Explore, Exchange, Engage: adventurers return from inaugural 360 Tajikistan trip

The first 360 programme was held in June 2019 by the Aga Khan Foundation UK. A small group of travellers set out on a journey of adventure and personal discovery to witness the impactful work of the Aga Khan Development Network and to immerse themselves in a new culture.

Photography: 360 participants

17 explorers and AKF UK representatives travelled to Tajikistan for the inaugural 360 programme. This programme gave participants the opportunity to explore a country, meet like-minded people and learn more about the work of AKDN through witnessing, first hand, the projects on the ground and the life changing impact they are having on communities.

The group flew first to Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital, where they were able to visit the Ismaili Centre and one of the few remaining Ottoman citadels, Hisar Fortress, located some 30km outside the capital.

A stunning drive through the Pamir mountains took them over what the locals term ‘the roof of the world’. The snow-capped peaks of the Pamirs provided a truly unforgettable backdrop to the journey, along with the serpentine rivers and tributaries that wind through the valleys, carrying glacial melt-water to the scattered mountain villages.

The drive took them to the remote border town of Khorog, where many of AKDN’s cross-border projects are having a profound impact on the Tajik locals, but also their Afghan neighbours. Take Pamir Energy for example, the hydroelectric energy company, set up in 2002 that has brought a reliable and clean supply of energy to both sides of the border. Or the newly built Aga Khan Medical Centre, a stunning facility that has allowed locals to access quality health services without having to go through lengthy visa applications. These projects are just a few of the impactful works that AKDN has undertaken since it first began work in the region, and participants in the 360 programme were lucky enough to visit a variety of them.

Other highlights of the trip to Tajikistan included tours of the University of Central Asia campus in Khorog, and the Aga Khan Lycée and ECD centre. A truly unforgettable experience was had by all, that combined history, natural beauty and wonderfully-rich cultural exchange.

To read more about AKDN’s work in Tajikistan, click here.