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Success stories - 2017


Story of one dream: “How a village sculptor started making shoes”

The 25 years old Aibek has a profession rare for Kazakhstan, he – is a painter and sculptor. As any artist he is permanently in search for inspiration. Once he had a chance to observe a shoes master making shoes using a sharp knife to carve leather details, removing the excess, gathering it all into a whole piece. The process captivated Aibek, and he emediately decided to learn the craft, so akin to his profession. Today Aibek is the owner of a small shoe sewing facility in a rural area in Kyzyl Zhar, South Kazakhstan region, which he launched last year with the support of the joint project between the World Bank and MoES RoK.



Everything started with a social idea. While learning the experience of the other craftsmen, he came across a video on social pages, which narrated a story of a craftsman, who created universal sandals for children living in poverty in Africa. “I also decided to help those, who need help but cannot afford to buy it”. According to the project idea he and his team had to make free shoes for the people from his village in need, nearly 60 pairs of shoes during 5 months. The grant funds were used to purchase the required equipment and metarials.  

“It was rather difficult to make shoes for my village people because if they are not satisfied with something, they could immediately address us”, - says the craftsman loughing. “That is why we tried to do long lasting quality shoes, Because, then they would say – Aibek Zhanysov made these shoes for me”.


During project implementation Aibek and his team have gained some practical experience and built the reputation of skilled craftsmen, and after project termination they were able to wisely use all the resources. Worth mentioning, that the social aspect has not been omitted – the young team is providing job to limited mobility people from their village and are extending the number of social entrepreneurs. The young people plan to foster their business and expand the product range.