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11 April 2021

What Does COVID-19 Mean to Kyrgyz Citizens?

11 April 2021

Mayram Karmysheva and Adylbek kyzy Dilbara, nurses from the village of Kuntuu, Chui oblast.

The University of Central Asia’s Civil Society Initiative (CSI) has launched a project to record the experiences of people in Kyrgyzstan during the COVID pandemic. “COVID: Voices of Kyrgyzstani People” aims to not only record it’s impact on the personal lives of people, but also the important role played by civil society organizations on a scale never seen before. All stories can be found on the project website:

Pain, loss of loved ones or acquaintances, worry and patience, will and hope... the list goes on. Kyrgyzstan lived through 2020, a year of relentless fight against the coronavirus, searching for solutions during this difficult crisis that came as a result of the pandemic.

Much has already been erased from memories, but no one will forget “Black July” and people's desperate attempts to save themselves from mass infection. To know and remember how the country fought COVID-19 a year ago, the Civil Society Initiative of UCA’s Graduate School of Development launched a project “Covid: Voices of Kyrgyzstani People” to provide a record of society’s experiences during the pandemic and to track the role played by civil society organizations.

This resource includes the views of key decision-makers in the fight against the pandemic; true stories of all participants, including volunteers, doctors, health workers, media representatives, economists, education officials, ministers of health, deputy prime ministers, members of the Anti-COVID-19 Headquarters, city mayors, regional governors, local Kenesh and Jogorku Kenesh deputies, community leaders and experts. The resource is based on real stories culled from interviews, and is open to adding new stories.

CSI was established in 2017 to foster a more enabling policy and administrative environment for civil society’s development and help build the organization capacity of civil society groups.

The website is a part of project “Increasing access to comprehensive and reliable information on Coronavirus for journalists in Kyrgyzstan", supported by the British Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic.