Kyrgyzstan’s youth is characterised by a climate of resignation and lack of perspective. They account for a third of the population but also for more than 40% of the unemployed - those employed in the informal sector, in subsistence farming or who stay at home as spouse without income - and only 26% of the adolescents finished professional training. Few job opportunities and low wages lead to emigration of the qualified workforce, high unemployment, and increase of social tensions. In other words, Kyrgyz youth has no opportunity of social and economic participation.
ICON-INSTITUT supports state and non-governmental stakeholders in considering the younger population’s concerns while drafting and implementing youth policies. The participation of youth in developing those policies is crucial for their success. The Youth Promotion Fund serves as a source of finance for various activities. For instance, Youth-NGOs receive support in developing project ideas and in applying for funding. Graduates of youth counseling courses receive mini-grants to invest in small projects and receive first experience in project management. ICON-INSTITUT also encourages the further development of sustainable education offers, improving the chances of the young Kyrgyz in finding jobs. ICON-INSTITUT’s contribution has strengthened the exchange of experience and knowledge between Kyrgyz stakeholders, local and international partners on how to improve the quality of youth promotion activities. As such, study trips, participation at conferences, internships, or the exchange of specialized staff have been highly encouraged.