With massive mountains, glaciers, and ice blue alpine lakes, Kyrgyzstan lies landlocked within Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is a country of incredible natural beauty and a proud nomadic tradition where herders still continue to graze their animals on pastured steppes today. Kyrgyz are renowned for their hospitably and guests are often treated to fermented mare’s milk and bowls of fresh yoghurt.
Kyrgyzstan bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east. More than half of this country lies at an elevation higher than 2,500m. Glaciers and permanent snowfields cover more than three percent of Kyrgyzstan's total land area.
The masterpiece of the nomadic folk creation is the Kyrgyz yurta, a small transportable dwelling that is easily dismantled, carried on pack animals and set up again. Yurta are often decorated with hand-made felt carpets and items that are beautifully saturated with colour and also have practical applications.
The Kyrgyz make up the majority of the population of Kyrgyzstan, while Uzbeks account for about 15% and Russians, who have a significant presence in the north and in the capital, Bishkek. Bishkek is the most densely populated city in Kyrgyzstan. Many minority groups also exist within this country’s borders such as Chinese, Dungan, Tatars, Uighurs and Germans. With a mix of populations, Kyrgyzstan is one of the most ethnically diverse populations in Asia.
Along with the projects listed for Kyrgyzstan, there are many other short term projects and events within communities that work outside the larger project umbrellas. Some of these are pilot projects in new areas, some of them are requested by the communities we are working with. In all of these projects we seek to have community initiative and capacity building as central to our work.