Bekjan Arapov: "Do not give up - that's my motto"

Bekjan Arapov proudly demonstrates his sawmill. Photo:Almazbek Abdrapiev

When you live in a remote transborder village, you may not expect to get well-paid work. It seemsthat you have no opportunities and the only way to earn for living – is to move to the capital or abroad.


  • Residents of the Ak-Sai village (about 2600 people) have access to the services of a mobile sawmill. There is an opportunity to increase profits by providing services to the residents of neighbor Vorukh Jamoat (Tajikistan) with a population about 28 000 people. The project created three workplaces.
  • In the framework of the project, the UNDP supported 7 youth projects for a total of 1,526,370 Soms The own contribution of grant recipients is 924 846 soms. About 21,000 people have got a benefit from the project results. 29 people receivedworkplaces. Through participation in projects about 58 people were able to improve their well-being.


Arapov Bekjan , a resident of transborder Ak-Sai village of Batken district, thought the same until the time he heard about the possibility to get grant resources  to start  own business about five months ago. Bekjan is 31 years old, owner of a small grocery store. Having an economic background he never worked in this particular field. Bekjan shares that up to this moment   he was always satisfied with life, but had a feeling that he must to achieve something more.


One day a village head told Bekjan about UNDP training for Ak-Sai youth on  developing  business start-ups. Bekjan knew that it was h is  chance  especially because the training  participants had an opportunity to apply for a grant after the training. Bekjan decided to take part in the competition and with the help of UNDP realize his long-termdea to open a mobile sawmill.


"There are more than 2,500 people in the village. Every year, about 15-20  new houses are constructed and poplar is commonly used for construction. Processing a poplar on sawmill is cheaper than buying ready-made material on the market. But the absence of the sawmill created a great difficulties for the residents, as the closest sawmill was located in a neighboring village at a distance of 10 km. If you count all expenses, the final price was a considerable sum, which many people could not afford "- says Bekjan.
His application was considered and supported by the UNDP within the framework of the project "Youth for peaceful changes", which is implemented by UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA in the 14 municipalities of Chui, Naryn, Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken oblasts of the Kyrgyz Republic. The project aims  to show young people that there is always room fordevelopment and growth anywhere, and success can be can be achieved even at the grassroots level.


Having received a grant in October, Bekjan bought a mobile sawmill of Russian production. It took him several days to understand the design of the equipment and check the quality of work. The news about the appearance of new equipment spread quickly through the village and after a few days Bekjan got the first orders from locals. Now he works hard and tries to do his job efficiently. He says that despite the end of the season he has always work to do. He is confident that he will get more orders in the spring next year.


Bekjan feelsoptimistic about the future. He is sure that the number of orders will only grow. In the future, Bekjan is going to open a smallbuilding materials store. He knows that he has to work hard and overcome many obstacles to succeed. But he is confident that the hard work and diligence will lead to the success.


Young Bekjan became a role modelperson for the residents of Ak Sai  village. Perhaps it was the reason for Bekjan as the deputy of the local council. Now he will have to solve the problems of not only one village but the whole aiyl okmotu.


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