Tajikistan - Giving something back

Giving something backA Tajik man in the market, Tajikistan by Sitara International, www.sitara.com

The single most important thing you can do for Tajikistan is to advertise the country’s existence. Too many people still look at you with an utterly blank expression when you say ‘Tajikistan’, and one or two blinkered individuals have flatly contested that the country even exists. To develop economically, socially and politically Tajikistan needs foreign investment, foreign recognition and foreign scrutiny. Responsible tourists can contribute in all these areas by becoming both observers and ambassadors.

We endorse use of Tajikistan’s community-based tourism initiatives as they ensure your money goes directly to the local community. The Zarafshan Tourism Development Association does sterling work co-ordinating homestays, drivers, trekking guides and porters, as do the Pamirs Eco Tourism Association (PECTA) and Murghab Eco Tourism Association (META).

(Photo: A Tajik man in the textiles market © Sitara International, www.sitara.com)

If you want to volunteer in Tajikistan, Habitat for Humanity has one- and two-week projects in Tajikistan for groups of volunteers to build and renovate homes and construct water filters alongside families and local communities. For more information on setting up a volunteering trip contact Habitat for Humanity Great Britain (tel: 01295 264240; supporterservices@habitatforhumanity.org.uk; www.habitatforhumanity.org.uk).

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