A Make-athon in Kochkor-Ata

Over the course of 48 hours, ten teams of five people from schools in Suzak worked together to design social initiatives that will benefit their communities.

Ideas Proposed During The Make-athon

Prior to the make-athon, research was carried out in five villages. The research helped participants better understand the problems that their communities face and enabled them to start tackling them.

The research revealed that trash is considered the main problem in most villages. Accordingly, five teams at the social make-athon chose to work on the topic of trash. Four other teams decided to look at safety in schools, while another team decided to work on the topic of leisure of pupils.

Toromamatov and Chanakov schools lack fences around the schools’ premises, meaning that cases of robbery are frequent, while local residents also walk their cattle across the school. Participants aimed to increase the sense of belonging to the school among local residents and youth.

For this purpose, two teams from Toromamatov School proposed to address this issue via forum theater, a joint art installation made of trash, conversations with parents and contests aimed at raising awareness among residents of school security. Future plans include the purchase of surveillance cameras by the school administration and local self-government.

Two teams from Chanakov School looked at the topics of friendly environment and safety at school. They suggested holding workshops jointly with the district education department to discuss interactive methodologies for teaching school children.

As for safety at schools, the second team from Chanakov School drafted a project to improve school infrastructure. The project includes planting flowers, decorating stones with drawings and other design work.

Bakirov School is quite small and its school parliament has no office in which to work. For this reason, the participants proposed to re-equip the shed for its future use as a venue for meetings and workshops.

The judges named a team from Michurin School as the best team, commenting on their use of non-standard solutions. These solutions include making and decorating eco-bins, sorting out raw materials, and organizing recreational corners at school to create a space for students.

Pupils from Saty School also distinguished themselves with their presentation for suggesting not only forum theater performances and bin decorations but also coming up with the idea to create graffiti on the school walls about ecology. The team believes that the problem with trash can be tackled via art.

We also invited the jury to give recommendations on how to improve all the social initiatives. Among the jury were representatives of government agencies, non-governmental and international organizations: Asanbek Ermekov, Janara Ryskulova, Azzambek Zheenbai Uulu, Sansizbaeva Asel, Erajon Kaniev.

The judges praised the creativity of the teams and the confidence they showed in presenting their projects.

The head of the district education department, Sopubek Sariev, was also present. He noted that prior to the event he did not know much about the schools and the work of the school parliaments. By the end of the make-athon, however, he made friends with the students and gave them his phone number, assuring them that he would be willing to discuss issues with them directly.

At the end of the event, five winning teams were determined and these teams will receive 250 USD to implement their initiatives. The remaining teams will also be involved in these projects to help their friends. After all, the more that is done, the more that can be achieved!