Chon-Alay district, Kyrgyzstan – 19. August 2021

Switzerland and the U.S. join forces to create jobs and support traditional artisans in Kyrgyzstan

On August 18, 2021, a wool processing workshop was officially opened in the village of Daroot-Korgon, Chon-Alai district. The ceremony was organized by the public association "Business Women of Alai" (BWA), which is a beneficiary and a partner of the Swiss Bai Alai programme, and the USAID Enterprise Competitiveness Project.

In turn, the Swiss Government, as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided the BWA equipment for cleaning and processing of wool, as well as the production of felt at a total cost of 1.5 million KGS. This equipment will automate the process of processing wool, reduce production costs and improve product quality, which contributes to improving the profitability of production.

"With this equipment we will be able to process more than 58 kg of wool per day, before we had to spend 3-4 days for such volume, respectively, the efficiency of our work has increased several times. In addition, previously we had to order some raw materials in Bishkek and Osh, but now we will be able to receive it locally, which will save us significantly on logistics, and also increase the speed of production of the final product. I would like on behalf of all women artisans of Alai and Chon-Alai districts to express gratitude to the Government of Switzerland, USAID, Helvetas and directly to the projects "Bai Alai" and " Enterprise Competitiveness ", - said Zhibek Turatbekova, executive director of the Chon-Alai branch of the Business Women of Alai PF.

At present, BWA is one of the largest employers in the remote Alay and Chon-Alay districts, creating jobs for 269 women-artisans. The association engages local women artisans in the production of carpets, home décor items, felt carpets and handicrafts. It is worth noting that products from the felt workshop are represented in the brand store of BWA in Gulcha village, in the Tumar art salon in Bishkek. The products of BWA are also available in the Nomad Store network in Osh (10 guest houses in Osh, Brio Café, TSUM in Bishkek and Kyial market). It is worth noting that the BWA workshop’s products are also exported to the Russian Federation and Germany.  

"We are proud of our craftswomen, who glorify not only the Alai and Chon-Alai districts, but the country as a whole. Today's event is a prime example of the need to support our local producers, who are distinguished by their hard work and talent. BWA foundation contributes significantly to the economy, creating jobs, in less than a year they managed to increase the number of their employees from 6 to 34 people, and until the end of this year it is planned to increase this number to 54"- said the head of the district public administration of the Alai district Abykeev Temirbolot Asanalievich.

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The Phase II of the Small Business and Income Creation Programme in Alai and Chon Alai is funded by the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Helvetas Kyrgyzstan and Aga Khan Foundation.

For more information on this project, please contact Bai Alai Project Manager Imanaly Turkbaev, Imanaly.turkbaev@helvetas.org, tel: +996 (550) 157 013.