Father and son Isroilovs both returned from labour migration in Russia ill and unable to perform hard physical works anymore. At a remote village close to Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan they’d have a hard life, if not a solution in type of an easier job –beekeeping. IOM with funds from USAID Dignity and Rights project provided Isroilovs with honeybee colonies and protective clothing sets, as well as trained them on apiculture.
Abdulkarim, 63, has five daughters, all married and away, and now the only son lives with him. He got the son when already was 40 years old. When young, Abdulkarim used to work in trade sector and could afford to take care of a big family. But then civil war occurred, and things changed, he recalls:
“I had to go to Russia to take care of my family. Unfortunately, I already was not young and soon lost my health, could not work anymore, returned home. My son, Fayzullo, was only 20, and he stepped up to go to Russia. We did not have a good luck in Russia – Fayzullo lost his health only in three months of hard work at construction there and also returned”.
In Qubodiyon district, where Isroilovs live in, IOM implements a USAID Dignity and Rights-funded project providing small income generating grants to returned vulnerable migrants. IOM offered Isroilovs if they would be willing to do beekeeping. Their house is located in a good location to breed bees. They started with 20 colonies of honeybees. Abdulkarim admits that he was scared of both bees and how he would breed them and produce honey. IOM was there to offer help.
Mahmudkhon Miyonov, NGO “Chashma” expert, IOM local partner, has an extensive experience in this sphere and frequently visits the Isroilovs to give advices and train them. He says:
“This year Isroilovs improved their experience in beekeeping and we expect them to get up to 500kg of honey. There are always clients for honey, neighbours in the village come and buy, and they also take it to bazaar and sell there”.
No fear I saw anymore in Abdulkarim’s eyes, when visited them. He says, though he is not scared of bees anymore, he still follows rules and approaches the hives only wearing hooded suit, gloves, hat, and veil.
Abdulkarim Isroilov is satisfied and happy for the opportunity of staying home with his only son and make living without leaving the house. Now, when there is a source of income, Abdulkarim wants his son to find a life partner and bring home a new family member. He says, in addition to the bees buzzing, sound of little children is what would add joy and happiness now to their family.