April 27, 2016

Through the Participant's Eyes: Gulasel from Kyrgyzstan

Gulasel_Grand Canyon
Gulasel Nogoibaeva is a nonprofit leader from Kyrgyzstan with an MBA and medical school education. She comes from an extensive professional background including program management, grant writing, fundraising, and has worked with USAID and the UNDPPoverty reduction program.

Placed through CIPUSA's affiliate office, Empower International, Gulasel interned at Social Venture Partners (SVP) in Phoenix, Arizona from February-April, 2016. 

SVP Arizona is one of 39 Social Venture Partner network member organizations that help individuals amplify their giving, fund and strenghten nonprofits and equip their communities to tackle their greatest social challenges.  Partners pool their funds together and make multi-year, unrestricted gifts to carefully vetted nonprofit investees with proven potential for social change. Partners also contribute their business and professional expertise to the nonprofits, all with the goal of strengthening the nonprofit and increasing its impact. 

SVP Arizona holds an annual event called "Fast Pitch," which is a free two month training and mentoring program for innovatinv nonprofits that are effecting social change in Maricopa County, culminating in the Fast Pitch competition--a high energy, rapid-fire presentation event during which eight finalists share the mission, vision and impact of their ogranization with the audience and judges in just three minutes.  Finalists compete for over $50,000 in grants and prizes. 

Gulasel_Native Americans

Q&A with Gulasel about her time in the United States:


What do you think of American food? Do you have any favorite foods that you've tried?  Any foods that you didn't like?

I tasted American foods such as steaks, pizza, hamburgers, salads, and Mexican, Italian and Chinese food. My favorite American food is steaks and NY pizza. I didn't like fast food.

What cultural activities have you participated in since being here?

Gulsael's Itinerary was packed! Here are just some of the activities she participated in:
Welcome barbecue with Empower International and her host family
Visited Desert Botanical Garden (the world's largest collection of desert plants)
Visited Gila River Indian Community
Visited the Phoenix Art Museum
Visited the Heard Museum and Native American Fair
Took a trip to Payson City and Fountain HIlls
Went to a rodeo with her host family
Went horseback riding
Saw the Disney movie "Zootopia"
WEnt to the Musical Instrument Museum
Visited Sedona, Arizona
WEnt to the Luke Air Force Show
Visitied the Phoenix Zoo
Went on a tour of the Grand Canyon
Visited New York City (Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, American Museum of Natural History, boat tour to the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, Times Square, Wall Street, the Empire State Building, Central Park)

What were your favorite activities and/or places that you have traveled to during your visit here?

The Grand Canyon, Burton Barr Central Public Library in Phoneix, Sedona, the Heard Museum, the Musical Instrument Musuem, New York City Trip.

What did you think of your trip to the Native American Reservation?

I viewed the Navajo Nation Reservation during my trip to the Grand Canyon. I visited the Museum of Gila River Indian Community, the Heard Museum and Native American Fair. I found the culture, art and music of the Native Americans very interesting.

Does Kyrgyzstan have any tribal groups similar to our Native Americans? If so, how are they similar and/or different?

Kyrgyzstan is divided into tribal groups too. And at the same time, there is a division between the north and the south. Tribal groups play an important role only during political elections.

Describe your time interning at Social Venture Partners (What work activities have you helped with? How was the "Fast Pitch" event?)

Gulasel helped SVP with numerous work activities including preparing the Fast Pitch program, sending out invitation letters, managing the sign-up and volunteers, printing badges and signs, provided administrative support during the event, assisted with financial support including grant updates and staff receipts, helped with social media and uploading finalist videos, updated SVP's website, and worked within the CRM software Salesforce to manage partner donations.

How is working in the U.S. different from or similar to working back home in Kyrgyzstan?

New Information Communication Technologies (ICT) are used in the U.S.

What have you learned while working at SVP that you would like to incorporate in your work back home?

I am going to use the Fast Pitch model, local philanthropy, and new ICT in my country.

Is there anything you would like Americans to know about Kyrgyzstan?

Welcome to Kyrgyzstan at any time!

Are there any differences that you have noticed between common customs and culture in the U.S. versus in Kyrgyzstan?

I noticed differences such as the relationships between people, daily life planning, health insurance, and local philanthropy. For example, respect from society and independent travel is possible for poeple with disabilities everywhere (in public transportation, pedestrian walkways, restrooms, elevators including different types of supporting equipment). This situation is different in the Kyrgyz Republic: no access for people with disabilities to public transportation, public restrooms, no ramps, etc. Also, people live in Arizona following the philosphy of individuality. People in Kyrgyzstan are more social and have very close relationships with family, relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbors.

What did you think overall about your time in the U.S.?

Great time!

Is there anywhere else in the U.S., you would like to visit? What other countries would you like to visit if you had the opportunity to?

I have a big list of my trips in the future:
U.S.: California, Ohio, Washington DC, and Chicago.
Countries: Mexico, Canada, England, Italy, Greece, Japan, Malaysia, Sinagpore, Vietnam, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Peru, etc.
Gulasel_Sedona   Gulasel_FastPitch


Posted by Lindsey Walsh on April 27, 2016 at 3:45 PM in Participant Permalink
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December 30, 2016 7:09 AM

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