Contest winner Saida Abdullaeva is presented with a blender.
Contest winner Saida Abdullaeva is presented with a blender. Photo credit: Zhibek Abylbekova/USAID Advancing Nutrition

Every year, World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is celebrated around the world, including among health providers and health care activists in all regions of the Kyrgyz Republic. An early champion of breastfeeding, the country was one of the first in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to adopt a law to promote breastfeeding in 2008.

Since 2019, USAID Advancing Nutrition has participated in a variety of events that highlight the importance of exclusive breastfeeding in the Kyrgyz Republic. In 2021, the project organized a national online contest of artworks, a regional photo contest, and three live television programs.

USAID Advancing Nutrition launched its online contest of artworks on the project’s Facebook page, calling for works using several mediums: photos, short videos, songs, or written works. In collaboration with a local health promotion unit, the project’s field office in Batken Oblast launched a similar local contest that accepted only photo compositions. By the end of WBW 2021, the project had received 120 submissions for the national contest and around 400 works for the photo contest in Batken Oblast.

This level of engagement both nationally and in communities shows the commitment to breastfeeding and it helped promote key breastfeeding messages, including making support of breastfeeding everyone’s job, not just mom’s. USAID Advancing Nutrition awarded small prizes to the winners and special mentions; their works will be published and disseminated via the project’s platforms throughout the year.