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Take one minute to help a family

Batken, Kyrgyz Republic, June 12 (UNHCR) - Today, Japanese Ambassador H.E. Takayuki Koike and Head of UNHCR Sub-Office Osh, Ms. Yuka Hasegawa participated in an event devoted to the commemoration of the World Refugee Day in Batken. The event was held in Batken city in a school named after Mrs. Sadako Ogata who was the High Commissioner for Refugees between 1991-2001. The Mayor of Batken city and other officials also attended the event.

In 1997, UNHCR in the Kyrgyz Republic helped construct the school where 140 children, of which about 70 were refugee children from Tajikistan, studied. In 1998, then, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata opened the school. During 1990s Kyrgyzstan hosted about 20,000 refugees from Tajikistan.

The event at the school included dances, songs, plays and essay competition by the children. Tashbubu Tagaeva, who was a refugee child and studied at the school, spoke of her experience during the event. "In 1998, I enrolled in the school named after Sadako Ogata and continued my studies for ten years. Even though I was a refugee, I felt the support and warmth of my classmates and teachers. Later I got Kyrgyz citizenship and Kyrgyzstan became my home", said Tashbubu Tagaeva, sharing her story.

Ambassador His Excellency Takayuki Koike gave his welcome speech. "World Refugee day gives us a good opportunity to review the situation of refugees in Kyrgyzstan. Obviously, Kyrgyzstan can be considered as a hospitable country for refugees and displaced people."
He also noted that the Government of Japan provided UNHCR financial support in the amount of 7.2 million US dollars for UNHCR programme for return and reintegration of displaced and returnees communities in the southern Kyrgyzstan in 2010 and 2011.

Ms. Yuka Hasegawa, Head of UNHCR Sub-Office Osh said that Kyrgyzstan has a good record of helping refugees. "The spirit of tolerance, co-existence and support for displaced people has been here in Kyrgyzstan. We hope that such a spirit is going to be further strengthened especially in the context of implementation of the UN Secretary General's decision on Durable Solutions for IDPs and returning refugees in the aftermath of conflict situation". Kyrgyzstan is one of the three pilot countries for implementation of this Un Secretary General's decision.