Older people in Central Asia

Central Asia

Learn about HelpAge network members in Central Asia.



ARDAGER is an NGO established in 2000 in Astana to work on advocacy, recreation, health, education and training. It provides help through juridical, medical and technical support to improve the quality of life of older people. ARDAGER advocates with policymakers and has influence throughout the wider region.

ARDAGER became a HelpAge global network member in 2013.


Resource Center for Elderly

Established in 1991, Umut-Balykchy was one of the first Kyrgyz NGOs. In 2003, it changed its name to Resource Center for Elderly (RCE).
They work on issues that affect older people, including social protection, financial and legal advice and education. RCE also disseminates information on issues concerning older people and builds networks to strengthen their voice.

RCE offers a variety of services to older people. These include legal advice, humanitarian support, education on nutrition, self-help groups, medical help and micro-financing.

RCE is a member of other networks such as AgeNet International. Indeed, they are an important part of advocacy work to improve older people’s quality of life in Kyrgyzstan. They also lobby to improve older people’s access to basic social services.

RCE began working with HelpAge International in 2003 and became a HelpAge global network member in 2005.


Babushka Adoption

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kyrgyzstan ended up in an economic crisis. The provision of basic social services became a big question and Kyrgyz citizens who worked hard all their lives had no guarantee of getting a decent pension. At the same time, the cost of living was growing, and many citizens migrated in search of work, leaving older people without means of survival. In 1999 the Babushka Adoption project was established, with financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), to help the most vulnerable older people in Kyrgyzstan who could not support themselves, by starting a sponsorship program for them. In 2004, the project received its independence and became the Babushka Adoption Charitable Foundation.

Babushka Adoption Foundation is working to improve the lives of older adults through social and financial support, mobilisation of the senior citizens, protection of their rights and promotion of their interests on a national level. Babushka means “Granny” or an older lady in Russian. The term “adoption” refers to individual sponsorship, providing financial support to lonely older adults in extreme poverty.

Its core mission is to give love, hope and dignity to older people, a vulnerable group of people who were particularly affected by the socio-economic crisis in Kyrgyzstan after the collapse of the USSR. Babushka Adoption aims to improve the lives of older people in the Kyrgyz Republic by providing social and financial support and by protecting and promoting their rights and interests.

They focus on sponsorship programmes; home care help; humanitarian aid delivery; support of self-help groups; establishing and supporting older peoples’ day care centres in rural areas and income generation projects.


Central Asia Gerontology Centre

One of the founders of AgeNet International, the regional ageing network in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. The Central Asian Gerontology Centre is actively engaged in improving the quality of life of older people in Tajikistan at a high methodological level. They also established humanitarian assistance and development programmes.

The Central Asian Gerontology Centre is the first organization in the Central Asian region that, at the initiative of the Department of the United Nations Secretariat for Economic and Social Affairs, conducted a National survey on ageing in Tajikistan.

The organization is the initiator of the creation of the gerontological service in Tajikistan; awarded by Grundwing prize for the best project on working with older people.