WHO WE ARE
Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan (SFK) - an international non-governmental private foundation - aims to create conditions in the Kyrgyz Republic for an open society by supporting the development of public institutions and initiatives in all spheres of public life. An open society means: freedom and diversity of opinion in all spheres of life, development of the rule of law and the opportunity for all members of society to equally participate in development processes. The foundation was set up by the Open Society Institute headed by George Soros, the global financier and world-renowned philanthropist. SFK is part of an international network, which includes the national Soros foundations in many countries of the world. The foundation began its work in the country in 1993 and was officially registered with the Ministry of Justice of the KR in late 1995.
Since its foundation, Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan has consistently continued to support civic initiatives in various areas such as legal, education and economic reforms, media support, NGOs, academia and promoting initiatives in the areas of public policy, health and culture. To finance these initiatives, SFK has awarded more than USD 79 million in non-repayable grants.
WHERE WE WORK
Since the beginning of 2014, Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan began to implement its strategy for 2014-2017. The new strategy encompasses the traditional areas of the foundation such as human rights, public health, access to information, transparency in the mining and energy sectors and the involvement of youth in social change.
Equality, fairness and transparency are the main priorities of Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan. These three themes form the main objectives within the strategy. To date, the foundation has identified six thematic areas within which the programs will focus their activities.
Within the thematic objectives, preference will be given to the issues that are top priorities in the national agenda of Kyrgyzstan where the foundation’s support may provide a unique opportunity to ensure progress and improvement.
THE WAY WE WORK
The foundation’s work is governed by the strategic resolutions and recommendations of the SFK Supervisory Board and the Open Society Foundations and is implemented in close cooperation with partners from government institutions, NGOs and international organizations.
Every year, each program implements on average 20 to 30 operational and grant projects.
The projects are implemented through open competition with the programs’ Expert Commissions making decisions on grants announced via mass media or special projects. Decisions on funding are made during Expert Commissions meetings or Supervisory Board meetings when the program budget is approved.
PROGRAMS IMPLEMENTED IN KYRGYZSTAN
The Public Health Program aims to support ideas aimed at ensuring equal rights for vulnerable, marginalized groups to public health services.
The Education Program will work to create the conditions for improving access to education for children with special educational needs and for socially vulnerable groups of the population. The program will also contribute to the promotion of standards and tools to manage multicultural and multiethnic education environments in order to strengthen the role of the school as the center of societal life.
The Law Program aims to reform the criminal justice system to meet international standards for the protection of human rights, improve the system of providing legal assistance guaranteed by the state and effective documentation in investigations of torture and ill-treatment.
The Youth Program aims to create a sustainable environment for youth development through the introduction of new formats and platforms for youth interaction and communication. The program will also focus on youth involvement in the processes of social change, strengthen the capacity of youth activists and generally promote the cooperation of regional youth.
The Natural Resources Governance Program is aimed at finding effective tools and mechanisms for community engagement in local economic development and the promotion of dialogue and cooperation between citizens and institutions of governance as well as investors and local authorities.
The Freedom of Information Program aims to improve access to information in three key areas such as digital broadcasting, open educational resources and information in national minority languages.