Kyrygzstan New Zealand Rural Trust

The mountain communities of rural Kyrgyzstan are amongst the most poverty stricken in the world. Many families were plunged into poverty through no fault of their own, but by the actions of governments and they are tossed around on the tide of world events much worse than we are. Helping the Kyrgyz people find a way to get themselves out of this poverty is what our charity organisation is all about and we need your help now. We equip them with the tools to rise above adversity and not only survive but improve quality of life for their families.

A little bit of New Zealand goes a long way here. We are proud of the difference our charity organisation is making, and with your support we can help many more villages to lift themselves out of poverty. Tiny places like the province of Naryn oblast in central Kyrgyzstan are off the radar for international aid and that is the driver for the KNZRT. Without us the future is grim here – we are the only development agency working in some villages.

Donate to our charity and you can develop a relationship with a particular family, a group of families or even a village. However you choose to donate, you will be kept updated on the progress being made with your particular family, group or village. Please visit our donations page to see how money donated helps the villages of Kyrgyzstan.

The Kyrgyzstan New Zealand Rural Trust is Helping to Fight Poverty

The Kyrgyzstan New Zealand Rural Trust is working to improve the livelihoods of the poverty stricken people of rural Kyrgyzstan. We began with the province of Naryn oblast, improving livestock production, adding value to primary products and teaching income generating skills to women and youth. We know a quick fix is not enough and that is why we focus on teaching skills and sharing knowledge to make communities self sufficient and to teach them about economic growth.

Our approach to working in villages is very much based around groups of people working together. By harnessing the “power of the group” we enhance the potential for strong outcomes. As a result, many groups, like those in the remote villages of Tashbashat, Ak Muz, Taldy Suu and Jylanaryk have shown great success and cohesion, allowing them to overcome many of the livelihood limitations put on them by their high altitude (and 1,800-2,500 metres above sea level) and cold climates. Many villages are already thinking of opportunities for expansion and diversification.

The present programme has two main threads:

Poverty to help fight poverty including potato production and storage, goat production, bakery, sewing shops, milk processing and pasteurizing. Most of these projects have a “social obligation” element where the first group of families assisted under the project help other families in the community.
Livestock performance projects include improving wintering barns and establishment of sainfoin (a high altitude legume) to improve feed quality.

Future programmes include support for a microcredit agency which will offer Grameen Bank style loans to poor families. This is a small loan to groups requiring no collateral but where the group is jointly responsible for repayment. The loans are for setting up income generating activities as well as continuing the successful pro-poor and livestock improvement subprojects.

Kyrgyzstan is a small, mountainous nation in Central Asia (199,900 sq km), located along the famous Silk Road between China and Eastern Europe. It became independent in 1991 at the collapse of the Soviet Union and is one of the poorest countries in the world. Kyrgyzstan is 45 degrees north, while New Zealand’s south island is about 45 degrees south.

The mountain regions of Kyrgyzstan enjoy warm, dry summers, and long, harsh winters. Most rain falls in spring, and temperatures are typically negative 20 to 30 degrees c in winter, while summer temperatures are in the 25 to 35 degrees c range.

Kyrgyzstan’s three main economic resources are fertile land and pastures, water, and some gold. It is a spectacularly beautiful country and the Kyrgyz people have a fascinating culture. As a result, Kyrgyzstan has potential for tourism growth. The Kyrgyzstan New Zealand Rural Trust is designed to educate the Kyrgyz people in many local trades and improve economic growth and stability.