Good News from Kyrgyzstan!

When we initiated new programs we very diligently investigate our potential new partner. The 1st obvious reason is to select the best partners overseas. The 2nd reason is we realize, especially with sewing machine programs, we have very little ability to monitor many of these far-flung programs. In fact, to monitor the program is often more expensive than supplying the program. We have a basic understanding at P4P that we do not send gringos overseas. The material we ship is appropriate technology, they do not need technical support from us. We are much more effective using our limited funding for shipping as much material as possible.

Longtime readers of our web site and newsletters will probably remember in 2008 with some assistance from the Clif Bar Family Foundation we sent a consignment of sewing machines to a Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan is one of those geographical locations that we don’t happen to pass by often. When PCV Roberto left Kyrgyzstan, we lost contact with the sewing machine program.

I never lost faith that the sewing machine project in Cholpon-Ata could be successful, I just knew that I had no way to find out. I was so pleased this weekend to receive the following e-mail and photographs.

I’m happy to report the sewing cooperative is functioning as both a producer of linens and a training center unemployed women who are interested in taking up sewing. The Peace Corps volunteer there forwarded me some new up-to-date pictures. Rob

Even though sometimes I do not get the story and photographs back quickly, to the community the bicycles and sewing machines we ship are so vitally important that they are made use of. To those of you who donated funding and or sewing machines in 2008, thank you from our staff and the employed women of Cholpon-Ata.

Dave Schweidenback

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