“Bereke” – history of development

In 2002, U.S. private non-profit organization ACDI/VOCA began implementation of the Community Action Investment Program (CAIP) in Kazakhstan. CAIP is funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and is implemented under the localized name “Bereke”, “Prosperity” in Kazakh language. CAIP/Bereke works with communities that are perceived to be either conflict-prone or have significant potential for conflict arising from issues related to the communities’ basic socio-economic needs. CAIP/Bereke promotes broad-based dialogue among community residents, local government, private businesses and NGOs to strengthen the communities’ capacity to address community identified and prioritized issues through the mobilization of local resources (human, technical, financial and natural) and use of participatory practices that collectively work to address issues of social instability within the community. 

CAIP/Bereke has collaborated with 21 partner communities in South-Kazakhstan, Zhambyl and Almaty regions since June 2002.

In the three year period, CAIP/Bereke has implemented 71 social infrastructure projects directly benefiting 237,000 people in the three target regions.

Through the utilization of U.S. and local technical assistance consultants and collaboration with local and international NGOs (Business Women’s Association (BWA), Intellect, Sana Sezym, Sodbi Business Incubator, MASHAV, International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), Population Services International (PSI), Abt. Associates ZdravPlus, Junior Achievement International (JAI), Natural Resources Management Program/Uzbekistan, Urban Institute Local Government Initiative – Phase II/Uzbekistan, and ACDI/VOCA Central Asian Micro Finance Alliance (CAMFA)/Uzbekistan), CAIP/Bereke co-implemented trainings involving the most active community members, including youth, covering technical issues of project implementation/maintenance/sustainability, mobilization of community savings, conflict prevention/resolution, advocacy, civic education, human rights, community strategic planning, among many other topics. More than 100 technical trainings in the 21 partner communities have been implemented as of May 2005.

With the completion of the CAIP program in July 2005, ACDI/VOCA CAIP staff, inspired by the experience, knowledge and technical skills gained, has decided to continue to work with stakeholders in the three regions of Southern Kazakhstan in the co-implementation of community-driven activities through the local NGO successor organization Bereke.