In Ene Myahri Maternity Hospital, which means “Mother’s Gentleness” in Turkmen, Mahym Muradova successfully and happily gave birth to her second child in May 2011. “I felt safe and confident. The midwife was helping me a lot, and the medical staff was supportive, watching my status and listening to my child.”
The Ministry of Health in Turkmenistan is committed to investing in its future by improving children’s health. The government wants to prevent common childhood conditions like diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, anemia, measles, and malnutrition. This commitment is why the government has strongly supported the “Keeping Children Healthy” campaign, a collaboration of USAID, UNICEF and the World Health Organization. The campaign shares key health messages with mothers through community health care providers.
USAID and Chevron have partnered together to improve the lives of youth through offering centers where they can engage in positive activities. The goal is to provide knowledge of healthy lifestyles to adolescents. The youth center gives young people access to free courses in the English language and computer literacy. They receive many enthusiastic calls from parents making sure that the courses are truly free.
I first came to the center in October 2011. It was a stormy day, and my feelings toward the world around me were as stormy as the weather outside. I was completely worn-out by problems in my personal and business lives. I am not used to friendliness from my peers, as I live in a dog-eat-dog world. All my peers living in my neighborhood relieve their stress by smoking, using drugs or drinking alcohol.
Beshim Tanniyev has been working in his family’s greenhouse since 1978. For over 20 years, his family planted local varieties of cucumbers that were not resistant to most plant diseases found in Turkmenistan. He wondered if he would ever be able to increase his income and provide better opportunities for his family.
Maral is one of many outreach workers engaged in HIV prevention education for sex workers and drug users in Turkmenistan. Twice a week, she meets up with sex workers to conduct mini-sessions on HIV prevention and invites them to visit the drop-in center. At the center, they can join a monthly discussion group, consult with a psychologist, participate in trainings and get referrals for treatment of sexually transmitted infections.
Turkmenistan is a fast-growing state with a large youth population, making the issue of job placement for young people a hot topic. Supported by USAID and Chevron Nebitgaz, Junior Achievement programs in Turkmenistan are dedicated to helping young people realize their potential.
Myakhri Goshjanova graduated from secondary school in her hometown in rural Turkmenistan and found herself faced with the question of what she was going to do next.
“My life changed for the better after coming to the Ashgabat drop-in center in June 2009,” says Farid Badahshan, an outreach worker at the drop-in center who previously abused drugs. At one point, Farid’s circumstances were so dire that he was considering suicide. Yet when Farid read about the drop-in center in a local newspaper, he decided to visit. During his first visit, Farid was welcomed by staff and provided with psychological support. After subsequent visits, he started to believe in himself and began attending activities at the center on a regular basis.
Until recently the valuation sector in Turkmenistan was almost non-existent. Lack of relevant legislation and up-to-date training courses on valuation underpinned the problem. A newly adopted legal framework on valuation activities raised the need for qualified valuators and USAID was the first international partner to respond and assist.
USAID sponsored a study tour to Kazakhstan in May 2011 for three Turkmen valuation specialists who are now actively engaged in the valuation market as trainers and experts.