70 Rudaki St., #76, 4th floor
RI, based in Los Angeles, provides emergency relief, rehabilitation, and development assistance to victims of natural disasters and civil conflicts worldwide. Founded in 1990, RI has directly provided emergency, rehabilitation and development project services to affected populations in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Chechnya, Tajikistan, and Vietnam.
- Humanitarian Health Assistance: Tajikistan has experienced ongoing civil strife since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, severely impairing the national health care system. Since 1993, RI-Tajikistan has provided medical supplies and training to rural health facilities in the Karategin valley and Khatlon oblast, and has maintained permanent field base offices and warehouses in both areas. RI has supported over 200 rural health facilities, trained over 600 healthcare staff, and delivered an average of $15,000 in essential drugs and medical supplies each month, covering a resident population of 350,000 in both regions.
As part of the larger health program, over 5,000 children living in "Internats," institutions for orphans and children with special needs, received humanitarian medical assistance from RI's health teams in Tajikistan. RI trains and provides essential pharmaceuticals and health supplements for the children. RI also provided Internats with livestock as a sustainable source of nutrients and to develop job skills in animal husbandry.
In 1998 RI continued to provide assistance to the Internats, supplying them with pharmaceuticals and medical care. This effort operated in collaboration with Odamiyat, a local medical NGO that provides services for the elderly, disabled, and disadvantaged youth in Dushanbe. RI provides Odamiyat with material support for its clinic in Dushanbe Central Hospital and assists Odamiyat with various public health campaigns such as a widespread Vitamin A campaign throughout Dushanbe's schools that reached an estimated 50,000 students.
- Education: In 1995, RI, with support from UNHCR, engaged in rehabilitation education activities for vulnerable Afghan students living in Tajikistan. RI provided modest stipends to select individuals pursuing their higher secondary education. RI also hosted English language courses, taught by an Afghan instructor, for which a total of 30 university students from the Medical and Agricultural Institutes were chosen based on eligibility and level of interest.
- Small Enterprise Development: RI has operated a small enterprise development (SED) program to increase the economic self-sufficiency among women head-of-households in the Khatlon oblast region. Since 1995 the program has trained more than 450 women in private business concepts, and provided additional assistance to about two-thirds of these women who were developing businesses in livestock breeding, bread making, yarn making, knitting, sewing, poultry breeding, and making shoes.
- Restocking of Livestock: In 1996 RI embarked on a livestock credit project which provides short-term loans for the purchase of livestock, focusing on the distribution of milk goats to vulnerable families, especially those headed by females. The project has successfully assisted about 50 families who have experienced a 20% net gain in livestock outputs to date.
- Peace/Tolerance Education: In 1998 RI began an education initiative that included training and curriculum development to promote peace and tolerance among war-affected children in Tajikistan. This initiative was based on a model developed by UNHCR in Kyrgyzstan and was implemented in collaboration with the Tajikistan Ministry of Education, UNHCR, various NGOs, and parent/teacher/ academic associations.
Last updated: November 1998
A print version of much of the information contained in this Central Asian Third Sector Organizations section can be found in Civil Society in Central Asia (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999).