Kyrgyz trailblazer Dina Maslova wins KIT Best Social IT Project award for Bilesinbi.kg
Online Kyrgyz-language platform Bilesinbi.kg is the brainchild of Dina Maslova and has become the online destination of choice for young people
With a readership of up to 175,000 readers from throughout Kyrgyzia, EED-funded Bilesinbi.kg has established itself as a unique source of information for the country’s young people.
Kyrgyzstan has particularly high levels of gender and sexually-related violence. Forced marriage is still common and there is little knowledge about contraception or sexual health. The situation for women is particularly stark and levels of maternal and infant death remain high.
“One of the issues we face in Kyrgyzstan is that young people have poorly developed life skills. They know very little about their basic human and legal rights, about health, about sex and in a traditional society like ours, they have no one they can talk to about their worries. We wanted to educate the youth and answer their questions,” says Maslova, a prominent journalist.
Thanks to Maslova, Kyrgyz young people can now contact the Bilesibi.kg platform and ask these questions anonymously. The platform’s staff of four deal with up to 400 questions from young people each month, and they put them in touch with experts who can answer their questions. They then write articles on these topics which are published on the website.
We get a lot of questions that are psychologically-related – about relationships between young people and their parents, or between young people themselves. There is also a basic lack of knowledge about sex, and we provide information on sexuality and family planning. We often advise people on their legal rights, particularly women trapped in unofficial religious marriages who have no rights to their children if they divorce.
Maslova would welcome further initiatives such as Bilesinbi.kg, noting that there are currently no other such projects in the country. “We would like more organisations to get involved in this important work – competition would be good for us and it would mean that more young people can be educated and helped,” she said.
The 2019 Kyrgyz Information Technologies Forum (KIT) is the largest ICT event in Kyrgyzstan. The KIT Best Social IT Project award was awarded as part of this event.