Kyrgyzstan: Raisa Kadyrova

My desire to help my community, my belief in equality and justice remain central for me. I want to see Kyrgyzstan as an example of peace, equality, and tolerance for the entire region.

— Raisa Kadyrova

Raisa (Raya) Kadyrova (born 1957) is the president and founder of the Kyrgyz NGO Foundation of Tolerance International (FTI), operating within the cross-border communities of Central Asia. She is a well-known peacemaker who works in the Ferghana Valley. Social, economic, interethnic conflicts, corruption, and crime make this region dangerous. Raya organizes people to help resolve these problems and conflicts.

Raisa (Raya) Kadyrova is the president and founder of the Foundation for Tolerance International (FTI). This organization’s mission is to prevent and resolve interethnic conflicts in the cross-border areas of Central Asia, comprised of five post-Soviet Union Republics. The problems the Central Asia region faces today are disputed lands and borders, scarcity of natural resources, especially water and land, militarization and small arms, religious extremism and terrorism, land mines, interethnic conflicts, poverty, and drug trafficking. “Our NGO is one of the few in Central Asia working on problems of interethnic hostilities,” Raya says. As part of her activities, she monitors and evaluates the conflict situation, organizes and facilitates negotiation and mediation processes, conducts trainings and consensus-building activities, and communicates with the divided local populace. Raya works on grassroots, national, and international levels, while cooperating closely with government representatives and members of the Parliament. The activities of her organization are recognized as successful by the people, the government and Parliament. However, the growing number of victims of violent conflicts makes her realize “that our activities must be more effective.” Because she is so heavily involved in many activities at the same time and bears the load of implementing activities over the entire Central Asia region, she has not had time to document the processes and results, failures and successes of her activities. “International donors often ask us, ‘What makes FTI successful?’ and we cannot always answer that question because we do not have time to sit down and document and analyze what we have achieved. Sometimes it seems to us that we work like a fire brigade, reacting to emerging issues, without being able to slow down and take a breath,” Raya says.

Foundation for Tolerance International (FTI)