On July 27th, 2022 the Close Out Round Table of “Peaceful Villages Evolvement” Project took place in Guliston, Sughd Region. The project implemented by the Country Offices of the Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association (DVV International) in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in partnership with public organizations "Adult Education Association of Tajikistan" and “Youth of Osh” in Kyrgyzstan.
Representatives of the Executive Body of State Power of Isfara, EU Delegation to Tajikistan, DVV International Central Asia and Tajikistan offices, the project partners, stakeholders and beneficiaries from target villages participated in the event.
While welcoming the guests, Mr. Nekruz Otabekov, Head of Investment and State Property Management Department of the Executive Body of State Power of Isfara stated: “In fact, the project had a significant impact on the progress of the target villages. In particular, I would like to point out on the small social and business grants for rural women. As a result, women in the villages got jobs and had the opportunity to provide with working places to a few more people. Also, within the framework of the project, it was reasonable to conduct public-private dialogues dedicated to explaining various aspects of the new Tax Code of Tajikistan to local entrepreneurs and improving their legal literacy”.
Mr. Davide Casale, Political Officer at the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Tajikistan added: “The project pursued the very important objective to support cross-border and regional civil society initiatives for effective prevention of violent extremism in Central Asia. All project partners have worked hard to strengthen the resilience of the residents of ‘chess villages’ to hostile rhetoric and radicalization, which could potentially lead to violent conflict and extremism. It was a highly valuable action to foster dialogue, improve cross-border relations and ultimately to contribute to sustainable peace, in line with the European Union engagement with Central Asia. The high level of interest in the project activities all through its implementation period testifies of its importance and relevance.”
Ms. Dr. Nicola Vöhringer, representative from the DVV International Regional Office for Central Asia, commended the hard work and dedication by the entire project team and thanked all stakeholders for their contribution to a successful implementation of the project. She highlighted the Peace Academy for WomenLeaders where women developed their skills in preventing violent extremism, peacebuilding, and mediation: “It has been studied repeatedly that women’s inclusion in peacebuilding processes is essential for lasting peace after conflict.”
During the round table, the project staff informed participants on the work have been done for 2,5 years. All the project activities aimed at contributing to build sustainable in-country capacities for effective prevention of violent extremism and figures on the results were mentioned. The results of implemented women initiatives (social grants) were also presented. It was noted that in total 6 initiatives were supported for equipping Health Centers in Lakkon and Somoniyon villages, equipping the kitchen and a dining room of secondary school in Somoniyon, providing Lakkon school and Khojai Alo community libraries with valuable books, bookcases, tables, chairs and a computer and equipping a sport ground in Kojai Alo school. The information about prepared project visibility materials was also provided.
Ms. Zarrina Khalikova, Director for the Country office in Tajikistan addressed the project beneficiaries and stated: “Peaceful Villages Evolvement” Project has completed formally, but the work aimed at PVE in the target villages will continue. The continuation of the project, depends directly on you - the project beneficiaries. For this purpose, we have to clarify in which areas we should continue our activities, what should be improved or change”.
At the end of the event the project beneficiaries expressed their gratitude to donors, the project implementers and shared their opinions: “Thanks to the Peaceful Villages Evolvement” project new books became available to the residents of the villages of Khojai Alo and Lakkon, libraries were equipped with bookcases and a computer. Perhaps, the Khojai Alo rural library is the first rural library in Tajikistan that has a computer, and this became possible thanks to this project. It is a pity that we were not able to organize joint events with our neighbors from the neighboring villages of Kyrgyzstan. I hope that such an opportunity will be created in the future.
Have to note, that “Peaceful Villages Evolvement” project financed by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The content of this material is the responsibility of the author and does not reflect the point of view of the donors.