Help youth in Tajikistan build safer, more inclusive communities
Tajikistan, a landlocked country home to nearly 10 million people, plays a vital role in Central Asia, a region with increasing clout and centrality for US security. Bordered by Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and China, Tajikistan’s stability directly contributes to US efforts to counter terrorism, support stability in the region, and enhance economic prosperity.
Khujand, Tajikistan’s second-largest city, lies on the edge of the Fergana Valley near the northern border with Uzbekistan. The city is grappling with high unemployment and poverty. Consequently, this border region has experienced a higher rate of radicalization among youth.
A key pillar of US policy in Tajikistan is American Spaces, a US Department of State initiative with a network of cultural centers in more than 140 countries that serve to connect the world with the United States. Modeled after public libraries, American Spaces provides youth with access to English courses, cultural and community events, and information about studying in the US. In short, it’s one of the most cost-effective ways of sharing American culture and ideals with foreign audiences and countering false narratives.
The American Space in Khujand is on the front lines of local efforts to counter extremist narratives and offer youth pathways to a dignified livelihood. Previously, it was located at a municipal building with limited hours and access. Moreover, the facility could no longer accommodate additional visitors. A new, larger space was urgently needed. In 2018, the US Embassy Dushanbe reached out to Spirit of America to identify potential solutions to address this issue.
Working with the US embassy and PO Jahoni MO, a Khujand-based NGO, Spirit of America agreed to provide three years of rent at a new location, in addition to moving costs, a portion of staff salaries, and necessary equipment.
Supporting American Space Khujand ensures continued American engagement and diplomacy in a crucial region. And, the new facility provides local youth a safe place to come together, organize, and make their community a better place.
We need your help to ensure our three-year commitment to the youth of Tajikistan.