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Fund in Action: Tajikistan

Empowerment of ‘Families left behind’ for improved Migration Outcomes in Khatlon, Tajikistan 

Afghan and Tajiki women and children preparing sumanak for Nowruz celebrationPhoto: ©IOM

Out of Tajikistan’s 5.3 million workforce, around 10% have migrated to Russia, with a staggering 85% of them men. As they build a new life in Russia, many gradually reduce their remittances, leading to the emergence of an extremely vulnerable group: the “families left behind”, who may experience loss, grief, financial hardships, amidst other challenges. The Joint Programme aims to improve the well-being of these families, enhance their economic resilience, and uphold their rights, through an approach combining top-down protection and policy initiatives with bottom-up empowerment interventions.  

Through this Joint Programme, financial literacy and vocational trainings were delivered to women left behind. The new skills obtained helped them to secure employment or start their own businesses, allowing them to become self-sufficient, reduce their dependency on remittances, and contribute to the local economy.

  • 45 women received vocational trainings and obtained state-recognized diplomas. 

  • 200 children and 290 women received social support services. 

  • 80 social workers were trained on social services techniques and methods, including child rights, case management, and psychosocial support. 


Photo: ©IOM

"Before I started growing mushrooms at home, I was looking for field work or some help, and now I provide for my family on my own! I wish I could help my poor people [referring to women left behind in her community]." Orzigul Yakubova  

Thanks to the trainings she received, Orzigul was able to start a mushroom production business. She now sells her mushrooms in Bokhtar and Dushanbe cities. Orzigul's success has given her the confidence to grow her business and she will soon hire local Tajik women to support her, empowering them while contributing to the local economy.  

“Prior to attending the training, I lacked information about my rights and opportunities due to not having a formal education. The training began with information sessions that taught me about my rights and where to seek help. After that, I received financial literacy training, which helped me understand how to use money, budgeting for monthly expenses and handling profits. I then participated in training on mushroom cultivation. All this helped me develop, and I even saw Dushanbe city for the first time. This project has opened new doors and a new life for me”. 


 Photo: ©IOM

Tajikistan faces labour migration challenges, with one in four families having a member working abroad, predominantly men from rural areas. This leaves families struggling and facing economic vulnerabilities as a marginalized group. Through the establishment of over 60 schools specialized in agricultural practices such as drip irrigation, greenhouse cultivation, organic farming, and controlled mushroom growth, the Joint Programme aims to support family farmers, improve livelihoods, and enhance the well-being of farming families. 

  • 300 women farmers and 851 children trained to better utilize their land and water resources through the establishment of 16 Farmer Field Schools and 50 Junior Farmer Field Schools.  

  • 450 teachers, instructors, students, and junior farmers received series of "training of trainers" on establishment of Farmer Field Schools. 

  • 728 individuals trained in financial literacy to enhance debt management. 


Students participating in Farmer Field School, to learn more click herePhoto: ©FAO/Nozim Kalandarov

The Joint Programme is dedicated to safeguarding the rights and well-being of vulnerable individuals, particularly women and girls. It involves localizing the referral system for gender-based violence, training service providers and civil society organizations, and conducting advocacy and awareness campaigns. Through these efforts, it aims to empower and support those in need, ensuring access to crucial services and protection. 

  • 125,750 people were reached through awareness campaigns on rights, protection, social inclusion, and protecting against sexual and gender-based violence. 

  • 2,263 women and children received legal, social, and protection support services/referrals, including birth registration. 

  • 500 women and girls received integrated community-based sexual and gender-based violence services. 

  • 200 children and 290 women left behind received social support services. 


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*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).