthusias- tically explained to their peers about the value of citizen journalism for a community, and rallied the group to work with them to form their school’s first ever journalism club. Salamat, a student in attendance, shared her thoughts on the talk: “I learned a lot of things that I never knew before. This program really gives great opportunities to both teachers and students and I will definitely join the journalism Enthusiastic students at the DYD Winter Journalism Camp serve as journalists at a club.” The camp alumni are working to form the press conference with famous Kyrgyzstan club now, which will set out to create a school musician Kanykey newspaper and publish it on their school website. Meanwhile, Upon returning to Jalal-Abad, two The speakers took time to answer questions from the Winter Camp group, and many shared a com- mon belief that in pursuing their futures as jour- nalists or leaders in their communities, persever- ance will be key. “I really liked how open [the media representa- tives] were; After talking to them I really want to become a good journalist,” reflected partici- pant Aisulu Abdubalit kyzy. DYD winter camp participants train a peer in video editing skills back home, Campers Take Action at Home DYD Winter Camp participants have begun putting Returning to Their Homes, DYD their new IT skills to practice. Adilet Azimkanov Winter Camp Participants Begin and Jamila Tashtanova of School No. 14 created a Their Next Steps to Apply Their short video about their school using Windows Skills in Their Communities Movie Maker, a skill they learned for the first time at the camp in Bishkek. The video has been After returning from the DYD Winter Camp for posted to Kyrgyzstan’s Educational Portal (link: journalism, Minura Begishbek kyzy and Aisulu Ab- http://goo.gl/fwZ2I) and also on the school’s dubaly kyzy shared their impressions on their website. The students are now working to train week in Bishkek with fellow students at the Alay their peers in the same skills that they learned, to Library. In all, approximately 20 students from share the knowledge with the entire youth com- the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades of the nearby munity. 8
  • 9. www.irex.org context of Kyrgyzstan, a sensitive issue for youth International Women’s Day 2011 and adults in the country. All agreed, however, that taking a girl away to be married against her DYD Students Discuss Tough Issues will—tradition or not—is a violent act against her rights. Aitmatova concurred, adding that “Many During the week of International Women’s Day people consider that bride kidnapping is bad only (March 8, 2011), more than 150 students and their for the girl, but a man who kidnaps a girl to teachers from 22 schools in Kyrgyzstan took part marry her is forcing himself as well to live in an in discussions on women’s rights and gender issues unhappy marriage.” with Rozetta Aitmatova, president of the Women’s Help Center, and a published author on the topic of bride kidnapping, a common problem in some areas of Kyrgyzstan. Before meeting with her online, the participating students read a number of articles written by Ait- matova for the national periodical We, on the topic of bride kidnapping. The students then logged on to Kyrgyzstan’s Educational Portal and posted their opinions on what they read. The dis- cussion was a unique opportunity for youth across the country to sound off on a controversial issue that directly impacts many families’ lives. Tok- togul student Asel Biyalieva shared her view on the topic, stating that “bride kidnapping is a crime. In most cases, the girl will be unhappy throughout her life, with her rights being ig- nored. Boys should not commit a crime – rather, they should try to find mutual love.” Joining the discussion, Aitmatova explained in greater detail the legality and cultural position of bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan; while officially illegal, Aitmatova suggested that the solution to the matter lies not in prosecution of the crimes In preparing for a discussion with Rozetta Aitmatova, alone, but also in shedding light on how boys are DYD students read articles about bride kidnapping encouraged to commit these acts, often being de- picted as ―heroes.‖ The discussion with Aitmatova also served as an opportunity to debate whether bride kidnapping should be considered a tradition in the cultural 9