Uzbekistan – Haven Wolverhampton & EU Project to Support Women’s Sustainable Livelihoods & Living Standards in Rural Uzbekistan
Date: November 6, 2015
The Haven Wolverhampton and the Social Economic Development Centre SABR celebrate achievements of the joint EU IBPP funded Project “Supporting local community development for sustainable livelihoods and the improvement of living standards in rural areas of Uzbekistan”.
Wolverhampton, UK, September 2015
Over 10,000 people are estimated to benefit directly or indirectly from the activities of joint project between The Haven Wolverhampton, the UK based charity and the Social Economic Development centre SABR, Samarkand City, Uzbekistan. The project “Supporting local community development for sustainable livelihoods and the improvement of living standards in rural areas of Uzbekistan” delivered between August 2013 and September 2015 was funded by the European Union’s Commission ‘Institution Building and Partnership Programme’ (IBPP).
The end of project Round Table on the 3rd September 2015 in Samarkand, Republic of Uzbekistan was attended by 45 participants including representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Uzbekistan, representatives of the hokimiats, mahalyas, colleges of the Akdarya region, Urgut region and Samarkand city, local NGOs and media representatives. Kath Rees, CEO of The Haven Wolverhampton shared experience of developing Social Partnerships in the UK and spoke about 18 years’ long partnership working with SABR. Jackie Casey, Director of Success Train Ltd covered best practice of developing women’s enterprise in the UK. Mavluda Shirinova, Director of SABR spoke about the achievements of the project and relationships between key stakeholders. She stated that “stability of society can be achieved through the development of social partnerships between the government agencies, businesses and social organisations working to improve living conditions and the quality of life of disadvantaged people and tackling specific social problems”. At the end of the round table presenters were asked many questions and received requests for further centres to be developed in other areas of Uzbekistan. It was suggested that English lessons are also delivered at the centres. The event included vocational skills master classes and concluded with the presentation of certificates to SABR’s volunteers who supported the development of the Local Development Centres.
An external research conducted as part of the project confirmed “a significant positive impact of the organisation’s activities on the socio-economic standards of living of the target groups and improved indicators for clients such as levels of income and assets, savings levels, opportunities to invest in business development, expenses and cash flow controls in place, satisfaction with the quality of life and health indicators.”
During the project three Local Development Centres (LDCs) were established in the Akdariya and Urgut areas and Samarkand City to deliver entrepreneurship and employability training to people from low income / poor households. Over 500 young women and girls received vocational training in the skills of their choice, including sewing, baking, computer literacy, hairdressing and knitting.
The beneficiaries attended business training sessions, to include basics of business planning, marketing and finance and received micro-loans which enabled them to set up their own micro-businesses. In total 1,671 micro loans were issued from 1st September 2013 to 31st August 2015 and many families reported to improve their living standards.
Mavluda Shirinova, Director of SABR: “These achievements became possibly due to the overwhelming support and active participation of the local mahallas, khokimiyats, Departments of Education, local colleges, Women’s Committees. We would like to thank all our partners and stakeholders, who helped this project to deliver benefits for local people.”
Kath Rees, CEO, The Haven Wolverhampton: “We are so pleased that with the support of the European Commission, British Embassy in Tashkent and Embassy of the Republic Uzbekistan in London we had the opportunity to demonstrate what can be achieved for women and by women in rural areas of Uzbekistan. We are proud that the project really does make a difference to people’s lives. We thank The Haven’s and SABR’s Boards as well as staff and volunteers for their continuous support and commitment to the partnership between two organisations.”
Before I joined the training, I was homebound due to health issues. A neighbour told me about a centre in Urgut which offered free sewing training courses. I could not wait to join the course. After I completed the course, for a period of time I continued learning skills in upper clothes and national costumes. Later I set up a sewing workshop at my home and I got ten apprentices. For now, they are using their own old sewing machines. When I finish teaching them, I wish to get a micro-loan from the SABR Microcredit Organisation which I want to use to buy my own modern equipment. I can’t believe this! When I came to the centre, I wasn’t able to do anything! But now I am teaching other girls. I am proud that I am earning independently my own money. I am thankful to my teacher and the project!
The Haven Wolverhampton (www.havenrefuge.org.uk), a non-governmental charitable organization established in 1973, provides both practical and emotional support services to women and children who are affected by domestic violence and homelessness. The Haven Wolverhampton is one of the largest independent charities in the UK and one of the largest refuge providers in the country.
The Socio-Economic Development Centre “SABR”, Uzbekistan is an independent NGO which works with and for women and children in difficult socio-economic situations, providing support, encouragement and opportunities for an independent life and safe environment. SABR’s programmes include micro-financing, counselling, provision of information and training.
The two non-governmental, not-for-profit organisations have worked together in partnership for over 18 years to support vulnerable women and children and promote women’s development in both countries.
Chief Executive Officer
The Haven Wolverhampton
The Haven Wolverhampton
24 Hour Helpline: +44 (0)8000 194 400
Fax: +44 (0)1902 572144
Social and Economic Development Centre SABR
74, Uzbekistanskaya str., 140105, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Telephone: (998 66) 2336666
Fax: (998 66) 233 76 90
Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Uzbekistan
Email: email@example.com; tel.: (+998 71) 120 16 06.
The project is funded by the European Union
Delegation of the European Union
To the Republic of Uzbekistan
Tashkent, 100 084, Uzbekistan
Fax: (+998 71) 120 16 08