Restoring TCD Work after Significant Loss

Murtoch-Talon Cluster Village, Tajikistan


Though this has been a very difficult time, we tried to support our villages and Transformational Community Development (TCD) workers. I was in the hospital for six months with no Internet or connexion to my workers. The team tried to continue previous work, but this also proved difficult for a few reasons, but the most significant is the loss of so many lives, including many villagers from the old generation who had helped us; several community members lost a mother, a father, brothers and sisters. 


We returned to work in the middle of March. It was very exciting and amazing to start work again. Many villagers are very encouraged. We are trying to support them and support our community. In some villages, this is still very challenging. During the pandemic, many lost not only their relatives, but COVID-19 took all that they had. Now, in southern villages, 70 percent of the population want to go to Russia for work. Even with expensive plane tickets, people are still going to Russia. Explaining to them how they need to live in the future is difficult, because everything in society has collapsed. 


We started in one village, where we distributed masks and implemented FAITH gardens (Food Always In The Home). This Kitchen Gardens Project is opening doors to all districts. A driver called Yusuf* has been doing a great job in the villages. He formed an Agriculture and a Water Committee. We have now seven people in the Agriculture Committee and about ten persons in the Water Committee. They are doing a great job. 


In Yusuf’s village, we have started to help about 150 Kitchen Gardens. There are ~1000 families equalling ~2500 inhabitants in his village. They all have small Kitchen Gardens. We have not been able to do the same thing in the South as they have larger fields and budget limitations. 


The story of how Yusuf started helping us is also amazing. When we were distributing masks and helping in the Kitchen Gardens, he asked me about working for our organisation. I explained to him all our rules and goals, and that we want to change community lives to give them help and hope through TCD. Once I explained how we work, he started working by himself. When the mayor asked him who taught him, he told them about GHNI. As a result, seven villages are interested in having TCD Committees to begin in their villages. 


We have also helped people in the neighbouring village get clean water. We provide much needed diesel fuel so they can restore irrigation and clean water sources. Each family in the village collected 200 somoni (about $5 USD) for fuel, but all the gas was gone before the project was completed. Without the ditch (really a small river) they have no water. For decades, villagers have tried to restore a 33 km (20 miles) small river and it hasn’t functioned properly. It provides water to 12 villages. This year, they started again because Yusuf helped the villagers understand that they need to make progress in their own villages and lives themselves. TCD always starts with a shift in mindset.


Over the next three months, we want to restore all our work, after the destruction by COVID-19. The situation in each of the six villages where we work is different, and each village now has different needs. We will see what we can accomplish in these three months.


Thank you!


GHNI Partner Volunteer

*For the purpose of safety and wellbeing, "Yusuf" is a pseudonym for the individual involved with this project.