The Hamza school has got a new roof
The Hamza Secondary School is located in the village of Choko Dobo (Suzak Rayon, Jalalabad
Oblast), populated with 2,046 people. The school was built in 1976 and currently more than 1,000
students attend the school. The minor repair works done annually have not been sufficient to prevent
the old building from falling into disrepair. Last year, roof repair was identified as a priority problem
during PCA exercises and was the focus of the community action plan. The community approached
members of the NGO Kojomat to develop a joint project to repair the roof. Both participated in
trainings and seminars conducted by Jalal Abad CSSC and Counterpart. As a result, the joint project
to repair roof was designed and funded by the Asian Development Bank with $2,500.
Achy school rehabilitation.
The mountain village of Achy has a population of 650, 207 of which are school aged children. Achy
has a three year school, but after third grade, the students must go to a cluster village school located
27 km away to continue their studies. Given the great distance, the majority of students do not study
beyond the third grade (only 16 students of 67 children continued last year). The community decided
expansion of the school was their best option. The village government administration started to build
additional rooms of the school in 2000, but lacked the resources to complete the construction.
Community members, working with the NGO El Kutu Elete took the initiative to finish construction
by attracting resources from external donors. Equipped with skills learned in Counterpart workshops
at the Jalalabad CSSC, the group developed a project that was subsequently funded by the Asian
Development Bank with $2,500.
Sustainable Civil Society Organizations
New Organization, New Voice
In February 2003 in Penjikent Tajikistan a CSSC was established, which provides information,
technical, training to NGOs, CBOs, and Initiative Groups from all districts of Zeravshan Valley, who
are totally isolated from Republican and Oblast Centers. The CSSC has proved to be a catalyst for
civil society development in the area and is a meeting place for initiative groups and activists. The
CSSC proved its value in June 6 when a mountainous flood threatened Penjikent. The CSSC was the
intermediary receiving all International Humanitarian Organizations and providing them with
information, access to its database, and other services. The CSSC is the bridge between local civil
society organizations and the international community.
Somondukht Creates Jobs and Expands Services for Women
To tackle the issue of unemployment among women in the Nau district, the NGO Somondukht
developed the proposal Woman in democratic society, which received Counterpart funding. As a
result of the project, a sewing workshop was organized, employing 10 women. The workshop now
manages two shifts, doubling the number of employees. The NGO's first project encouraged the
expansion of activities beyond fundraising it organized sewing courses for women who could use
them to earn a living. In partnership with the local government, the NGO organized computer classes
for women, using funds generated from the sewing classes to purchase computer equipment.
Additionally, the NGO provides medical services to women in remote communities, including a
Mobile Medical Aid for women unable to travel from remote areas. The cumulative effect of the
NGO's charitable activities and service provision is the respect of local government and communities.
Unemployment is Challenging
With men in the rural areas leaving for job opportunities in Russia, women heads of households are
prevalent. Many of these women are not equipped with the skills to provide for their families. The
NGO Parvin, a participant in several Counterpart trainings, identified women in the Tursunzoda
district and trained the 60 poorest women in small business development and vocational training
sewing national dress. After the trainings Parvin was keen to create jobs for these women. The local
Khokimat allocated space for a sewing workshop and the NGO equipped the workshop with sewing
machines, contributing 900 somoni ($300). Now women are provided with permanent jobs, earning