In March the AFEW International team, represented by Yuliya van Polanen, Executive Director, and Petra Kuipers, Programme Director Central Asia, embarked on a fruitful journey to Uzbekistan. The objectives of their visit were multifaceted, each contributing to our mission of strengthening partners capacities, fostering collaboration and advocating for underserved communities in Uzbekistan.

Yuliya and Petra met with the EU ambassador Charlotte Adriaen and her team at the  EU delegation in Tashkent. This meeting served as a platform for exchanging insights, aligning strategies, deepening our joint commitment to serving vulnerable populations and to continue the partnership.

On Saturday the 16th of March AFEW International facilitated a kick-off meeting for a new project “Empowering Voices for Inclusive Development” , which is financially supported by the EU delegation in Uzbekistan. During this meeting AFEW International ensured that local partners from Tashkent and Samarkand were primed and prepared for the project imminent launch. This meeting set the stage for a smooth implementation process, with all stakeholders on board and aligned with the collective vision and programme objectives and methodology. Within this project AFEW will start to work in a new geographical area for the organisation – Namagdan. Meeting with government officials in Namagdan and representatives from local civil society organizations provided AFEW with invaluable insights, enriching the understanding of local contexts.

During the trip, AFEW also met with the Dutch Embassy in Astana thereby bridging cultural and geographical gaps. Representatives of the Embassy got acquainted with the AFEW partners in Uzbekistan. Serving as intermediaries, AFEW facilitated connections between Dutch representatives and local civil society organizations, thereby establishing a foundation for future collaborations and mutual support.

Yuliya van Polanen, Executive Director AFEW International:

Reflecting on our recent journey to Uzbekistan, I’m filled with a sense of gratitude and inspiration.  The work of the AFEW International team and its partners is not only needed for underserved populations but also highly valued. Our interactions reaffirmed the importance of collaboration and connection – only together can we truly improve the lives of those who need it most.

This trip has opened doors for future endeavours and strengthened the bonds between AFEW International and our partners in Uzbekistan. I’m excited to see the impact of our collective efforts as we continue to work towards inclusive development in the region.

Stay tuned and follow our projects in Uzbekistan!

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