Aid for Trade
Wider Europe: Aid for Trade for Central Asia,South Caucasus and Western CIS
Mr. Dodojon Sodiqov – entrepreneur
I am living in a village located in the Bobojon Gafurov district which borders Kyrgyzstan. Nearby runs a transnational highway, which leads to the border of Uzbekistan. Nowadays, many delivery trucks from China and Turkey pass by. This road links several district centers of the Sughd region of Tajikistan, and the Batken region of Kyrgyzstan.
Every day up to ten thousand vehicles, including trucks delivering cargo to other countries, use this route. They say it used to be a part of the Great Silk Road which connected Khujand with such cities as Andijan, Kokand, Fergana, Osh, and Margilan. Many Kyrgyz auls (villages) and Tajik kishlaks are spread along the road. However, up until recently there was no cafeteria where people could have dinner and rest.
I've often thought: what if a cafeteria would open at the roadside? But lack of funds was a barrier to implement my idea. Banks issue loans at a high interest rate; moreover, it is not easy to get them. In the Jamoat Resource Center, established with the support of the UNDP many years ago, I was advised to apply to for a micro loan fund from the ”Aid for Trade” project. After receiving necessary consultations and processing all required documents, I got a loan of USD 7,000 without any problems. I have equipped part of my own house as a cafeteria, and hired 8 unemployed local women. Also I have rented premises at the outskirts of Kyrgyz aul Arka and equipped it as a teahouse. Now we are providing services to local clients. The daily menu includes five-six national dishes: soup, plov, mantu, and kebab.
Currently my income allows me to pay good salary to my employees. We all are happy. I am feeling that my life is changing for the better. Thanks to the opportunity given to my family by the “Aid for Trade” project.
With thanks to Mr Parviz Akramov (National AfT project coordinator) for collecting this testimonial from Mr. Dodojon Sodiqov
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This story is also now featured on UNDP's Europe and CIS blog: http://europeandcis.undp.org/blog/2012/02/07/the-man-who-planted-trees-kyrgyz-version/
Daniele Gelz, 2012-02-07 13:01
Akvo Ref: 305