Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Kyrgyz Anti-Corruption Drive Catches Them Young

A campaign to root out corruption has been launched in Kyrgyzstan’s schools, the idea being that children acquire their values, good and bad, at an early age.
Sabina Reingold reports that the initiative is using cartoons and puppet theatre to highlight the evils of corruption, and methods of standing against it.

“It is precisely at this age that children develop in final form those values that will shape decisions they make later on as adults,” said Elvira Sarieva who came up with the concept for the campaign.

Children do not have to wait until adulthood to experience corruption, as bullying and extortion goes on in many schools. The “racketeering”, as people call it, involves pupils in their final years imposing “taxes” on those more junior.

Sarieva says it is harder to tackle corruption among adults, who face more complex ethical and economic dilemmas.