ASIA · Kyrgyzstan
“Women can do everything”
Shaiyrbubu Abdyldaeva (61) is the Founder of “Umai Ene”, a Kyrgyzstani non-governmental organization supporting rural women. Growing up in a hardworking family in the village of Kyzyl-Oktyabr, Shaiyrbubu was determined to actively work towards resolving problems in life. Rather than just standing aside, she took the initiative to receive a higher education, graduating from university and becoming a teacher. Applying her own philosophy of “Be a mother, not a step-mother, for everybody”, Shaiyrbubu began implementing projects in her community to benefit everybody.
Created almost fourteen years ago, Umai Ene has helped stimulate women to become more active in their community by drafting business plans and providing contact wit other NGOs. Initiating the renovation of the Agricultural Machinery Service Centre, 315 families received cultivation support between 2006 and 2009, enabling the families to overcome extreme poverty.
After conducting a survey to identify the major concerns of the community, Umai Ene discovered that the sale of milk was a pressing concern, for it is a main source of income for many rural families. Under the leadership of Shaiyrbubu, Umai Ene developed a permanent milk collection station, where 1500 families could deliver milk at any time. Not only did the families’ income double, but also 8 new working places were created for rural women to process milk.
Changing the traditional attitude towards women in rural Kyrgyzstan (70 % of the population lives in rural areas), Shaiyrbubu’s unique idea of implementing milk collection stations has empowered women to become financially and socially independent. Along with economic security women’s participation in decision-making processes also increased. In Shaiyrbubu’s own words, “Women can do everything!” Ms. Abdyldaeva’s work demonstrates the application of her statement, positively changing the lives of women that come into contact with her forever.