ANDAROB VILLAGE, TAJIKISTAN
My name is Rukhzora. I am 51 years old. During the Soviet period I worked as an accountant for a collective farm in our village. I have a Bachelor's degree in accounting. After the Soviet Union collapsed I lost my job. We were given a small plot of land and I started growing my own vegetables and crops. I also started a cleaning job at a community center in our village. My husband is 55 years old. He used to work as an electrician, but quit his job due to health problems. He is half paralyzed. I had nine children: two daughters and seven sons, but lost tree of them. My eldest daughter is married and she teaches at an elementary school, the youngest one is in eighth grade. My eldest son followed his father’s path and works as an electrician. I lost three of my sons. One fell off of a cliff when taking our goats to pasture. By the time help arrived he lost a lot of blood and doctors could not save his life. The second child drowned in the river that runs by our house. My third son died from stomach infection. Many years have passed, but I still feel regret and pain. I always think if I could have done or said something different to prevent my sons' death. We have a large family and our expenses are big too. So, in addition to my cleaning job I joined the spinning team. At the beginning it was difficult for me to spin, it was really hard to learn. But slowly I am getting more comfortable and experienced. I have 8 goats and I make some of my yarn from my goats' fiber. I try very hard to make a good quality yarn. We work in a small spinning workshop. The room is warm and well lit and I enjoy working there. I cannot work at home because I get easily distracted by house chores. We used to spin on small wooden spinners. Now we have small electric spinning machines that make our work much easier and faster. The pay is good and the money I earn I spend on my children. I buy them food, clothes and school supplies.