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Episode 21: NGO Sadoqat Enabling Tajikistan

Recently, Nishant Malhotra had a candid discussion with Muhiddin Tojiev from NGO Sadoqat on how the nonprofit is enabling social change and impact within the Tajikistan ecosystem. A fascinating conversation, the discussion focuses on certain global development issues governing the country.

NGO Sadoqat, is a nonprofit and non-commercial organization established in 2000 and officially registered with the Ministry of Justice of Tajikistan. Sadoqat is committed to improving rural lives through thoughtful partnerships and sustainable practice. The organization implemented about 25 projects in various fields, including but not limited to women and youth empowerment, reproductive health, healthy lifestyle among the youth, prevention of STDs, support of persons with disabilities, English skills improvement, and education and healthcare infrastructure with the support of various donor institutions during 20 years of its operation. Currently, the NGO has been raising funds through the Global Giving Crowdfunding Platform to implement projects on the improvement of the rural population’s access to quality healthcare and education services. Muhiddin Tojiev is from the Devashtich district of Tajikistan. He earned his BA in Translation in 2004 and Higher Education Diploma (equivalent to MA) of English Teacher in 2005 from Khujand State University. Muhiddin wore many hats and his work experience includes position as an Independent Contractor for the BBC World Monitoring Service, Central Asia Unit (2003-2005), Press and Public Affairs Officer at the British Embassy in Dushanbe (2005-2007), and Public Education Specialist at the International Finance Corporation Tajikistan (2007-2009). Mr. Tojiev joined the NGO Sadoqat as a Fundraising and Partnerships Volunteer in 2019 and has successfully raised funds for the construction of two additional classrooms in Secondary School No 51 in Ghazantarak Village. Furthermore, the list of his accomplishments includes the refurbishment of surgery and intensive care units of Devashtich District Central Hospital, as well as the Project on Support of Hospitals in Istaravshan, Shahriston, and Devashtich districts with COVID-19 response through crowdfunding. Muhiddin is full of desire to continue this work to improve the rural population’s access to quality education and healthcare services in Tajikistan.

Above Image: Joel Heard; Unsplash
Yaghnob Valley, Tajikistan

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# Tajikistan & The World Bank

Tajikistan joined the World Bank in 1993, the International Development Association (IDA) in 199 and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) in 2002. (MIGA has not, so far, provided any political risk guarantees for investment projects in Tajikistan). During this time, the World Bank invested over $1.4 billion to support Tajikistan’s efforts to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. Between 2000 and 2018, the poverty rate fell from 83 percent of the population to 27.4 percent, while the economy grew at an average rate of 7 percent per year. We start the conversation with the origins of the nonprofit and constraints of working in Tajikistan given the political structure.

Q). Agriculture contributes 20 per of your country’s GDP with over half of the workforce engaged in the agriculture sector. The rural sector development becomes so essential for sustainable equitable growth within Tajikistan with healthcare one of the most significant enablers. Healthcare is so important, talk about how your healthcare initiative is enabling social change and impact within the rural community.

Muhiddin chats about education. 

Out of the $1.4 billion of the World Bank portfolio, Energy at 25 percent, Water & Urban Development (23 percent), and Economic Policy & Public Sector (23 percent) are the top three sectors for investment. Education constitutes only 7 percent, a very critical sector.

Graph: GDP Growth rate | World Bank national accounts data, and OECD National Accounts data files | The middle Road

NGO Sadoqat has a couple of projects in education example preschool and English access micro scholarship program and the English Courses Project, supported by the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan. Can you elaborate on these projects?

Q). The World Bank and IFC are focusing on improving lives and private partnerships within your country. The government is focusing on increasing per GDP capital, how do you think your non-profit can help in scaling projects within livelihoods and healthcare. Are you looking for global partnerships? I understand you raise funding through the Global Giving platform. What about other initiatives?

Conversation ends with chat about Tajikistan’s culture etc.
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