A Woman from Charkesar Empowers Her Local Community Through Education

Safura Ruzimova, a resident of the village of Charkesar (Namangan region), was convinced of the power of education by her life example. The interview was conducted by Firuza Tajimova.

January 25, 2023
Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Education empowers. Safura Ruzimova, a resident of the village of Charkesar (Namangan region), was convinced of the power of education by her life example. According to her, “lack of work, education and income often forces women to endure adverse life circumstances. Education allows us to be confident in our abilities and build the life we dream of.” Once her education and job in the school gave her the strength to change her life for the better and start her own business.

Safura began her career as a school teacher and is now in charge of cultural affairs while also studying at the Profi Education University in the capital. For a long time, Safura dreamed of starting her own business, which would not only bring her additional income, but also be useful for the residents of her mahalla.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

“The turning point was the day when a specialist from the EU-funded UNDP and Ministry of Emergency Situations project came to our school and shared grants opportunity to start a business. I still remember how I felt that this opportunity would change my life, and set a goal for myself - to win this grant,” recalls Safura.

A business idea instantly struck her. Seeing how schoolchildren and young people go to the regional center to study languages and some science subjects, she decided that a training center in Charkesar would be in demand.

“At this stage of my life, the knowledge gained at the training programmes helped me a lot. I already knew how to start a business, how to write a business plan,” says Safura.

For people like Safura, the UNDP, MES project funded by the European Union, conducted a series of trainings on entrepreneurship development, business planning and further implementation of "green" technologies in business in Charkesar and Yangiabad, cities with uranium heritage.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

“When I found out about my grant award, I was immensely happy. I wanted to start recruiting teachers for my center right away.”

Under the terms of the grant, Safura was able to obtain all the necessary office equipment for the center at a cost of approximately $10,000.

Today, Safura’s training center has already five instructors who teach Chinese and Russian, mathematics and the basics of computer literacy, as well as Uzbek language and literature.  The center also has an Internet library.

“We started with 30 students, now we have 50. We have been working for four months, and we are inspired by our results. We continue to engage young people by telling them about the importance of education. I am very happy when I see girls and young woman who come to study with us. I believe that knowledge is an investment in one's worthy future, it is an opportunity to contribute to society. Education is the light that brightens your path even in the darkest moments.”