Supporting Local Employment and Development in the Issyk-Kul Region
In 2016, Kumtor resumed co-financing of the “One Village, One Product” (OVOP) project. The project aims to join the efforts of private entrepreneurs and local communities to build the economic capacity of the Issyk-Kul region by making products using available local resources. The project has been jointly co-funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The OVOP association was set up in 2011 by local manufacturers in the Issyk-Kul region as part of JICA’s local community empowerment project, which strengthens small businesses using the “One Village, One Product” approach.
The target group for the OVOP project is local community organizations in the Djety-Ögüz and Ton regions that are involved in the making of felt goods. The association currently numbers more than 2,200 members (a majority of whom are women) from 220 local communities.
Goods produced by local manufacturers belonging to the “One Village, One Product” association are available in “Issyk-Kul brand” stores in Karakol and Bishkek, at gas stations, and in guesthouses, hotels and coffee shops throughout the Kyrgyz Republic, totalling about 20 different points of sale. In addition, felt products are exported to Japan, the USA and Europe.
In 2019, eight felt workshops were opened, 130 training sessions were held, and 105 new products were developed as part of the joint Kumtor/OVOP project. Craftswomen took part in 19 expos and earned more than US$141,000. The project has benefited 1,462 people directly and has involved 2,873 local community members indirectly.