Kyrgyzstan is a Central Asian country with a population of more than 5 million people. Covering an area of 198,500 sq km,
it borders Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Western China’s Xinjiang Province. The capital of the country is Bishkek.
About 94% of Kyrgyzstan is mountainous with an average elevation of 2,750 m. The country is known for its natural beauty
and its picturesque scenery. There are numerous alpine lakes; the most famous in the country is Issyk-Kul at 170km long and 70km wide. It is the second largest alpine lake in the world. Other alpine lakes in the country include Song-Köl, Ala-Köl, and
Kyrgyzstan is a country of contrasts. There are endless mountain ranges covered with eternal snows, vibrant colored alpine
meadows, rugged rivers, and calm blue lakes. The country is rich in cultural and historical heritage at the heart of the Central
Asian steppes. The smell of wormwood, views of jagged rock formations, deep glaciers, and emerald green valleys make
Kyrgyzstan a dreamy reality. Kyrgyzstan is on the ancient Silk Road trading route; it offers many opportunities to explore
Islamic culture and Muslim traditions.
Our volunteer programs are located in the northeastern region of Kyrgyzstan, in the town of Karakol. The town is the
administrative centre of the Issyk-Kul Oblast. The town is a base for exploring the central Tien Shan Mountain range and
Karakol is situated near the pearl of the country – Issyk-Kul Lake. The lake is at the bottom of a deep tectonic hollow, with an
elevation of 1610 m above sea level. From all directions the Teskey and KungeyAla-Too mountain peaks surround the lake.
Snow capped year-round, some of these mountains reach elevations of more than 5000 meters. Eighty rivers feed the lake
with crystal-clear water. The climate around the lake is more moderate than the rest of the country, there is no exhausting
heat or deep frost; the average air temperature in the summer monthsis 23-26 degrees Celsius. The water warms to
comfortable 20-22 degrees Celsius in the summer. On the Coast of Issyk-Kul Lake are petroglyphic figures dated to the
second millennium BC.
Karakol offers numerous leisure activities. The local historical museum, the countless treks that lay just south of the city itself,
and the Jety-Oguz Gorge, known for its beautiful shaped red rocks are just a few of the attractions. Every region of Issyk-Kul Oblast is enticing to the visitor. Boomsk Gorge begins at the gates to Issyk-Kul; here it is possible to raft the rugged Chui
River finishing at one of the most remote parts of the area. There you can admire Engelchek Glacier, and the peaks of Khan
Tengri and Pobeda Mountains, known for their high elevations. About Youth Volunteer Organization “Leadership”
Leadership is a non-profit organization bringing together young volunteers with the mission of involving youth in civil society
through volunteerism, project design, and cooperation both locally and internationally.
Leadership was founded on November 1, 2005 as a youth volunteer organization under the auspices of the public association Leader, a centre of civic society initiatives. Our Mission:
To involve youth in civil society through volunteerism in cooperation with localand international volunteer projects. Goal of Work Camps:
To promote the volunteer movement in Kyrgyzstan through local and international work camp exchanges.
The program encourages youth to play an active role in varied social spheres, to develop an appreciation for international cooperative teamwork, to enrich outlooks, and to provide the opportunity of intercultural exchange. Program activities are threefold:
1. International Volunteer Work Camps – Local volunteers visit camps in Europe & Asia.
2. Local Work Camps – Leadership hosts local work camps with international participants.
3. Mid and Long-Term Volunteer Exchanges – Local non-governmental organizations in need of professional exchange involve international volunteers in their activities.
The Alumni Association works to keep former work camp participants in touch with Leadership and other international
volunteers, and to keep them informed about developments of the projects they took part in. Alumni Association benefits
include a 10% discount from the participation fee, if a volunteer participates in work camps at Leadership for a second time. With the support of our partners, Leadership has been able to:
Participate in Technical Meetings in Belgium in 2006 and Turkey in 2007
Host 17 local work camps from 2006 till 2014 with about 61 international, 16 Peace Corps and more than 80 local
Send 15 volunteers to international work camps abroad
Accept 67 international volunteers for mid and long term volunteer programs between 2006 and 2015
Initiate the Alumni Association
This year’s work camps will involve the fields of ecology, eco-friendly tourism, and working with orphans and disabled children. The projects will provide a valuable contribution to the social and economic development of life in the Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan.