“We’ll meet again, Don’t know where, don’t know when, But I know we’ll meet again, Some sunny day.” -Vera Lynn
The quote above reflects the entire project which we spent time together almost 2 years under one unit of Bridge Between Europe and Asia Called Synergy. In July 2019, our Bridge Team from seven different countries met on the last project of the Study Visit Program in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyzstan is a country surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the mountain. It is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west and southwest, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east. The capital of Kyrgyzstan is Bishkek.
Bishkek is the largest city in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan’s recorded history spans over 2,000 years, encompassing a variety of cultures and empires. Kyrgyzstan has been at the crossroads of several great civilizations as part of the Silk Road and other commercial and cultural routes.
The study visit in Biskek focused on youth entrepreneurship. This program aims to understand the difference of entrepreneurship in Asia and Europe, learning and sharing programs through several workshop activities during a visit to youth summer camp (Jashtyk Camp) and provide an international and multicultural stage to show entrepreneurship.
Five days program packed with several activities including meeting with interesting people and young entrepreneurs, organizations, the workshop also panel discussion during our visit to Youth Camp (Jashtyk Camp) in Kyrgyzstan. The study visit event started on 14th July and last on 19th July 2019. We arrived in Bishkek on the 14th of July and gathering together with other participants on welcoming dinner hosted by our partner organization in Kyrgyzstan, Ella from the Institute for Youth Development Organization.
The average weather in Kyrgyzstan in July was quite hot around 40 degrees, but we are still happy and enjoy the vibe. The next day, on the 15th of July, We began our program day by a visited a local entrepreneur named Kellin Na Chad in Bishkek whose runs three different branches of business including traditional event organizer, coffee shop and co-working space.
We also had great opportunities to visit organization which focused on youth development named Enactus and In-Stream Organization. During our visit, We learned how the organizations shared best practices for supporting young entrepreneurs in Kyrgyzstan.
On the second day of our visit, We spent by divided our team into a panel group and workshop for tomorrow’s event in Jashtyk camp (youth summer camp in Kyrgyzstan for students around 13-18 years old). We also visited Association school for social entrepreneurship and owner of Bridge Hotel with an eco-tourism concept that supporting the local entrepreneurs to develop their own business. In the afternoon, we got a chance to see more Kyrgyz culture by visiting the Supara Eco tourism place in Bishkek.
The next day, we went to Jashtyk Camp. Which were camp for youth in Kyrgyzstan. There were around 200 participants during the Summer Camp Programs. We took around two hours to reach the place from our accommodation. The camp located somewhere around the forest and far from the crowd. Our activity in the Camp started by did a panel discussion and we share about our organization activities in our countries to the participants.
We were invited to visit their group camp after the panel discussion finished. They invited us to join their lunch together and we spent our time cross multicultural talks and sharing knowledge also an idea. I shared culture in Indonesia and they were very enthusiastic and they said, they will perform a different country during the night intercultural program.
In the afternoon, we delivered some different kinds of workshops in different places. So, the participant could choose which kind of workshop will they join for. The workshop activities namely about creative thinking, intercultural communication, social entrepreneurship, project management, and other creative activities.
We close our day in the camp by spend dinner together in their camp. We sing their traditional song, heard their traditional food story and having fun together. We love our visit to the camp. We gained knowledge, creative ideas, new experience, cultural learning and of course networking also have lots of new friends from other countries.
The next morning, We came to IDEA Office in Bishkek. The organization focus on youth empowerment specialized in the debate training program in Central Asia. We also got an opportunity to visit DODO Pizza. The owner of DODO Pizza shared about their experience in the field of entrepreneurship in Kyrgyzstan as well as their management system of the business. We were lucky to see the pizza making and see their kitchen.
After the visit program, we got a chance to saw the scenery of Ala Archa National Park. The Ala Archa has become one of the most visited places in Kyrgyzstan. With snow-covered peaks rising above 4,500 meters (15,000 feet), unique alpine wildlife and fast-flowing rivers. We went hiking in the mountains there and took some pictures of the beautiful scenery around the national parks.
During the last meeting of the Bridge Project, we spent our last dinner together in Kyrgyzstan. We evaluated the whole project and talks about future cooperation. Lot of things that we can see and learn from this project also from the country and other countries that join this project, besides the multicultural society, the beauty, and amazing scenery and history, and the way the government and NGO tried to increase entrepreneurship among the society. After all, we do learn a lot from this study visit. We learned a great experience, about their government, the culture, the history, the business, youth, and entrepreneurship. Thank you very much for all the Bridge Team.