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December 01, 2009

ABA ROLI Hosts Sustainability Workshop for Kyrgyz Street Law Centers

December 2009 

From November 15–16, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) conducted a workshop on financial sustainability of street law centers in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The event was attended by representatives of five street law centers and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Aidar Mambetov, executive director of the Association of Civil Society Support Centers and an expert on financial sustainability of NGOs led the training, while Aida Kurbanova, an organizational development expert, assisted. The workshop focused on the skills needed to build and maintain financially sustainable organizations. A session of the workshop discussed the development of financial plans, covering critical components including vision, mission, risks and strategy.

Participants expressed commitment to maintaining financially stable street law programs throughout the country. The street law centers’ personnel also vowed to work to strengthen the financial capacity of their centers.

Later in November, the Osh and Batken street law centers had their first discussion club meetings for religious and secular school students, during which participants mapped out future plans. The Osh discussion club members chose topics—including school bullying and extortion, corruption in schools and school uniforms—to discuss in their upcoming meetings. They also developed a program, including plans to attend a trial, to visit a correctional facility for juvenile offenders, a passport department and a customs office, and to invite lawyers, investigators, judges and representatives of local registry offices to attend meetings. In Batken, participants discussed bride kidnapping, exchanging views on its causes and ideas for its prevention in the villages where it is widely practiced.

The street law program in Kyrgyzstan, which ABA ROLI launched in 2001, provides public legal education on the importance of the rule of law, human rights and democratic principles to secondary school students. Law students serve as trainers.

To learn more about our work in Kyrgyzstan, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <[email protected]>.