Annual report 2015
1. Skills training Centres in:
A. Chavalai ( near Dushanbe) Tailoring skills
B. Tursunzoda Tailoring skill and Computer skills
2. Agricultural project in Tursunzoda: Training Center for Chicken farming with maximum egg production
SKILLS TRAINING CENTERS
- Chavalai Skillls Training Center)
The usefulness of learning additional skills
In 2015 SAI continued with the tailoring skills which were taught before. In addition we trained more students in special skills. Learning more skills in addition to the Kurtadozi ( traditional clothes) enables them to sew different styles of clothes. This has been very helpful for those students who qualified for Small Business Funding (SBF) from SAI, in terms of becoming able to earn more income. Those who took these advanced tailoring courses are now able to make seasonal wear, as well as school uniforms for the summer and winter jackets for women.
Example: An Order From A Local School
For almost 3 months in summer time, 11 graduated tailoring trainees were working together, to make 235 sets of school uniforms.
With Mrs.Youngkyung’s initial business advices on the management of the order from a local school, they took each step by themselves to meet the goal. They organised a Union, naming it ‘Зуҳал’ (‘Saturn’), met with the school principal, discussed together how they would divide the work, elected a bookkeeper, and so on.
This was the first big order, and it was a good experience for them. It definitely helped them a lot in becoming more efficient and profitable in their future businesses.
Those who bought the school uniforms from our trainees appreciated SAI’s presence in the area. Each year, buying a new school uniform for each child is burdensome financially for most of the families. In comparison with uniform that are being sold in the markets, these school uniforms were of a better quality much and cheaper. In that way it was a great help for the families to save the money.
During 2015 the good reputation of our free sewing course went out to different places. Even though the Skills Training Center is located in Chavalai, which is difficult to reach and rather far from the center of Dushanbe, several trainees came from Shanbari, Sharinow, Hurobad, Kluob, Varzob, staying at their relatives houses near in or nearby Chavalai during the courses. Others from Dushanbe city commuted daily. This number has been increasing.
There were also several requests from different locations to open up free a Skills Training Center like in the one Chavalai in their areas as well. For example from Nurak, Varzob, Vaxdat, Farhor, and Qulfista.
Number of students who completed in 2015: 30
Number of students who received SBF in 2015 11
Number of SBF ladies still being followed up 10
Number of SBF ladies who reached independence 12
Total number of students trained 103
SAI Tursunzoda Skills Training Center
Our Skills Training Center continued its work of training underprivileged women (and a few men) in sewing and computer skills.
Tailoring skills training:
Our tailoring classes continued for the first half of the year with two groups of ten ladies taking the training for a total of three months. During the second half of the year we reduced this to one group of ten tailoring students.
We were able to make many home visits and follow-up visits for those who received SBFs.
As before, some of these ladies have gone on to be successful seamstresses who have a good number of orders regularly and who also train others. Others have not done so well, and we have learned to discern better who will likely do well and who likely won’t. The balance between looking at an individual’s skill and her need has not always been easy to find.
Students at work during training sessions
Embroidery skills training:
Besides tailoring, we continued with our training courses in embroidery. For this course we generally had one group of seven students for a three month course. We certainly saw ladies who learned this skill well during our course, but one challenge they face is being able to continue to use this skill outside of the classroom. For the most part it seems seamstresses who want to do embroidery in addition to tailoring need to have a separate machine for this, and the best ones for this purpose are quite expensive. So, our training has been helpful, but the challenge of how to help women move on to use this skill is one we need to consider
Finally, we also began a crocheting course for women in the fall of the year. We taught a three month course to five women who came three times a week for two hours. This course was well received and attended by our former sewing students. The purpose was to give these women a further skill with which they could make a little more income, and this purpose has been realized as the trainees have been able to sell their products.
Computer Skills Training classes.
Our schedule for computer classes for part of the year consisted of two groups of seven students coming three days a week for a total of two months, and two groups of seven students coming two days a week for a total of three months.
Midway through the year we made a few changes to this schedule. One thing that we tried was teaching a computer course in a rural Center some distance from Tursunzoda. Our computer teacher, Ihityor, and I (Todd) took our laptop computers and went once a week to this village and taught two groups of students there including workers in the regional government office located in that village. We began this “mobile course” because of the persistent request of one of the government workers there who strongly desired this computer training but found the distance too great to come into Tursunzoda regularly.
A further addition to our computer class schedule is that we gave opportunity on one afternoon a week to former computer students to come and review what they had learned.
Statistics for 2015:
Total number of students: 240
Total number of computer students: 117
Number of computer students who successfully completed the course: 93
Total number of tailoring students: 71
Number of sewing students who successfully completed the course: 62
Number of SBFs given: 18
Total number of embroidery students: 47
Number of embroidery students who successfully completed the course: 37
Total number of crocheting students: 5
New project manager for the Skills Training Center in Tursunzoda
In December Ms. Sewon Lee from South Korea, took over from Mr. Todd Miller as project manager for our Skills Training Center. Her interest, skills, and willingness to take on this role have been much appreciated. The Miller family have moved back to Canada.
2.AGRICULTURAL SKILLS TRAINING IN TURSUNZODA
“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.”
Arnold H. Glasow
In November 2014 we had ordered over eight hundred chickens to be brought in from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to Tursunzoda, Tajikistan, a 1,090 km (677 mi) trip. It took over four days in which the chickens got very little food and water. Encouraged by the miracle of only losing three birds, we set into establishing a chicken house that others could look to as an example and on to learn from. As it was November and it didn’t take long for winter to set in.
Winter in Tajikistan offers many challenges to overcome. Our first challenge came from limestone. We had a limestone source that had too much magnesium in it and the birds were exhibiting sickness symptoms. After receiving expert advice from outside, we were able to find a solution in bringing in limestone from another source. The first challenge was overcome.
For a good chunk of the year we mixed our own feed, but in the end we learned that unless we were growing our own grains, we would not be able to make it cheaper than a larger company producing feed in the north. Although this feed wasn’t as nice as the feed we were making, it brought us closer to a breakeven point
We are still encouraged to continue on toward the goal of educating others how to set up a profitable chicken house in Tajikistan. Our chickens were Hi-Line Brown, a breed from Holland, specifically designed to eat less and produce more.
All summer long we worked toward establishing ourselves as a reputable egg producer. As the market fluctuated in egg prices, especially surrounding holidays, we were able to maintain prices because of the services that we were providing.
One of the benefits of this last year is the good business relationships that we have been able to build with store owners. Most of the store owners talked about the fact that customers recognized a difference in our eggs. In the beginning it was both the quality of egg yolk and freshness that people recognized. Then when we lost the egg yolk quality because of a change in feed people were still very satisfied with having a fresh egg. Quality of egg and quality of service also kept store owners from purchasing eggs from other producers, even if they had cheaper eggs.
Total number of birds at the beginning of 2015 808 chickens
Total number of birds at the end of 2015 524 chickens
Total number of eggs produced 208.608 eggs
- Report of the activities in Qurghonteppa
S.A.I. worker on the Health project who was during this year seconded to the national NGO Nuri Khatlon in Qourghonteppa.
Objectives of the project:
Healthy women and healthy children in Khatlon, Tajikistan
- Healthy women that are able to look after their families and do their work well
- Children getting a healthy start of life, so they can thrive physically and emotionally, are able to use their full potential at school and grow into healthy adults
Target group: Rural communities in and around Qurghonteppa: women of childbearing age, village health nurses, staff in maternity clinics
Activities in 2015:
From October 2014 – April 2015 a questionnaire was administered to 125 women in 6 villages in the area surrounding Qurghonteppa. The goal was to collect baseline information on knowledge and practices in regard to pregnancy and care for a newborn baby. The information we collected serves as a base on which to develop our trainings.
Summary of results:
|Previous pregnancies (excl miscarriages)||2.1||0-7|
|Number of children||2.5||0-9|
|Household size: number of adults||6.3||2-15|
|Household size: number of children||4.4||0-15|
|Female head of household||14 (11%)|
|Reports to know about HIV/AIDS||20 (16%)|
|Diarrhoea in household in past 12 months||55 (44%)|
|Currently pregnant||62 (50%)|
|Delivered in last two years||87 (70%|
|Pregnant AND child ≤24 months||24 (20%)|
Breastfeeding: All women started breastfeeding. 67/86 (78%) say they still breastfeed their child. Women that stopped breastfeeding did this when their child was on average 11.1 months (range: 2-24 months).
We also asked about danger signs in 4 categories:
For each category, NONE mentioned all 3 or 4 danger signs. Those who mentioned a correct danger sign (on average 32% per category) almost always mentioned only ONE correct key danger sign for a category. Notably the only correct danger sign that most mentioned for the first three categories was bleeding (respectively 71%, 100% and 98% of correct answers given).
Focus group discussions (pilot)
In September 2015 we held two (pilot) focus group discussions, one with village health workers and one with village women. These were meant to get more background information in addition to the baseline questionnaire.
Mother and child health training
Two staff members of the NGO Nuri Khatlon were trained in mother-and-child health (topics: growth and development, nutrition during pregnancy, breastfeeding, recognising danger signs in pregnancy and the newborn) that prepared them to hold trainings for local women.
- The baseline survey went well and provided useful information
- The baseline also shows limited knowledge on danger signs during pregnancy, delivery, post-delivery and in the neonate. This shows the importance of the need for more teaching on these danger signs.
- Due to early closure of the Nuri Khatlon project, their trained staff did not hold any mother-and-child-health training in the villages.
3. Finances in 2015 in Tajik Somani
Total amount spent in 2015, ONLY ON PROJECTS 491.674,44 Somani
SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF EXPATS ARE NOT INCLUDED!!!
1) EFCCM in Canada
2) Trust Fund in Duslingen, Germany
3) Several individuals from South Korea
4) Donations to S.A.I. International Office in the Netherlands
5) Fida in Finland