Warm Beds and Warm Shelters in Kyrgyzstan

Families whose homes were burned down in June are receiving help in Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian country between China and Russia. In July, CRS began distributing mattresses and sheets to people who are staying with relatives—or sometimes sleeping outside–because their houses were destroyed during an outbreak of ethnic violence.

The mattresses and sheets helped not only the recipients, but also those who made them: people with vision and hearing impairments. “People were pleased that the mattresses and bed sheets were locally produced by the Blind and Deaf Society and not brought in from another country,” says Andrew Schaefer, Emergency Team Leader for CRS Kyrgyzstan. In an area called Jalalabad, over 1550 people affected by the violence received the bedding.


CRS provides warm beds and warm shelters in Kyrgyzstan. Photo by CRS Staff

CRS and its local partner have also set up a hotline; families who need help can call the number if they were missed in initial lists provided by the authorities.

To protect families from the winter cold, CRS continues to develop its transitional shelter plans for the region. This week, CRS began building a demo shelter in Bazar Kurgon. In coming months, CRS will work with communities to build winterized two-room shelters in yard areas. “The shelter design is based on input from families,” says Isaac Boyd, CRS Emergency Technical Advisor for Shelter and Settlements. “It reflects local construction practices and cultural preferences, and should be flexible to accommodate individual situations—like reusing existing foundations.”

Says Schaefer: “We want everyone to be living in safe, warm homes by early November.”

–Compiled by Laura Sheahen from field reports

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