Karoi residents were awarded with diplomas for participation in the small grants program
In early October, the participants of the annual WWF-Russia Small Grants Program in Central Asia were awarded with diplomas, which was organized by the Ecobioproject Public Foundation in Karoi village in Kazakhstan. The program aims to develop environmentally friendly small businesses. In total, 10 million tenge was allocated to support the initiatives of the local population.
From the beginning of 2020, the program had the goal to finance socially significant projects, as well as involving women in the development of entrepreneurship.
A poll conducted last year in the Ile-Balkhash region showed that the interviewed women, when were asked about their personal plans for the near future, declared their readiness to “open their own business” - 40.3%. 36.4 percents of women were going to continue doing housework. Another 16.4% “would like to get an additional profession”, and 9.4% - want to get an additional education, 5.5% declared their desire to engage in socially useful work and civic activity.
Thus, the overwhelming majority of Karoy women - 72.2% - stated their desire to change the traditional way of life for the region in the future and take a more active economic and social position. The Small Grants Program has provided timely support for such endeavors.
The commission included Grigory Mazmaniants - director of the WWF Russia Central Asian programme, Zhassar Adilbayev - head of the Ecobioproject, Olga Pereladova - scientific consultant of the WWF Central Asian program, and Lina Waldshmit - head of the tourism and environmental education department of the “Ile-Balkhash”.
In total, 34 applications from the local population were submitted. Based on the demands of the competition, the commission selected 16 applications which best meet the requirements of the project:
opening of a vulcanization point, production of traditional national goods (felt, blankets, bags, souvenirs), computer services, opening of a confectionery shop, melon-growing, beekeeping, dairy products processing, planting of corn and lucerne, opening of a bath complex with a hairdresser, ice cream production, launching a sewing and knitting shops, opening of a mini cafe.
It should be said that unemployment in the region also is one of the most pressing problems - 65.2% of respondents noted this in a poll. Since the start of the Small Grants Program (2018), the situation in Karoy and nearby villages is gradually changing for the better.
57.3% of Karoy residents from 30 to 45 years old (target group of the project) are in favor of creating new jobs that will influence the increase of household income.
The Small Grants Program is the part of the program of the reintroduction of the Caspian tiger, which WWF Russia is implementing with the government of Kazakhstan.