To the dream through silence
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- They say the mountain that is visible is not far away. This proverb is a hidden allusion to the fact that it is enough for a person to have the least in order to achieve a goal, for example, one does not always have to be able to speak or hear in order to live a full life in accordance with that saying.
Mahmuda Ziyatova, who lives in the Sharoff-Rashidov district of the Jizzakh region, is prevented from speaking and hearing from birth. Over the past two years, however, she had opened a small sewing shop in her home and was now training girls and women living in their neighbourhood to sew. She is helped by her two daughters Zarina and Zarifa.
“Our activity started relatively recently, despite this, we managed to produce a variety of goods - women’s, wedding, children’s clothes, modern curtains, bed linen, T-shirts for the local market, cotton picking bags and other orders», - says Mahmuda’s youngest daughter.
In describing the past and the present, Mahmuda mentioned:
“The opening of the workshop almost coincided with the beginning of the quarantine, so we had many difficulties, we even had to sit for two months without work. The quarantine period was difficult for everyone. So we thought about what we could do to help our neighbors. Then we produced the masks and gave them to each family in our mahalla for free».
Mahmuda’s childhood memories are as warm as her:
When I was a child, we had a small sewing machine at home, I also learned a little sewing at boarding school and gradually my interest in sewing grew every day. My father worked as a driver in a garment factory, and he asked his boss to hire me. He agreed to accept me as a packer. Then I objected: «No, I will sew». On this the manager said that he will not allow me to work as a seamstress, because I cannot hear and speak. But I sat down behind a sewing machine and started to sew, stubbornly and carefully, seeing my skills, he took me to work as a seamstress".
The eldest daughter Zarina learned through social networks on the Internet about a competition among small enterprises conducted within the framework of the joint project “Promoting youth employment in Uzbekistan” realized by UNDP and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations. After consulting the whole family, they decided to participate in the contest. Their project, among others, was selected as a winner and they were given an opportunity to participate in four-week training courses on business creation and development. They were also given production equipment as a grant.
In addition to sewing, the workshop offers free education to girls and women living in poverty and girls with disabilities, such as Mahmuda.
At the end of the conversation, Mahmuda shared her plans for the future: “Our sewing workshop now has 10 pieces of equipment (sewing machines, overlock, computer, printer, projector). In the past six months, we have trained 30 students, most of whom continue their internship here. In the near future we plan to train other girls and women from neighboring areas to share our knowledge and experience with those who need it”.
Mahmuda’s passion and energy, and her experience in life, will leave no one indifferent.
The inclusion of persons with disabilities in society is essential to achieving sustainable development. This is also one of the main objectives of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.
According to World Health Organization, over 1 billion people, or 15% of the population, live with some form of disability. In 2020, 781,3 thousand people with disabilities were officially registered in Uzbekistan. But only about 2% of them are officially employed.
UNDP has been promoting inclusiveness for many years. For example, the project’s Inclusive Business Models concept involves poor people at different stages of the value chain as consumers, customers or buyers - on the demand side, and as employees, producers and entrepreneurs on the supply side [UN Report..., 2010].
"Promoting youth employment in Uzbekistan" is a joint project of UNDP and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, financed by the Governments of Russian Federation and Japan. The project involved entrepreneurs from Andijan, Namangan, Djizzakh, Navoi, Kashkadarya and Surkhandarya regions. They were provided with 323 items of equipment totalling 1 176 940 669 sums.
PR and Outreach Assistant
“Promoting youth employment in Uzbekistan” project