Total loan: $7,400


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Bokonbayevo, Issyk-Kul Region, Kyrgyzstan / Arts

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A loan helped to invest in raw materials and a new wool-carding machine to employ local women in Kyrgyzstan and increase production.

Zhanyl's story

Zhanyl lives in a Bokonbayevo, a small town in northern Kyrgyzstan. Since childhood, Zhanyl has loved to work with her mother and grandmother, raising sheep, washing their wool, and practicing traditional shyrdak felting every evening. As she grew up, synthetic materials and machine-made products infiltrated the market, and Zhanyl watched traditional weaving techniques disappear. To continue these ancient nomadic tarditiona and employ women throughout the region, Zhanyl organized Altyn Oimok, an organization that would create jobs by reviving the Hyrgyz heritage of felt art. When the organization began in 1994, Zhanyl worked with five women; today, 24 felt masters work in several workshops and own a store. A loan of $7400 will help Zhanyl invest in raw materials and a new wool-carding machine to create higher quality products. This loan will allow Zhanyl to employ 4 young women in Kyrgyzstan, increase production, and create a more sustainable business.