Watch the "Women Steer Their Lives" documentary

January 12, 2021

Women from Good Neighbors’ cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan were the focus of a documentary.

Produced by Arirang TV, a South Korean television network, the video follows members from the Felt Art and the Social Taxi projects. Click here or on the image below to watch it.

 

Women Steer Their Lives documentary

 

Know the country

Kyrgyzstan, officially known as Kyrgyz Republic, is bordered by China. Although the country is so near the economic giant, it is isolated by mountains.

About two thirds of the population live in rural areas. Agriculture and tourism are important sectors of the economy. However, low seasons typically bring less income for locals.

 

The art of felt

Good Neighbors started a cooperative in Bolot Mambetov, 5 hours from Kyrgyzstan’s capital, for women whose average monthly income used to be 17 dollars.

The villages of Ak-sai and Eshperov became home to two local craft groups for 30 women, Bugu Ene and Ak Ilbirs. They are the ones who create the handmade felt products you see in our Goods4Causes online shop.

In cooperation with our Merrycoop cooperative, they can now find new markets abroad. In recent news from Good Neighbors Kyrgyz Republic, they got contracts for 400 coasters, which represent $1,141.

women making felt slippers in Kyrgyzstan

Female taxi drivers

In the capital, Bishkek, women still suffer from inequalities and face difficulties in finding employment. The Social Taxi Project was developed based on a demand for female drivers.

Svetlana Kovalitskaia (54) got a new start in life after she heard about the project through the Sezim Crisis Centre. “My dream is to start a transportation firm that caters to the elderly or people who are not well”.

female taxi driver in Kyrgyzstan

The Social Taxi Project employs 9 drivers and 1 manager having helped women's average monthly income increase from $140 to $368.

“There is a proverb ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’. I believe that this taxi project teaches people how to fish”, says Biubiusara Ryskulova, Executive Director of the crisis centre.