Kyrgyz people are known among travelers as being extremely welcoming and always ready to help if needed. And it seems there is no exception to this tradition in the times of Covid19. Original solidarity initiatives are being undertaken to find solutions and help the country fight the pandemic.
Like most of the world, Kyrgyzstan is suffering from a shortage of masks to face the Covid19 pandemic. But a small social workshop held by women who are fighting or survived cancer came up with an original solution. The seamstresses of “Together for life” started sewing reusable masks for the population. And all the profit from their sales is used to buy lifesaving medicine for women on cancer treatment.
« We make sure our masks are of good quality because we know better than anyone how much health matters,” they wrote on their Facebook page. As soon as it announced it was selling masks, the workshop was overflowed by orders it had to turn down, so other social workshops took up the task, including another workshop held by cancer patients, “Kurdash worshop”, and the “Social sewing workshop” which employs young orphaned adults.
Many Kyrgyz decided to help these workshops in return by offering to volunteer or buying extra sewing machines.
Another good example of solidarity from Kyrgyzstan: the pharmaceutical company Santo distributed 15000 free medical masks in the streets of Bishkek to encourage citizens to help one another. “Those who have already visited our country always underline the kindness and generosity of the Kyrgyz people. We know that here, no one will be left on their own if they need help. It’s our first reaction. And that’s why we decided to give out free masks. We want to show people that we are together and that together, we will make it,” said the company.
The Kyrgyz government opened a crowd funding campaign for the fight against Covid19. Politicians, businessmen and citizens have already generously contributed. Some people have also offered to buy testing kits or safety equipment for medical workers. Volunteers are goig grocery shopping for the elderly or bringing food for vulnerable families.
As the Kyrgyz proverb says: « Friendship wins all » (Ырыс алды ынтымак «Yrys aldy yntymak »).