Tajikistan | Mission East



Playground for children with disabilities
One of Tajikistan's first playgrounds with focus on accessibility for children with disability is now finished, next to Mission East’s center for these children.   The playground, which is sponsored by the British Embassy in Tajikistan, will provide new social opportunities for approximately 200 children every month, when they visit Mission East’s center in Penjakent.   "We have selected each part based on what we think would be fun to play with, but we have looked at how the playground can be part of the therapy at the center. Last but not least, the playground is designed with ramps, belts...

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to help the most vulnerable

Since 1997, when Mission East began working in Tajikistan, the country has moved from a critical state of civil war, in desperate need of emergency distributions of food, to one of relative stability, but in need of long-term assistance.

Despite a small improvement in living conditions, an estimated 60 percent of the total population still lives below the national poverty line.

Important sustainable development

Mission East's strategy in Tajikistan focuses on improving livelihoods for vulnerable households and communities, with a particular emphasis on community mobilization and community management of the solutions to the problems they face. Current programming focuses on the strengthening of civil society structures – both local organisations as well as grassroots initiatives like women’s groups or groups of parents of children with disabilities, to ensure self-management and sustainability.

Mission East has undertaken a variety of initiatives to help communities address poverty issues in a holistic and integrated way. As a few examples, these activities have included: support to small-scale agriculture, establishment of farmers' cooperatives, enabling new income generation opportunities, construction of clean water systems, promotion of hygiene behaviour change, improving household energy efficiency and use of alternative energy sources.

Disasters and children with disabilities

A small Tajik boy with a disability is stimulated in one of the ’play corners’ that Mission East has founded in the impoverished country in Central Asia. Photo: Muyassar Odinaev

‘Defective humans’ – this is how people with disabilities were perceived in the Soviet Union. This attitude still exists in Tajikistan, the poorest of the former Soviet republics, but Mission East is working to change it.

By Line Højland and Kim Wiesener, Communications Officers

Zikrullo has visited the play corner for three years. He learns about numbers and letters and talks about everyday things by looking at picture books. Photo: Muyassar Odinaev

School no 53 in the village of Marghedar appreciated having a play corner where children with disabilities can learn numbers, letters and IT at their own speed. The lessons enable more children to go to school and become part of the local community.

By Line Højland, Communications Officer

Kulob District, 1999. In the spring of 1999, about 100 Tajik families became self-sufficient with eggs as Mission East gave them chickens. This was the beginning of long term development aid to the country. Photo: Mission East.

Mission East has worked in Tajikistan, the poorest of the former Soviet republics, since 1997. In the early days, the organisation distributed food aid to tens of thousands of vulnerable locals. Later, the focus shifted to long term development projects.

Shoinbek Shokirov from Mission East (left) discusses the establishment of water system with village leader in Southern Tajikistan earlier this year.

A powerful earthquake hit Monday the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan. The Danish aid organisation Mission East who works with the local population on disaster risk reduction and to build water systems in isolated villages of the region, is monitoring the situation closely.