Local Development Centre in Urgut

The Local Development Centre (LDC) in Urgut District was established by Sabr Centre in 2011. It gave itself the goal of boosting welfare and quality of life for girls from low-income families. The LDC in Urgut was set up as a pilot facility to gauge how sought-after its services would be with local people. The LDC’s successful operation has shown that it needs to further develop its potential.

Demand for the LDC’s services has encouraged and led Sabr to set up similar centres in Akdarya and Samarkand under the project “Support of the Development of the Local Community for Sustainable Livelihood and Living Standards Improvement in Rural Areas” (under the EU Commission’s Institution Building and Partnership Programme) as well as a grant provided by the Public Fund for the Support of NGOs and Other Civil Society Institutions and assistance from DVV International (the Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association), mayors’ offices, women’s committees, college administrations, businesspeople and other organizations.

Funded by the European Union, the project has seen activities aimed at organizational and institutional development of the LDC in Urgut.

As of today, 136 women and girls have learned sewing, knitting, baking and hairdressing skills and participated in computer literacy courses. In addition, they have also gained communication and health life skills and have been encouraged to develop leadership skills. Training sessions on basic financial education and entrepreneurship they have attended seek to help them set up their own business, thereby providing jobs, discovering talent, and contributing to welfare. Psychologists, doctors and lawyers have led free counseling sessions at the LDC.  
    
Below, a volunteer teacher at the LDC, Sitora, has shared a story related to the creation of the Local Development Centre in Urgut:

“One of my neighbors secured a microloan from the Sabr Microcredit Organization. She told me about the Local Development Centre in Urgut, where specialists share various practical skills with girls. I have good knitting skills and I came to the Centre and offer help as a trainer. I have been provided with space at the Centre, where I am currently teaching knitting skills to girls. I’m thrilled about the opportunity to share my skills with other people. I have met a lot of girls here and have participated in training sessions where I learned about a microloan programme. So I am now considering applying for a loan and opening my own business.”

 

Local Development Centre in Akdarya

As surveys have shown, services provided by Sabr Socio-Economic Development Centre are much sought after by the population of Samarkand Region. Sabr staff has put a lot of effort into ensuring that these services are accessible to citizens, primarily women and the youth, in remote rural areas. The first Local Development Centre (LDC) was established in Urgut District in 2011.

The second LDC opened its doors on a sunny and warm day in October 2013 in Akdarya District. Its creation was made possible thanks to British NGO Haven Wolverhampton’s project “Support of the Development of the Local Community for Sustainable Livelihood and Living Standards Improvement in Rural Areas” (under the EU Commission’s Institution Building and Partnership Programme) as well as a grant provided by the Public Fund for the Support of NGOs and Other Civil Society Institutions and assistance from the Akdarya District Mayor’s Office.

Since the launch of the project, run in collaboration with Sabr Centre, around 150 young women and girls have learned sewing and hairdressing skills as well as computer literacy skills. This has been facilitated by the conditions and conveniences available at the Local Development Centre: a training room, sewing machines, computers, hairdressing tools and, most importantly, specialists ready to share their skills.

Target groups also gain entrepreneurial skills and have access to financial services provided by Sabr Microcredit Organization, a subsidiary company of Sabr Centre. Women and youngsters also have the opportunity to participate in training sessions on business and social themes. Also organized are free counseling sessions with doctors, psychologists and lawyers.  

“I learned from my father that Sabr set up a new local development centre in Akdarya on the premises of the Polytechnic College,” says Guzal, a trainee of the Akdarya Development Centre. “My father had previously taken out a loan from Sabr Microcredit Organization. I have learned seamstress and curtain sewing skills at training sessions at the Centre. Participation in the programme has boosted my self-esteem and I have come to realize that I could set up my own business. Also, I have received a concessional microloan from the Microcredit Organization. I am planning to purchase various fabrics and take commissions to create custom-made curtains.”

Local Development Centre in Samarkand

The initial plans under the project “Support of the Development of the Local Community for Sustainable Livelihood and Living Standards Improvement in Rural Areas” (as part of the EU’s IBPP programme) were to set up two new Local Development Centres (LDC) in rural areas and support the already operating centre in Urgut District. However, following the establishment and presentation of the LDC in Akdarya, the Sabr Centre was deluged with phone calls and requests from the residents of other rural areas in Samarkand Region to set up similar centres in their areas.

Considering the Sabr Centre’s financial and organizational opportunities as well as the multitude of requests from citizens, Sabr decided to create another Local Development Centre in the city of Samarkand in an effort to cover more young women from all parts of the region. The Samarkand Pedagogical Institute, which has a student population of roughly 1,500 boys and girls from various areas, stepped forward as an interested and reliable partner. The idea was also supported by the Regional Administration of Colleges. After relevant memorandums were inked on August 15, 2014, a Local Development Centre was established at the Samarkand Pedagogical College.

One of the goals the project pursues is to develop sustainable social partnerships between representatives of NGOs, local communities and authorities with an eye to improving and enhancing social services provided for vulnerable groups.

The administration of the college has prepared training rooms and set up a resource library that were then furnished with sewing machines, computers, hairdressing tool kits, furniture and confectionery equipment.

Presently, a number of women from neighboring communities and students from the said college are learning sewing, hairdressing, confectionery and computer literacy skills free of charge at the LDC. Specialists also lead workshops on communication, business management, marketing as well as healthy lifestyles and psychology of family relations.

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