Students Discover Their Potential at Civic Leadership Camps

120 secondary school students from all over Kyrgyzstan participated in summer camps in Osh and Issyk-Kul in August to learn critical thinking, leadership skills, teamwork, civic values, and community engagement.  The camps included innovative, interactive activities such as educational games, role plays, and multimedia training to provide youth opportunities to learn both how to lead and to work as a team for the good of their communities.  These annual camps are hosted by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“The camp is a well-designed program that helps students discover their potential through creative theater classes, art, and multimedia.  Here, mind and soul come together!” shared Shamil Dyikanbaev, who led the theater classes.

During the ten-day camps, students learned to design projects that tackle problems and issues in their communities and schools.  Previous camp participants have returned to their communities to develop concerts to raise funds for orphanages, leadership trainings for teachers, and camps for other students, among others.  Several of these camp alumni shared their experiences at the camp to inspire others to seek opportunities to help their communities.

“I like everything here — the trainers, the classes, and the evening presentations.  The classes are both informative and useful,” said camp participant Ilya Ageyev.

This year, students also discussed the electoral process and the importance of voting.

For the past two years, the camps have welcomed students living with disabilities, who worked and learned alongside their peers. These students were an inspiration to their peers and taught all participants the importance of a society that values all its members.

IFES and USAID have worked in partnership with the people of Kyrgyzstan for over 20 years to promote sustainable democratic development and civic engagement.

Contact person: Bermet Mameyeva, IFES Program Specialist, Tel.: 312 612602, Email: