Engaging with Tajikistan's youth population through education and economic empowerment
Tajikistan has a large active youth population. Over 50% of the population is between the ages of 0-24. However, youth unemployment is a major issue, and wages are very low for employed youth. For these reasons, many young people are forced to migrate to Russia and other countries in order to earn money to support their families.
High levels of migration also result in problems for the education sector, as many people with a higher level of education leave in order to find better employment.This trend has led to decreasing teaching standards at many instituions. A lack of infrastructure and endemic corruption is also damaging the reputation of schools and universities.
We are working for increased youth engagement in all spheres of life in Tajikistan. Our projects aim to advocate for greater youth involvement in the political sphere, and develop an awareness and support for democratic processes among the youth of the country.
One Million Hours of Volunteering aimed at engaging successful professional mentors to work with young people, women and NGOs. EFCA-Tajikistan trained 400 mentors and supervised the mentoring process.
The project brought together 44 young people from across GBAO to establish a Youth Council (YC) which produced plans and implemented practical activities to meet the needs of disenfranchised youth and ethnic minorities in GBAO. The YC provided an example of democratic norms and principles for Tajik youth and a model for youth engagement in Central Asia and elsewhere.
The goal of the project was to protect the rights and improve the lives of vulnerable and disabled young children and their families. Together with HealthProm and Ishtirok, we supported the Income and Inclusion Team within the Kishti Centre in Dushanbe which aims to change the pattern of care for vulnerable children, support mothers and change professional attitudes. We provided parents with economic support through skills training and access to small grants.
Through this project aspiring journalists in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan were taught the international standards of professional journalism. A journalism platform, www.kloop.kg was established, first in Kyrgyzstan and subsequently in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, aimed at helping young people become professional journalists and cover serious issues in Central Asian countries with professionalism.