Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-18-2011

Abstract

Central Asia, once a part of the Soviet Union, is located between China, Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Kyrgyzstan (KG) is a small country with a population of 5.5 million people, 20% of the population living within two cities, the capital, Bishkek, and the second largest city of Osh.1 Mountains are the most distinctive physical feature, covering more than two thirds of the country and separating certain areas from others with only a small mountain pass as the means of travel. Surprisingly, the average American knows very little about Central Asia, much less Kyrgyzstan. Therefore, I decided to share my experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) working in the Naryn Education Center (NEC) in Naryn, KG. My organization reflects a common story of the contemporary successes and struggles of non-governmental organizations (NGO)2 in KG and Central Asia. This case study of one organization will provide a good presentation of how far KG has developed since gaining independence from the Soviets in 1991, and how far the country still has to go in order to develop a civil society. Additionally, I will explain how international organizations working in KG assist many of the basic financial and training needs of local organizations, increasing their dependence on outside funding and resource development. Many national and local NGOs receive international financial help. This dependency deserves intimate review to see why and how this process has influenced the development of civil society (CS) in this country.

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