Central Asian fellows make excellent progress with their Action Plans
Nazira Sheraly, is a businesswoman and advocate for gender equality from Kyrgyzstan and started the first ‘Lean in Circle’ in Central Asia. Nazira’s attachments during the JST fellowship programme were focused on mentorship schemes for young women in business. Since returning to Bishkek, Nazira has established ‘Mentorship Program Kyrgyzstan’ which matches young women at early stages of their careers with committed mentors from relevant professional spheres. The scheme has been met with great enthusiasm in Kyrgyzstan and has already paired up several mentees and mentors globally. Nazira has even secured the support of the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon.
Onola Umankulova, executive director at EdNet in Kyrgyzstan, has started to build up the political support she needs to implement her JST Action Plan aiming to improve the quality and reputation of higher education in Kyrgyzstan. Onola met with parliamentarians, deputy Minister of Education and the British Ambassador in Bishkek to lay the foundations for cooperation between UK and Kyrgyz organisations. She is now working to raise funds for the project. Onola also presented some ideas she developed during the fellowship programme about cooperation between UK and Kyrgyzstani universities at the British Council’s Internationalisation of Higher Education Forum in Bishkek in February.
Sevara Ikromova, teacher and women’s activist from Margilan in Uzbekistan used her individual attachment programme during the JST fellowship to learn about ways in which schools, women’s support centres and other institutions support women to make choices about their education and careers. Since returning to Uzbekistan, Sevara has garnered the support of her fellow teachers, college director, local authorities as well as her students, and has opened a ‘Resource Centre for Girls’ at her medical college. The resource centre provides advice and support to girls on applying to university, careers, job searches and grants and also functions as an English language library. Sevara’s success has been featured in the regional news.