UNESCO IITE and Kaktus Media Launched a Digital Encyclopedia for Parents in Kyrgyzstan

To assist Kyrgyzstani parents in navigating the complexities of teenage development, at the beginning of 2024, UNESCO’s Institute for Information Technologies in Education and the local Kaktus Media unveiled a comprehensive digital encyclopedia for parents.

This resource, available in both Russian and Kyrgyz languages on the Kaktus.Media and additionally on the Bilesinbi platforms, addresses vital topics such as growing up, relationships with parents, teachers, and peers, abuse and bulling deterrence, adolescent health, the prevention of alcohol and drug addiction, emotional well-being. By providing expert advice and culturally tailored information, this initiative aims to empower parents with the knowledge necessary to support their children during adolescence.

The digital library is incorporating articles, interviews, and videos designed for parents. The materials are formatted to be accessible and user-friendly, facilitating easy navigation for users seeking information on various adolescent-related topics.

“If parents themselves talk to their child about difficult topics, they can be sure that the child has truthful, verified information that will not harm him. If a child learns about this from the Internet or from peers, then this may frighten him or form false ideas about himself and the world,”

says child psychologist Tatyana Andreeva, whose expert materials on questions surrounding adolescence have gained significant popularity on the platform.

Among other materials that particularly interest the audience are two interviews with clinical psychotherapist Lilia Mukhtarova. She discusses how parents can effectively communicate with their children respecting their personal boundaries, while still maintaining authority: “Adolescence is a period when a child has one foot in adulthood and the other one in childhood. As an adult, you can talk to your teenager about anything in adult language.”

The interviews are available in video format and have been published on YouTube channel of Kaktus Media.

Gaining popularity blogger and a mother of two children Saida Nariman has supported the project by creating engaging videos on various topics related to the emotional and physical well-being of teenagers.

A pressing issue addressed extensively on the platform is the rising level of drug and alcohol addiction in Kyrgyzstan. Erkayim Bayysheva, a psychiatrist-narcologist at the Republican Center for Narcology and Psychiatry, comments: “In recent years, we have seen a significant increase in teenagers coming to us due to the use of new psychoactive substances. Their main danger is that addiction develops very quickly and is extremely difficult to treat. This is a problem not only for Kyrgyzstan but for the entire world”.

Already now a strong interest in the project can be indicated among parents audience. The number of views of the materials published on the website ranges from 7,000 to 30,000, and from 500 to 235,000 on the social media platforms.

Materials on the website and the social networks of project partners will continue to be published until the end of 2024 and will remain accessible to users even after the project ends.

The project will continue until the end of 2024, and the “Digital Encyclopedia for Parents” section will remain available to users after the completion of the project.