From Namangan with LoveApr 16, 2018
Every morning after finishing up her household work Samiya Juraeva takes a bus from her hometown in Turakurgan to start work at 8 a.m as a craftsperson in Namangan. Samia Juraeva started her work at the ‘Rozdil Charm Savdo’ factory in 2014 specializing in the production of purses. Back then, she performed only the simplest work - attaching accessories to ready-made bags.
“I was impressed to see how in a master’s hands pieces of leather turn into a new bag, and I also wanted to learn how to make it,” recalls Samia.
The existing master- apprentice system at the factory enables senior workers to mentor junior employees like Samia. Thanks to this, she can now easily sew and process any model of bag. Three of her former colleagues even went on to setting up their own business producing bags for women.
Samia is one of 70 young people working at the factory today. When the factory was launched in 2011, there were only 15 workstations with 10 masters and 10 apprentices, making only one model of bag with production of just 50 pieces per day.
Much changed in 2016, when UNDP’s ‘Aid for Trade’ project, with the financial support of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, helped with special sewing and laser equipment. This equipment helps not only to produce high-quality and competitive products, but also to impact the lives of young women and men by providing decent jobs and opportunities to do what they like. “It may seem that we are doing a monotonous job. But in fact, it is a complex process where there is always a room for creativity. I believe that if the product is made with love, it will always find a customer,”says Samia.
The bags made by the ‘Rozdil Charm Savdo’ team are gaining popularity – the number of whole-sale customers has grown from 30-40 private entrepreneurs to hundreds of retail buyers, including customers from Samarkand, Bukhara, Kokand, and Khorezm. To date, the factory produces 250-300 bags every day.
“But, these are not the final numbers for the enterprise”, says Soibzhan Kobilov, head of ‘Rozdil Charm Savdo’, he explains his high hopes noting, “At this stage, we are establishing cooperation with Kazakhstan and Russia to export our products. We are also expecting to sign an export contract with Kyrgyz entrepreneurs soon.”
Every evening, Samiya Juraeva takes a bus from Namangan to Turakurgan to embrace her family and perform housework. Samia had recently married and at first was wondered if she could continue working. “Many of my friends, left their jobs after getting married, now they stay at home as housekeepers. To my delight, my spouse visited the factory and observed the conditions for employees and fully supported me in my desire to continue working at the factory. Now I am learning how to balance my family and my career.”