In Kyrgyzstan, we work in several areas to support older men and women. These include:
- Social protection: We work with the Ministry of Social Protection to ensure older people are included in social protection policies.
- Migration: We work with local partners and older people's groups to support households affected by migration; often called skipped generation households.
- Livelihoods: We support age-appropriate livelihoods, for example poultry breeding and small-scale farming, so older people can keep earning a living.
- Health: We work on diabetes prevention and treatment by partnering with local NGOs and older people's groups to promote healthy lifestyles.
- Rights: We work to educate older people about their rights, age discrimination and abuse.
Life story: Tamara, 68
Doctors found high levels of sugar in Tamara’s blood; however she can’t afford to buy the medicine she needs.
Thanks to a HelpAge project on diabetes prevention and self-management, Tamara has set up an older people’s self-help group.
(c) HelpAge International
She said: “We meet every month. We measure our blood pressure and blood sugar and share advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle.
“Our group takes part in activities on World Health Day, International Day of Older People and other Age Demands Action campaigns. We always raise issues related to older people’s health.
“Some members of our group are bedridden so we visit them at home and take them some food.
“I also work for the Science Academy as a janitor. It’s a hard job because I have to stay there at night. I work because my pension is small and I need money to live.
“I try to keep active and being part of the self-help group helps me stay motivated and feel better.”
Supporting older people in Kyrgyzstan
Over the last year, we have supported older people in many areas.
- We were part of the working group that developed a programme for social development, which included several recommendations to benefit older men and women, such as providing better benefits and services based on older people's needs.
- We have inputted into the pension reform that is being developed by the Social Fund and its partners. We suggested the pension system be more transparent, simple and user-friendly.
- We have worked with partners and the Ministry of Health to develop a geriatric service and gerontology centre in Bishkek.
- Through our Age Demands Action campaign, we have influenced the health sector in a number of ways. Topics including gerontology and diseases in older age will now be included in the Kyrgyz State Medical Academy curriculum.
- To address the possibility of civil conflict, we have established a network in 30 communities in the south of Kyrgyzstan to identify, address and monitor these issues with a particular focus on vulnerable and disadvantaged families.
We will continue:
- Ensuring ageing is included in the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Working with UN agencies to ensure more action is taken to address population ageing.
- Strengthening local movements of older people and working with Age Demands Action activists to improve their advocacy skills and participation in national and global actions.
Fighting diabetes in Kyrgyzstan
Resource Center for the Elderly
Babushka Adoption, ADRA, Ministry of Social Development in KR, Ministry of Health in KR, UN Women, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Association of Crisis Centres in Kyrgyzstan, Public Association for Social Protection of the Population (PASSP), Federation of Self Help Groups, Age Net, Association of specialists on Non-communicable diseases, Diabetes and Endocrinological Association of Kyrgyzstan, Rural Advisory Service (RAS), International NGO Training and Research Center (INTRAC, Foundation for Tolerance International (FTI), Association of Development Initiatives (ADI), Tomato Extension project (TES Centre), Legal Assistance to Rural Citizens (LARC).
The Delegation of the European Union in the KR, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), DIPECHO/ACTED, World Diabetes Fund, Big Lottery Fund, Age International