U.S Air Force officials from the Transit Center at Manas International Airport and the Congress of Women pose for a picture during the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Women’s Development Center Aug. 25.
SHOPOKOV VILLAGE, Kyrgyzstan (Sept. 2, 2010) — The Congress of Women of Kyrygz Republic and the Transit Center at Manas held a ribbon cutting ceremony Aug. 25 to officially celebrate completed renovations of the Women’s Development Center.
The Congress of Women initiated renovations on this former hospital in September 2009, focusing their efforts on the main facility which will house 55 women. The $750,000, year-long project was funded by the U.S. Central Command.
On behalf of the U.S. Air Force, Maj. Gen. Steven Foster, mobilization assistant to the commander of U.S. Air Forces Central, said “Today, we gather to recognize the completion of this exceptional facility that will impact the lives of women from all over Kyrgyzstan for many years to come. This women’s development center will provide women with a place of refuge during difficult times as a place of training to give them the business skills needed to help themselves and other women in need.”
The Congress of Women is an association dedicated to helping women and receive medical and/or psychological for abuse and start businesses so they can be self-sufficient. Also speaking at the ceremony was the U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan.
“I am proud to be here today and thank all those, in both the US Government and in Kyrgyzstan who made this project possible: to U.S. Central Command, my colleagues at the U.S. Embassy and the Manas Transit Center, as well as the Congress of Women,” said Ambassador Tatiana C. Gfoeller. “I deeply believe that those countries that invest in the education and training of their female populations are going to be the countries that lead the world in the future. As I have traveled throughout your beautiful country, in each town and village I have been struck by the confidence and intelligence of the women I have met. They have spoken of their concerns and desires with the strong voices of leaders.”
Zamira Akbagyscheva, President of the Congress of Women of the Kyrgyz Republic, presided over the ceremony.