Central Asia Young Life Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked and mountainous country bordered by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and China. It has struggled for political stabilization among ethnic conflicts, civil revolts, economic troubles and transitional governments. Human trafficking is of such concern that it is recommended women under the age of 23 not travel without a parent or spouse. The country's economy has been affected by the breakup of the Soviet trading block, resulting in a loss of markets and a dependency on other countries for oil. Islam is the dominant religion with a growing influence in the country's politics. Due to the 2010 civil war, more than 300,000 people were displaced and many children left as orphans.
Young Life has been a stabilizing presence during these times of unrest, providing support and care at the Young Life Center in Bishkek. Our local area director continues to maintain good relations with the government authorities and has been given the position of Advisor of Youth Affairs. We also have a presence in the schools providing mentoring, scholarships and transitional housing for the many orphans in this region.