Ermek Mamaev Increases Access to Opportunities for People with Special Needs in Kyrgyzstan
Ermek Mamaev (Class of 2018) and his team implemented a project to empower people with special needs in Kyrgyzstan, who are often overlooked by the government. Through computer literacy training, Ermek and his team helped people with special needs become more self-reliant and helped enable them to generate incomes to support themselves. The team monitored the progress of each student, provided career mentoring, and will soon identify and facilitate job opportunities for those who complete the course. Despite being the youngest member of his 6-person team, Ermek was elected to lead the team of social advocates. Together, they successfully raised funds to provide free computer literacy courses for 22 people with special needs. In a 2-month period, they also organized several conferences and meetings to raise public attention to the problems faced by people with special needs in the country. They helped motivate and restore confidence for their students through notable guest speakers, who delivered inspirational speeches.