Garm Women’s Center – Tajikistan

In 2013, Friends Foundation International provided support to the Garm Women’s Center in Tajikistan. The following note and photos (inserted at the bottom of this post) come directly from Rajabalieva Matluba, the center’s director. The FFI board joins her in thanking all of our contributors who made possible FFI’s support of this great work.

“I, Rajabalieva Matluba, Head of Garm Support Center public organization express my gratitude to you for your support in the reconstruction of our office building for women. Since May of this year, 166 women have received free legal and psychology support and consultations services in the Center.

In addition to this, 30 girls took computer courses, and, as a result of the Center’s support and intervention, 15 of them found permanent work places. For example: one of young woman who was divorced and had one child was employed in Babilon Center – a phone and internet service provider. Another girl was employed in one of the departments of a local bank, called Amonatbonk. There are many such examples.

Another example of how our services have assisted women is shown with one woman with six children who was a victim of domestic violence. She received legal and psychological support from the Center. After a conversation with the woman it was found that she did not have any personal identification documents. Her husband destroyed her birth certificate and she could not leave the house. During the support our lawyer explained her the ways of reapplying for her personal identification documents and as a result she received all the required documents. When her husband divorced her traditionally, the Center was involved again and helped her to apply for establishment of paternity, receiving alimony and registration of her and her children in their permanent living house.

With Rasht district court decision her husband was enforced to pay alimony for each child. Later, she came to the Center and thanked all the staff for their support. There are many more stories of women who are in heavy conditions that are helped by the Center.

Generally, the ultimate goal of our Center is to provide assistance by organizing trainings to vulnerable parts of society to enable them to protect their legal rights. In cases of heavy life conditions the Center provides free support to those who need help.

Using this opportunity, I would like to thank Miss Janice Setser and Julie for their support and understanding and moreover, I would like to thank all of the people who donated to The Garm Support Center from the Friends Foundation International. Your assistance has helped us to create a better place to be able to offer better support for women and girls in need.

The purchase of construction materials for the renovation of the Garm Women’s Center was done at the end of winter when there was still plenty of snow in the month of March. All of the lumber and other materials came from a market 250 kilometers from Garm on the west side of the capital of Dushanbe in Hissor town. The quality of materials in the Hissor market was far better than what can be found in or around Garm….

The lumber was not cured when purchased and so had to be left to dry for a couple of months. Actual construction on the Center began in May and continued with the purchased materials until August. The donation from the Friends Foundation International purchased materials for the renovation of the second story of our three-story Center.”