American University of Central Asia Room 315 - 8th April 2012

The American University of Central Asia played host to a workshop/seminar hosted by British Human Rights organization Restless Beings. Having recently registered to carry out social work in Kyrgyzstan, Restless Beings approached the University in early April to arrange this special workshop.

Restless Beings began its field research in the spring of 2011 in and around Bishkek on the issue of non consensual Ala Kachuu (Bride Kidnapping). Having previously worked alongside Kyz Kogon and Dr Russell Kleinbach (Professor at AUCA), Restless Beings have decided to begin operations in Kyrgyzstan to work towards the long term education against non consensual bride kidnapping and in the short term to provide counseling and a degree of comfort for victims of Ala Kachuu.

The workshop was attended well, with delegates from a number of local NGO’s, student groups, and student media. Under the title of “Creating Change Through Awareness’ the delegates were keen to gather to learn from Restless Beings, how they had previously marketed campaigns at different audiences to raise awareness and funds.

“The workshop was very useful and I especially liked the methods of social marketing” – Urmat Nasykulov, PR Manager, Sezim

Restless Beings kicked off the workshop by explaining to delegates how the objective of the workshop was to work together as a community of interested parties to affect the long term removal of non consensual bride kidnapping. The workshop itself was split into three clear sections:

  • Current Campaigns
  • Modeling campaigns from previous examples
  • Creating engaging campaigns.

In the first section, the floor was opened to the delegates to present their campaigns against non-consensual bride kidnapping. OpenLine presented a range of leaflets and posters that it had hoped to distribute across the city and further. Alongside this, students who were in attendance were keen to add their feedback on the campaigns that led to a lively discussion.

This section was then followed by a short presentation of how campaigns against smoking have worked internationally and also how Restless Beings have used media to raise awareness and funds. Delegates were impressed by the presentations and were eager to learn how they could benefit from using media and creativity.

The workshop concluded with a lively and hugely interactive session on how marketing and resources can be used to create campaigns which were not only engaging but also effective. Restless Beings concluded the workshop by showing a creative campaign which you will be to see for the first time at our May Kukusanya event :)

The workshop proved to be a massive success with the delegates and it is hoped that Restless Beings will be able to hold similar seminars and workshops with American University of Central Asia in the near future.

“Very fascinating, useful and a relevant discussion which needs to be had more often” – Kendzhiev Diyaz, Student, UMD

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