About Us

Saving Our Heritage – Saving Ourselves (SOHSA)

In 2011, the National Association of Business Women of Tajikistan and the Bootstrap project (USA) with the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has launched a project Saving Our Heritage-Saving Ourselves (SOHSA). Unique and innovative approach of Saving Our Heritage – Saving Ourselves (SOHSA), contributed to the revival of the tradition and provided women artisans of the country with income generating activities. This approach was distinctive because it provided women with education and material support, and especially promotion of handicrafts and artisans in the international markets. The program has developed a network of existing masters and artisans, embroiderers in the entire country; by expanding their capacity and providing international, TOT trainings, facilitated network of trainers who effectively transfer their knowledge to students, provided masters and students with high quality raw materials and regular orders.
Results and achievements of the project:
• Created a catalogue of 51 artisans and suzani embroiderers of the Republic of Tajikistan;
• Established a network of 113 women artisans and artisans database;
• Conducted research on the technique of embroidery in the regions of the Republic of Tajikistan;
• Developed and published a brochure in Tajik and English: basic information about the suzani embroidery, ornaments and dying threads;
• Compiled a manual for the development, design and product quality;
• Conducted 8 trainings in Khatlon, Sughd and GBAO, total of 113 women trained in suzani embroidery; • 9 women artisans were able to improve their skills in Bukhara, for a better understanding of regional characteristics, quality control and product development issues;
• Established contacts with suppliers from China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to import high quality raw materials as cotton and silk threads suitable for export markets;
• Women artisans have mobilized and involved in income-generating activities
• Products are branded as SOHSA and labeled “Handmade in Tajikistan” for selling overseas; ‘Project products exported to the USA, England, Germany, Canada, Australia, India, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan;
• SOHSA products are on online stores: The Bootstrap Project , USA www.thebootstrapproject.com , India House of wondering silk www.wanderingsilk.org , www.globein.org , Germany www.gundara.com; • The project continues to work on a self-sustainability and provides women artisans with regular orders. This is how the intricate traditional ornaments of Darvaz were transformed into beautiful pillow cases, giving women income generating activity and creating strong demand in both local and international markets.