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The school project was developed within the work on promoting place-based education approaches in teaching and learning.

This work has started in 2007 with the aim to draw attention to destruction of the ecosystems, problems of extinction of plants and animals, loss of cultural heritage, the alienation of humans from nature, from their roots, and lack of ecological awareness among children and adults. With the disappearance of a range of biological species, and the loss of languages and cultures, not only does the world lose its variety and becomes vulnerable and fragile, unable to survive catastrophes.

The goal of the project is to help rehabilitate the disappearing connections with the Earth, regain a feeling of respect for nature, our home and wellspring of life. We believe that, to do this, we must teach children to see, feel, sense, understand and build new relations with the world that surrounds them. To achieve this goal we present to teachers and students innovative approaches in learning with the focus on developing of the children’s abilities of visual and sensorial perception of the surrounding natural and social environment.

The school project improves ecological consciousness of young generations through educational activities allowing reviving of the weakening connections with native land which contains deep ecological wisdom, knowledge and culture. Activities include building such educational environment that allows immersion into place and traditional culture of people living in rural places.

The school project unites like-minded people – children and adults who are not indifferent to the issues of studying their native land and eager to learn how to build careful relations to it. Participation in the project increases the interest of students to local history – studying their native land from the point of its cultural, historical, geographical and ethnographical features.

By participating in the project, schoolchildren receive an opportunity to spend some time in the village with their peers – this helped to set the foundation for friendship, understanding and mutual learning of urban and village children. Children from Bishkek city schools visited villages, lived in the families, helped with everyday household chores. Life in a village differs from city life in many ways: though full of worries and hard work, it is also full of the beauty of simplicity and essence. Local people amaze with their kindness and sincere hospitality, they sustain and enrich the traditions of national culture that is exemplified in the horse games, songs, varied handicrafts, and with respect and honor they give to nature. Even though the experience was brief, city and village children quickly create friendships that we hope will endure.

After the village trip, the children met again, but this time in Bishkek. Bishkek children and their parents responded with a hospitable welcome. There were tours of schools, photo exhibitions, a video film festivals, contests and concerts with prizes, trips to interesting and beloved places, city sightseeing… all of this helped the village children to learn about life in our nations’ capital to release their talents, learn more about new friends and just have a good time together.

For this work our foundation is open to cooperation with schools, teachers, parents, students and all those who agree that teaching to understand and love your land, develop careful attitude to her should not be limited to teaching in the classroom and using textbooks, it is important to experience a live contact with a reality.

We appreciate the school administrations and teachers who responded to our initiative. We are also grateful to those parents who participated in the school project, and to the generous families in the villages in Issyk-Kul, Naryn regions, and Chon-Kemin district. We offer a special thanks to the main sponsor of the project, The Christensen Fund USA.

We invite increased cooperation by schools, teachers, parents, students and everyone who agrees that the understanding, love and protection of our land cannot be taught in classes and from books only. A live connection with reality is just an important.

We are ready to share our experience and methodology with any interested teachers, and we are ready to meet with school administrations and parents. We would be glad to receive suggestions about how to improve and expand our ideas about working with children, and increasing ecological literacy. Only this can develop individuals who live in harmony with the world around and within him/herself.


School project “Greetings to my Native Land” (2007)

School project “Greetings to my Native Land” (2008)

School project “Greetings to my Native Land” (2009)

School project “Greetings to my Native Land” (2010)