America's Unofficial Ambassadors

We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.

Ecotourism: A Path to Dignity in Tajikistan

We have exciting news – The Tajik Community-Based Tourism Association seeks an Unofficial Ambassador to manage communications and outreach for summer 2016. Interested in working in ecotourism? Passionate about human rights and women’s empowerment? Read on!


(Photo: TCBTA


The Challenge: 

Tajikistan, a small Central Asian republic, gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Tajik economy, which depended on imports from the Soviet Union, has never fully recovered. Due to high unemployment, over 50% of Tajikistan’s male work force has left the country to pursue opportunities in Russia. In turn, over 50% of Tajikistan’s GDP is comprised of remittances (money earned abroad and sent back to Tajikistan). Global Voices recently declared Tajikistan the “most remittance-dependent country in the world.”

So what happens to those left behind? Women whose husbands travel to Russia often experience increased stress, economic hardship, and social alienation. The situation is further complicated when their husbands simply disappear: the Tajik legal system does not have the capacity to enforce alimony payments once a man has disappeared to Russia. In this scenario, Tajik women are required to live with their in-laws, where they are sometimes subject to abuse. (FIDH)



Community-Based Tourism (CBT) as a Solution: 

Various solutions have been proposed to support and empower Tajik women at risk.  One of the most creative solutions comes from the Tajik Community-Based Tourism Association (TCBTA). Community-based tourism (CBT), a form of ecotourism, allows entrepreneurial women to autonomously develop tourism services and keep the income they earn. The TCBTA aims to increase women’s participation in the CBT sector by creating new jobs and professional development opportunities. The TCBTA also aims to support responsible tourism projects in Tajikistan’s rural areas, and positively impact the economies of these remote communities.


(Photo: TCBTA

Where you come in…

As a communications and outreach associate, you will help to publicize and promote community-based tourism in Tajikistan. You will develop the TCBTA website, design brochures for the CBT industry, and support the director in raising awareness of the sector.


(Photo: TCBTA

For more information on this placement, and other internship opportunities in Tajikistan, email Kathleen at



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This entry was posted on March 23, 2016 by in Volunteer Related.
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