American University of Central Asia - AUCA - From Heart to Heart

From Heart to Heart


Initial situation / problem statement

In rural areas of Kyrgyzstan, there are people with disabilities who are vulnerable and face unemployment. As a result, most of the people with limited mobility feel unnecessary, useless, and abandoned by society, and some of them have their own talents. People often lack the knowledge and resources, to support themselves financially and government pensions are very small. This project promotes the interests and rights of disabled people by creating employment opportunities. “From Heart to Heart” provides art training, job training, and community for people with disabilities in Cholpon-Ata town, where I used to live and know 8 people with disabilities personally. Five of them are people who have problems with hearing and speech and 3 of them have problems with walking. One of the deaf-dumb people is a young man who got through different life difficulties since his childhood. He has a huge talent in painting and drawing but lacks knowledge and no funding. Another woman with disabilities has talent in sewing and handmade, but she also needs a start-up, and support for her endeavors. One of the main problems is not being able to get a job and earn money for a living. These stories really inspired me to create this project. It is an ongoing project, that promotes self-sufficiency and self-confidence. Professional artisans provide training in both crafts and business.


Goal Statement

Organize the training in craftsmanship (making handicrafts), in marketing and financial literacy, (Specific) for 10 people (Measurable), later on, use a social network page for advertisement and promotion of goods made by people with disabilities(Achievable and Realistic), from December 2017 to April 2018 (Time-bound).


Target group

“From Heart to Heart” supports sixteen people in the town of Cholpon-Ata who have a range of disabilities. Most of them have feelings of uselessness, a sense of inferiority. Some of them think they are a burden in the family, and need support. I understand their condition because my sister also has a disability.


Resources and responsibilities

As a primary resource for the project, there is a team of people each with her/his own responsibilities, including:

  1. Trainers: felting artisan, business, and marketing professionals
  2. A manager who coordinates activities and advertises the program on the webpage/social networks.


Partnerships and cooperation

This project includes volunteers, community partners, and trainers. Local NGO “Umai Ene” foundation helps to sell our goods, organizes training, and finds sign language interpreters for our participants with hearing problems. Another main donor is the Student Initiative Development Program at the American University of Central Asia. I have also applied and received additional funding from Bard Center for Civic Engagement to expand my project.



Primarily our program funds materials and trainers. Volunteers provide services, like signing. As the program grows, we anticipate our financial needs growing and will connect with local partners and NGOs to help create a sustainable financial model for the future.


Timeframe and milestones

Phase 1 – preparation. Here we gather the team, brainstorm, and solve organizational issues. It also includes the selection of trainers by making announcements or by recommendations. This phase should finish on November 29, 2017. Phase 2 – the start of training and purchase of consumables. Phase 3- publication of the goods on the web page/social networks. Phase 4 – interacting with more people and involve more volunteers, and modifying the project considering all experience. Phase 5 – making the project sustainable, establish contacts with other donors.


Contact information

Mira Dzhakshylykova –

American University of Central Asia
7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060

Tel.: +996 (312) 915000 + Еxt.
Fax: +996 (312) 915 028
AUCA Contacts