My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Joint Development Associates International, Inc., Grand Junction, CO, USA
I began doing some humanitarian aid work in Kazakhstan in 1992, under the name of Forestry Consultation and Development Group. We were helping them develop their timber resources. A year or two earlier, my friend, Bob Hedlund had started a similar work in Uzbekistan under the name of Joint Development Associates.
On several occasions, I stopped in Tashkent to see the Hedlunds. I was impressed with the creative ways that Bob used to help the Uzbeks through their economic crisis. Uzbekistan had been under Soviet control for 70 years. In the village of Karnap, Bob taught a group of folks the the principles of free enterprise and challenged them to present a business plan to meet a local need. He offered to loan them some funds and help them develop their businesses. One man told Bob about a local gypsum deposit that he could develop with some help. Bob was able help him get the necessary equipment, and soon they became the main gypsum source for the country. This primary plaster ingredient fostered much economic development, providing jobs for many workers. The quality of life in the community was enormously impacted.