On April 22, 2022, the Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to the Republic of Korea A. Ismailova took part in «The 12th Saemaul Day Ceremony». The event was attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea Kim Boo-kyum, Ambassadors of foreign states and representatives of the Saemaul Undong movement.
The Saemaul Undong movement is a national program that has made a great contribution to the development and prosperity of the Republic of Korea. In addition, the Saemaul Undong movement is recognized by the UN and many other international organizations as the best and unique rural development experience. The main principle of the movement is the activation of the population, their involvement in the development of the village, the achievement of success through hard and joint work.
Currently, Saemaul Undong projects are being promoted in 9 countries: the Kyrgyz Republic, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Democratic Republic of East Timor, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of Burundi, the Republic of Uganda, the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, the Republic of Fiji and the Republic of Honduras.
In 2016, a memorandum was signed between State Agency for Local Self-Government and Inter-Ethnic Relations under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Korea on cooperation, within which the parties plan to cooperate for the successful implementation and adaptation of the principles of this movement, taking into account the socio-economic, cultural characteristics of the Kyrgyz Republic.
From 2017 to 2021, the project "Pilot village of the Saemaul movement" was implemented in the Kyrgyz Republic. 4 villages of the Chui region participated in this project (Ak - Bashat, Zhayyl district, Alysky Aral, Sokuluk district, Iskra, Chui district and Kosh-Korgon, Chui district). Every year, 4 activist leaders were selected from each village, who were invited to the Republic of Korea for training on leadership and regional development. Also, for the implementation of projects to raise community awareness, improve living conditions and increase income, $20,000 was allocated annually to each village. As a result, within 5 years, about 100 leaders (the head of Aiyl okmotu, the village headman and active village leaders) from 4 villages were invited to the Academy of the Saemaul Undong movement Center, who were trained in leadership, community and regional development.
During this project, financial support in the total amount of $400,000 was allocated for the implementation of projects to increase the incomes of residents of pilot villages. A public bathhouse was reconstructed in the village of Ak-Bashat, a greenhouse was built, a dairy farm was organized and other small projects were implemented. In addition, each of the four pilot villages has its own village development movement and active members of the movement periodically teach fellow villagers the principles of the Saemaul Undong movement.
For reference: “Saemaul Undong” means a movement for the development of the local community, which allows villagers and local communities to work together to improve the quality of life, based on the spirit of diligence, self-help and cooperation. This movement was created in the Republic of Korea in 1970.