Fida’s development cooperation is producing positive results in Central Asia: the residents of rural areas are healthier and are receiving additional income from improved farming. This ensures the children are able to attend school.
Fida has two development cooperation projects in Tajikistan, Central Asia. The country has a diverse population of almost eight million people from various nationalities and ethnic groups.
Tajikistan became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991 and is still recovering from the economic impact of the subsequent civil war. Tajikistan is one of the poorest among the former Soviet countries with 39 per cent of the people living below the poverty line. In particular, the living conditions of the rural population are limited: 70 per cent of the rural residents are dependent on help and support provided by their relatives abroad, and almost half of them do not have access to clean water.
Community development brings results
Fida’s community development program in the Khatlon region, in the vicinity of the capital Dushanbe, aims to lift the rural families from poverty and to improve their opportunities to live healthy lives.
The project involves 97 families in 20 villages. The families have been trained to grow vegetables in greenhouses and have received help with starting micro businesses in order to earn an income. 140 greenhouses have been established in the area together with 66 fruit drying systems to harvest and process the abundant fruit crops for further sales.
The accomplishments and their positive effects are visible in the year-round availability of nutritious vegetables and with the income from their sales, the families are able to pay their children’s school fees. The greenhouses, along with craft and sewing programs have increased the family income levels, on average up to 14 per cent during 2012.
Model for preventative health care
Fida is improving health care services in Dushanbe in collaboration with doctors and a student association, and is providing training in modern medicine with a special emphasis on eye diseases.
As part of the project, Fida trains community nurses for preventative health education at the grass roots level. The training has far reaching effects on health with improved hygiene and increased awareness of the most common illnesses of the country, such as diabetes. According to the expert who evaluated the project, the health education focuses effectively on the key health issues of the country.
According to the evaluation, the effects of the project will be sustained. This has already been demonstrated by earlier stages of the project where the work opportunities for the country’s health care professionals have been improved so that they have been able to start training their own people.
The health clinic belonging to Fida’s partner brought the first laser equipment for eye operations into the country. The clinic works on ethical principles and sets an example for preventative health education.
Mid-term evaluations were undertaken in Fida’s development cooperation projects in Tajikistan for the project period 2011 – 2016.