REI relaunched in the countries of Central Asia in late 2019, after a brief hiatus. Building on a legacy of REI investment in "building people to build nations” since 1992 in the five former Soviet Central Asian states, REI’s regional leaders have found open doors for their current contribution as conflict resolution specialists and trainers. The doors are also open for resident English educators, IT specialists and more to join them in this rapidly developing, still emerging region.
In 1994, Ron and Jeanine Wiley moved to Kazakhstan to work for REI. They returned to the U.S. in 2010 where Ron (with much assistance from Jeanine) began to serve as our Director for Field Personnel. Part of Ron's job description was to pursue a PhD so that they could return to Central Asia. Recently awarded that degree in the field of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Dr. Wiley and Jeanine departed for Central Asia at the end of 2019. Their vision is to reestablish REI's presence in the region after a several year hiatus.
Central Asia’s Silk Road— far beyond historic notions of camel caravans lumbering across desert sands—is alive with possibility and opportunity as the crossroads of Asia, Europe and the Middle East. From the high mountain valleys of the Tajik Pamir and Kyrgyz Tien Shan mountains bordering Afghanistan and China to the Caspian Sea...from the vast Turkmen and Uzbek deserts to the endless Kazakh Steppes right up to the forests of Siberia and reaching nearly to Mongolia... the five republics of Central Asia that emerged from the former Soviet Union are eager to host a new Silk Road of commerce and peaceful development.
Mosque photo by nomadicmatt.com; Desert Camels photo
by Konevi from Pixabay