Youth-led solutions help build a sustainable future in Tajikistan

UPSHFIT forum highlights how investing in skills development can drive innovation

13 July 2019
Forum participants on the stage
UNICEF Tajikistan
National PESHSAF forum participants on the stage.

Innovative ideas, passionate young people and bright prospects for change is what you could have experienced at the National PESHSAF (UPSHIFT) Forum in Dushanbe on the 13-14 of July.

Adolescents and youth from all over the country came to celebrate #WorldYouthSkillsDay by showcasing innovative social-entrepreneurship solutions to issues affecting their communities. The issues they explored included hygiene, improving access to education for people with disabilities, environmental protection, plastic waste reduction, agro-processing, efficient use of water, and many others.

Solutions to these issues were developed during a 4-day boot-camp followed by 3 months mentorship with the UNICEF-supported UPSHIFT program at the Adolescents Innovation Labs in different parts of the country. UPSHIFT gives young people the opportunity to develop a wide range of 21st century skills and create social enterprise to address broad range of issues from using IT for learning to waste management.

With the assistance of mentors and access to the expertise of ten Innovation Labs at the government-led Centers for Additional Education and Youth Centers across all regions of the country, 4,500 young people developed their skills, 60 sustainable innovative solutions and business ideas were developed, 5 of which were awarded at the forum. 



PESHSAF (UPSHIFT) program contributes to the global partnership on youth empowerment Generation Unlimited by helping young people in Tajikistan develop skills for the future of work. The Government of Tajikistan acknowledged the successes achieved within the PESHSAF program and calls for its expansion to provide skills development opportunities to more adolescents across the country.

UNICEF is committed to working with the Ministry of Education and Science and Committee on Youth Affairs and Sports in providing access to skills development opportunities to adolescent and young people through the UPSHIFT at new Innovation Labs across the country. 

Note: PESHSAF is a social innovation program in Tajikistan modeled on the global USPHIFT program supported by UNICEF in 15 countries of the world.


Media contacts

Shuhratjon Sharipov
Communications Officer
UNICEF Tajikistan
Tel: +992 939144010
Tel: +992 907437588


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. UNICEF operates in Tajikistan since 1993. 

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