Her excellency Ms. Marilyn Josefson, Ambassador of EU to Tajikistan with the Governor of GBAO, Mr. Yodgor Fayzov and representatives of AKDN opened two new sport grounds in Sultoni Vali area and School 9. These two sport grounds are part of the six recreational facilities constructed in the framework of the “Critical Infrastructure to Contribute to Stability and Peace in Khorog” project (IcSP). The project is funded by the European Union and is implemented by Aga Khan Foundation, Aga Khan Agency for Habitat and Mountain Societies Development Support Program in partnership with government of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast.
The governor of GBAO expressed his gratitude to EU and AKDN for about 30 years of cooperation and contribution to the development of the country in various fields. “We remember EU contribution starting with humanitarian aid of food commodities from 1992, then later supporting us with the Water supply projects, protection from natural disasters, and now with recreational facilities contributing to peace and stability. Supporting youth is the strategy of the government of Tajikistan and the President of the country, his excellency Mr. Emomali Rahmon, Leader of the Nation during his last inauguration gave an oath to support youth development, since youth are the Future of the Nation. Youth of GBAO don’t have access to modernised sport grounds, recreational facilities, coffee-shops or basic employment. Fortunately, despite lack of opportunities, up-to-now no young person from GBAO is part of any terrorist or extremist groups. But we will put all efforts to support youth in the region with our long-term partners as the EU and AKDN” emphasized the Governor. Mr Fayzov also expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Government and people of GBAO to the EU Ambassador for the continuous support and for not staying aside during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The EU Ambassador, her excellency Ms. Marilyn Josefson indicated that “It is our honor to be part of this project which is obviously the fruit of many different actors: the Government of Tajikistan, the local authority of GBAO, AKDN and our support. For me this is the model for the future.” Ms. Josefson also indicated the importance of working together during different times like during COVID pandemic and investment in the future and investment in young people. “My hope is that this inauguration is not the end of the process but actually the start of the further collaboration between all of us here today”. She was thanking community for their engagement, the Government and AKDN agencies, for their support. “For me personally these kinds of projects that are looking to the future and working with young people are the one that I take greatest pleasure with. That’s why I responded swiftly to 14-hours drive from Dushanbe to Khorog. Sport is not only about having fun and playing together as a team, but also about learning important life skills, like the importance of team spirit, dealing with success and dealing with failures, and most importantly about coming back stronger. I hope this strong collaboration will continue and we will all look to a brighter future with the young people growing up in this street.”
The inauguration ceremonies were accompanied by local people performing music and dance, expressing their gratitude to the EU, AKDN and the Government for the contemporary high-quality sport ground. Local sportsmen have been presented with gifts like sport uniforms and balls and all guests tried to shoot the ball including the ambassador.
Total size of each sport ground is 1,170 sq.m with 320 sitting places. The sport ground has football, basketball and volleyball grounds as well as a playground for small children. The sport grounds are equipped with contemporary equipment and local sportsmen have been presented with uniforms and balls. People of the Mahallas will have full ownership of the facility and the regional Youth and Sport Committee will ensure its maintenance and sustainability.
About the project: The Critical Infrastructure to Contribute to Stability and Peace (IcSP) in Khorog: The 1,800,000 EUR project is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by AKF, AKAH and MSDSP in close partnership with the local government. Implemented over the period of 18 months (1st October 2019 to 31st March 2021), the project aims at fostering peace and stability in Khorog Town by improving highly demanded public infrastructure and services, strengthening confidence in local authorities, and generating temporary employment opportunities through construction work.
About the Aga Khan Foundation: AKF has been implementing innovative development solutions in Tajikistan since 1993. Central to its efforts have been inclusive, community-based development approaches in which community-based organizations identify, prioritize and implement projects with the Foundation’s assistance. The AKFs programs in Tajikistan focus on six areas: agriculture and food security, economic inclusion, health and nutrition, education, early childhood development and civil society. Its initiatives address cross-cutting themes including gender equality, pluralism, human resource development and public awareness of development issues. Through its activities in all four regions of Tajikistan, AKF is reaching to approximately 1.9 million people.
This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the AKF and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union. For further information, please contact: AKF Partnerships Officer Rayhon Jonbekova at: email@example.com.