The settlement of Shakhty Zhyrgalan of Ak-Su district of Issyk-Kul region is located 60 km from the regional center - the city of Karakol, at an altitude of more than 2000 meters above sea level. It was built in 1964 in connection with the construction of a coal mine. Due to the transition to a market economy and the lack of funding, the mine stopped working and the socio-economic situation of the population seriously deteriorated. The number of unemployed increased and there has been a developing tendency for people to leave Shakhty and look for work in cities and abroad.
The local population, which now numbers about 1.5 thousand people, is mainly engaged in animal husbandry. Growing crops is difficult because of the harsh climatic conditions and high mountains. Recently, in the vicinity of the village, an increasing development of mountain tourism has been observed, which has led to an influx of foreign tourists who show interest not only in the beauty of the region, but also in the national colors, souvenirs and products made of natural raw materials. Taking all this into account, "Utan" Training Center, with support of its partner, DVV International, decided to conduct the new course "Master of weaving from osier and cheegrass". Having gained knowledge and skills at the course of weaving, local residents will be able to increase the range of manufactured national souvenirs and products and thereby improve their well-being.
When engaging in the enrollment of the training group, great help was provided by the social development department of the local authorities, Thanks to their support, a room was provided for the course in the village council building with provision of free electricity and heating. The course was successful, students actively participated in the learning process, and expressed their desire to learn in other courses, such as: "cook-confectioner", "cutting and sewing", "computer literacy", "milk processing", "veterinarian". The local authorities expressed their desire to continue the cooperation, and to organize mobile courses on the processing of agricultural products, as well as courses in the field of tourism.