Tajik men are faced with a harrowing choice: Stay home and face poverty and unemployment, or go abroad and work for a better life. Employment options are very limited in Tajikistan with up to half of the population being unemployed. This lack of jobs in country is what motivates more than 1 million Tajik men (about 15% of the total population) to search for job outside of Tajikistan.
Many of these men begin the search for work outside the country when they find that their college education doesn’t prepare them for a good paying job. Or when they found that the salary of their job is not sufficient. An entry-level bank job pays about 1000 Somoni ($95 USD) per month. While a nursing job pays a mere 300 Somoni, yet carries the expectation that patients will tip the nurse and doctors, as the salary is so low.
Mostly younger men head to Russia, and send money home to their families to pay for basics like food and electricity. Men often have to choose between staying home and facing the financial difficulty and cultural shame of not working, or leaving their families, often including young children, for years at a time.
Often the health of families suffers when husbands/fathers are gone for such long periods of time. Neither of these options is appealing so it’s not surprising that some men turn to alcohol, drugs, and violence, or get involved in the narcotics trade to fill the hole that purposelessness leaves.
- Praise God that He made these men in His image and has created them for a purpose and has planned good works for them to do.
- Pray that God would provide ways for men to provide for their families.
- Pray that God would raise up local believers to disciple young men as they struggle with the choices surrounding unemployment here.
- Pray that God would break the power of addiction and violence over men and set them free in a way only He can.
- Pray that desperate men would seek God’s help and not try to fix things in their own strength.