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Alumni Update: Woman creates child rights center in small Tajik town

December 10, 2009

In 2007, IRIS hosted a group of  women from Tajikistan for a Community Connections program focused on “Young Women Leaders.” The group was in the U.S. from Sept. 6-25 and stayed with host families in central Iowa.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently sent this update about one of the women, Khairinisso Elmurodova, who has since created a child rights center in her Tajik home.

A Success Story

Today, Ms. Khairinisso Elmurodova is Director of a child’s rights center which provides support to orphaned, disabled and impoverished children from families of Tajikistan’s Bokhtar District.

Elmurodova created this center based on a facility she saw during her visit to the United States organized by the Community Connections program.


Khairinisso Elmurodova was a trainer at a nonprofit, non-governmental organization promoting women’s rights in Bokhtar City, Tajikistan. In 2007, she became one of ten Tajik women selected to spend three weeks in Iowa through IRIS and a USAID Community Connections program for women leaders.

The trip included a series of meetings and visits to U.S. non-governmental and governmental organizations to familiarize the Tajik participants with women’s activism in the United States.

One of the organizations visited by the group, a resource center for children, impressed Elmurodova very much. “I thought it would be great to have something like that in Tajikistan,” she said.

Making a difference in her homeland

After her return, Elmurodova began working to make her idea a reality. She founded the Shodi Organization, which became the center for children. “I wanted to create a place where children would receive the support they need,” says Elmurodova.

Currently, the center provides various services to children who are in need of medical or psychological care, or support for the development of their recreational and professional skills. The center also works to raise awareness among the general population about the situation of such children.

Moreover, Elmurodova and her center have succeeded to do what few local NGOs achieve: they have obtained land from local authorities to build a new facility for the center, as the old one is too small to accommodate the increasing inflow of the Bokhtar children in need of care. As soon as all the permits are finalized, the construction of a new building will begin, and Elmurodova is already busy fundraising with local and international organizations.

“We need to work with marginalized children so that they feel cared for by the community,” says Elmurodova. “The children enjoy what the community of Bokhtar and various international organizations offer to them. In turn, the children who visit our center feel they can give back to their society by selling their handicrafts.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 29, 2010 4:19 PM

    Wow I’m actually the first comment to your great post?!

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