Lazzat Ishmukhamedova (Kazakhstan)


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“You cannot go ahead while sitting on your chair.”

Lazzat Ishmukhamedova founded the Association of Single Mothers in 1993. In 1998, the association adapted an Indian model for poverty reduction, a self-help group concept. In 2001, the organization was renamed Moldir Women’s Association (MWA). It has implemented 23 social projects with 10,000 people, including the Moldir Micro-Credit Organization. It also assists the establishment of other self-help federations in rural areas.

The founder of the Association of Single Mothers, Lazzat Ishmukhamedova is first of all a teacher at heart. She worked for several years teaching in a vocational school. Then, in the early 1990s, single mothers, widows, and divorced women with children were the most affected by the sudden unemployment after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1993, Lazzat lost her job. She resented the fact that educated women were not in demand. However, her son’s birth that same year gave her inexhaustible energy, strength, inspiration, and renewal. It encouraged her to give birth to another baby: the Association of Single Mothers. The organization’s mission was to support vulnerable families, give them hope in their social standing and to promote gender equality. In 1998, the association adapted an Indian model for poverty reduction, a self-help group concept. In 2001, the organization was renamed Moldir Women’s Association (MWA). Today, the association is known inside and outside Kazakhstan. It provides support to NGOs in rural areas through training and sharing its experience in implementing the self-help concept. MWA unites thousands of poor families and helps them resolve their problems. So far, it has implemented 23 social projects with 10,000 beneficiaries and provided some financial assistance. Lazzat and the Association have received several awards for their work. She says, “I am filled with joy, satisfaction, and pride by everything the association has done: a support center for children from poor families, the Moldir Micro-Credit Organization, and the establishment of other self-help federations with the help of MWA.”

Ishenim Regional Partnership Network Moldir Women’s Association (MWA)

Central Asia and the Middle East | Kazakhstan

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