Grandmothers
The Kyrgyz grandmothers struggle to make ends meet. The Kyrgyz Republic is the second poorest country in central Asia. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union the country has had severe financial troubles with many companies closing down, resulting in increased unemployment and poverty. Around 80 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s pensioners live below the poverty line, or twice as many as the average of the whole population, and as women on average live substantially longer than men in the country this is especially a problem for the elderly women. The pensions are very small, typically 30 to 60 euro. At the same time prices of basic goods like bread, potatoes, oil, fuel, and medicine are rising. One attempt to help in this problematic situation is GrannyAid, a program designed to help the elderly through self help groups. In these groups the pensioners meet to socialize and help each other and they get financial aid to start little businesses where they for example do different types of handicrafts that they sell on markets. GrannyAid is a joint initiative between DaneAge Association and DanChurchAid.