Youth and adults learn how to improve relationships

TEXT: Erkin Abakirov – 10. July 2020

Misunderstandings in relations between the older and younger generations, communication problems between people, as well as unresolved relationships between parents and their children, spouses and other family members, were acute during the quarantine period caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, when people had to spend more time at home. Almost every day, the news speaks of the increasing incidence of suicide among youth and domestic violence.

As a reaction to this situation, at the beginning of 2020 the YOU project team, funded by Helvetas Kyrgyzstan and implemented by the Youth of Osh and Progress Aravan public associations, reoriented to the online training form. The project team together with the Kyrgyz Academy of Education held a two-week online marathon “Intergenerational Dialogue and Personal Development” for 11 families from the cities of Osh, Jalal-Abad, Uzgen and Myrza-Aki and Kurshab villages in June.

A feature of the online marathon was that both young people and their parents participated in it. The participants of the marathon were frank in expressing their expectations, opinions on the effectiveness of the practice and exercises.

«From the beginning of the marathon, I noticed a big change in myself. I became more productive, energetic and I am incredibly grateful to the coaches and organizers, because they taught the methods and skills that are priceless. First, the most important thing is that our relations with parents have improved, we have resolved our differences and misunderstandings. Secondly, now I understand what are my strengths and weaknesses and I am already in the process of improving myself. We learned how to speak, listen and hear the other person correctly, to meditate and correctly resolve conflicts, and if more people knew these methods and skills, their life would have changed for the better»

One of the participants of the online marathon

The YOU project is aimed at establishing a dialogue between young and adult generations through practical work. The project is actively working with government agencies to transfer and adapt this methodology to the Ministry of Education through a specialized structure - the Kyrgyz Academy of Education.

«Today, the main figure, both in education and in concept, should be the child himself. This project has covered important areas. First: questions of self-identity, meditation, that is, a person searches, asks questions and finds answers in himself, cares about himself and other people, and determines his attitude to others. Second: relationship with others, especially with parents and teachers; intergenerational relationships are being built. I would like to note that since 1960, a lot of researches have been conducted in the world, and according to the results of these researches, the skills and competencies of interpersonal communication are in the first place today»

Toktomametov Almazbek Datkabekovich, President of the Kyrgyz Academy of Education

Currently, the project is aimed at developing a guide for teachers to conduct special classes aimed at personal development, self-knowledge, increasing self-esteem and empowering youth in order to build a dialogue with adult generation, so that young people can speak openly about their needs with the older generation and could develop.

Empirical pedagogy, according to which the exercises of the educational program are carried out, is fundamentally different from the school curriculum and causes great interest both among students and teachers.