Starting an Orphanage Proposals

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					DECEMBER 2003

  FLEX Logo Contest: Lilit Avoyan ‘01, Mary Barseghyan ‘02, Anna Gharibyan ‘01, Ani Hakobyan ‘00,
  Hasmik Hovhannisyan ‘00, Ludwig Makhyan ‘01, Arsen Misakyan ‘01, Hayk Sargsyan ‘02, Varsenik Sargsyan
  ‘98, David Tadevosyan ‘99, and Liana Tadevosyan ’99 submitted entries for the FLEX logo contest conducted
  by ECA. The goal of the contest was to design a logo that depicts the FLEX program to be used in both print
  and electronic media.

  Recruitment Assistance: On December 5, Mariam Aslanyan ‘02, Anna Gevorgyan ‘02, Lusine Khachatryan
  ‘02, Ara Khzmalyan ‘01, Misak Krkyasharyan ‘03, Mariam Margaryan ‘03, Stella Matevosyan ’00, Armine
  Melkonyan ‘03, Rosa Stepanyan ‘02, Anna Vardanyan ‘02, and Lilit Vardanyan ‘03 assisted American Councils
  staff. The alumni helped to distribute applications and participated in the alumni panel. They answered parents’
  and semifinalists’ questions about the program and shared their exchange experiences.

  Pre-departure Orientation Letters: During the 2003-04 FLEX pre-departure orientation, all exchange students
  wrote letters to themselves in advance of their exchange experience. On December 9, Christina Grigorian ‘00
  and Liana Tadevosyan ‘99 sent the letters to the students at their U.S. host family addresses as a Christmas

  Choose Your Future Career: On December 19, American Councils organized a workshop entitled “choose
  your future career” for 16 FLEX and FSA Undergraduate alumni. The event was intended to help alumni who
  are just starting their professional careers to make good choices. Three Muskie alumni made presentations on
  topics such as business administration, public policy, education, journalism and international affairs.

  Job Hunting Seminar: Ani Hakobyan ‘00 of the Youth For Achievements Association and American Councils
  staff organized a job hunting seminar on December 20. Twenty-nine FLEX alumni attended the seminar, the
  objective of which was to provide alumni with the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully apply for jobs.
  Nelson Petrosyan ’95, Varya Meruzhanyan ‘00, and Ani Hakobyan ‘00 presented on resume and cover letter
  writing and interviewing successfully, and gave translation tips.

                                       Christmas Party: On December 29, FLEX alumni in Yerevan organized a
                                       Christmas party at Boarding School #2. The 11 FLEX alumni who
                                       participated in the event passed out gifts of toys, stationery, and sweets to
                                       77 children. The alumni also led games and contests for the children.
                                       Diana Adamyan ’03, Tatevik Baghdasaryan ‘03, Christina Grigorian ’00,
                                       Ani Hakobyan ‘00, Siranush Kabalyan ’03, Mariam Margaryan ‘03, Sona
                                       Manucharyan 00, Andranik Martirosyan ‘99, Anna Matinyan ‘01, Varya
                                       Meruzhanyan ’00, Anahit Minasyan 03, Marianna Movsisyan ’00, Lusine
                                       Simonyan ’03, Rosa Stepanyan ’02 and Liana Tadevosyan ’99 organized
                                       and took part in the event.

  Upcoming Events:
          Youth For Achievements elections for the executive office will take place on January 11.
  Contact: Yerevan Alumni Assistant Christina Grigoryan ’00, 56-14-10

  Grant Writing Roundtables: On December 6 and 9, Piers von Berg, a Civic Educational Program fellow, held
  two seminars on grant writing at the Alumni Center. The first seminar helped alumni learn how to identify
  projects, implement their projects, and write project proposals. Alumni with grant-writing experience also
shared their ideas. Aysel Allahverdiyeva ’01, Emin Allahverdiyev ’03, Rashid Aliyev ’00, Aysel Aslanova ’03,
Samir Mammadov ’00, Angelina Nijadi ’01, and Farid Zeynalov ’00 participated in the roundtable. At the
second roundtable alumni learned about the principles of project writing and how to overcome possible
difficulties that occur during the grant writing process. They also received a list of sponsors and organizations to
turn to for assistance in implementing their projects. In addition to the other alumni, Jeyhun Karamov ’99 and
Laura Muslimova ’01 also took part in the seocnd seminar.

Student Peace and Collaboration Forum: On December 12, three students from Baku State University who
received grants from the U.S. Embassy held a seminar where they shared their proposal-writing experience and
advice with alumni. The students are also organizing the first Model United Nations conference in Azerbaijan,
making Azerbaijan the 36th country where such Model UN conferences are conducted. Aysel Allahverdiyeva
’01, Emin Allahverdiyev ’03, Elmir Allahverdiyev’03, Rashid Aliyev ’00, Angelina Nijadi ’01, and Sevinj
Rustamova’01 attended the forum.

Grant Writing Seminar on Human Rights: On December 20, three students of Baku State University and the
University of Foreign Languages held a seminar at the Alumni Center to discuss a project that they designed and
implemented dealing with the violation of students’ rights and corruption in Azerbaijan universities. They
discussed with the alumni problems they faced in implementing this project and gave alumni practical advice.
Alumni who attended this seminar included Aysel Allahverdiyeva ’01, Emin Allahverdiyev ‘03, Rashid
Aliyev’00, Mahsud Ibragimov ’03 Laura Muslimova ’01, Angelina Nijadi, and Sevinj Rustamova ’01.

Charity Soccer Tournament: FLEX alumni organized a charity soccer tournament on December 7. They
played the Soros alumni and won, 6-5. More than 20 FLEX alumni came to cheer for their team. Funds raised
from admission to the game were used to buy presents and food for an orphanage visit
on December 21.

New Year’s Orphanage Visit: FLEX alumni led a new initiative supported by other
U.S. government-sponsored exchange program alumni and endorsed by the newly
established Alumni Association to raise funds for a local orphanage. Alumni donated
money, toys, and clothes and over $200 was raised from the charity soccer tournament
and the Thanksgiving party. The money was used to purchase gifts for the 90
residents of the orphanage and organize a small party for them including various
games and awards. Alumni visited the orphanage to give the gifts to the children, who
performed Azeri national dances and demonstrated their knowledge of English. The
efforts Ayaz Ahmadov ’03, Aysel Allahverdiyeva ’01, Mehriban Karimova ’02,
Emiliya Kazimova ’01, Dmitriy Kirillov ’02, Bahadur Muradov ’00, Sevinj
Rustamova ’01, Tahira Rzayeva ’02, Natavan Sultanova ’02, and Taghi Taghi-zada
’02 contributed to this successful event.

FLEX Alumni Volunteer at American Councils Office in December: Throughout December, Ayaz Ahmadov
’03, Aysel Aslanova ’03, Emin Allahverdiyev ’03, Rashid Aliyev ’00, Turana Baghirova ’03, Mahsud
Ibragimov ’03, Mehriban Karimova ’02, Bahadur Muradov ’00, Laura Muslimova ’01, Angelina Nijad ’01,
Tahira Rzayeva ’02, Sevinj Rustamova ’01, and Natavan Sultanova ’02 volunteered in the American Councils
office, helping to make phone calls, translate documents, and organize the holiday food and clothing drive for
the orphanage.

Upcoming Events:
        An Alumni Meeting dedicated to the Global Youth Service Day Project will be held on January 12.
        A Charity American Football Tournament will be held in late January.
        Another Orphanage Visit will be held in February.
Contact: Baku Alumni Assistant Aysel Allahverdiyeva ’01, 92-34-50

   Planning Meeting: Twelve alumni met on December 5 to plan FLEX alumni activities for the coming six
   months. Natalia Kripinevich’99 and Pavel Vorotilin’01 helped design the program and coordinate the event.
   Alumni discussed the projects planned by the alumni assistant, the FLEX Alumni Grant Program, and the Father
   Frost Project.

   Father Frost Project Meeting: This year for the first time, this project was conducted in regional cities, where
   alumni answered over 100 children’s letters to Father Frost, as well as in Minsk where alumni wrote a letter to
   every resident of a local orphanage. In addition, 15 alumni visited their local post offices to collect letters from
   children that they answered together. Twelve alumni also joined forces with Altera, an NGO that coordinates
   volunteer visits to disabled children, by signing up to be Father Frosts and Snow Maidens and playing games,
   giving out presents provided by the American Center and Altera, and spending time with 31 families with
   disabled children. Natalia Efimenko ’02, Margarita Kuleshova ’03, Natalia Kripinevich ’99, Tatiana Odintsova
   ’03, Maria Putrik ’03, Yulia Rakevich ’99, Natalia Vasiliuk ’00, Tatiana Vishniakova ’02 and Pavel Vorotilin
   ’01 as well as regional representatives Viktor Hotim, Aleksandr Pishcik,and Irina Prizba worked on the project.

   Christmas Movie Night: Christmas movie night was held on December 23 at the Public Affairs Section of the
   U.S. Embassy. Thirty FLEX alumni from Minsk and the regions attended the event, and guests included Natalia
   Yeroshevich and Thomas Tanner, staff members of the Public Affairs Section. Attendees watched American
   Christmas classics - Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which were followed
   by a Christmas quiz. Svetlana Filimonova ’03, Tatiana Panasik ’03, Katerina Stratskevich ’00 and Anastasia
   Tarasiuk ’03 assisted with planning this event.

   Upcoming Events:
            Role Plays for high school children will be held on January 15.
            Planning Meetings in Brest and Grodno will take place on January 26-27.
            A Grant Writing Seminar will be held on January 28.
   Contact: Minsk Alumni Assistant Katerina Borushko ‘02, American Center for Education and Research, 228-

   Seminar on Critical Thinking: Over 17 FLEX alumni attended a seminar entitled "Successes and Failures of
   Critical Thinking" conducted by a Civic Education Project scholar at the alumni resource center on the
   December 2. The speaker discussed the importance of different international organizations and civic education
   projects, showed how they help to promote education and democracy, and compared and contrasted the
   Georgian and American education systems.

   Alumni Council Elections: Forty-seven alumni of all years participated in the Alumni Association elections on
   December 3 at the alumni resource center in Tbilisi. Four groups of alumni nominated members of their groups
   for the positions of presidency and secretary. American Councils staff, members of the Alumni Association, and
   FSA Undergraduate alumni acted as election observers. Candidates made speeches and were then asked several
   questions from the audience, after which the ballots were cast. Nini Panjikidze ’03 was elected president, Sofi
   Machablishvili ’03 was elected secretary, Megi Gogishvili ’03 will be the new general secretary, and the council
   members will be Nini Abralava ‘03, Lana Morgoshia ‘03, and Gia Vashakidze ’03. Irakli Makatsaria ’01will
   become First Deputy Minister of Cultural and Sports, and Irina Kvlividze ’03 will be Second Deputy Minister of
   Community Service and Education. George Datiashvili ‘03, Irakli Makatsaria ‘01, and Gia Vashakidze ’03 won
   “best project” for their anti-smoking project.

   Volunteer Opportunities Meeting: Eleven FLEX alumni attended a meeting led by staff of the Georgia
   Community Mobilization Initiative and Save the Children on December 16 at the alumni resource center.
Alumni learned about volunteer positions that are available in local and international organizations, small grants
programs, and ideas for possible FLEX alumni projects. Alumni asked many questions and received written
information about organizations and foundations, as well as lists of suggested activities for linking youth to

Christmas Concert at Kodjory Orphanage: Lana Chkhenkeli ‘03, Nini Panjikidze ‘03, Sandro Rtveladze ’02
and Tamila Vacharadze ’02 along with several FSA Undergraduate alumni visited the Kodjory orphanage on
December 19 to celebrate Christmas with the children. The children played games with alumni, danced, sang
songs and Christmas carols, played instruments, and enjoyed receiving gifts from the alumni. Sopo Bzishvili
from the U.S. Embassy presented the children with wooden toys sent by Randall V. Biggers of the State
Department ECA in Washington, DC.

Orphanage Fundraising Festival: Nearly 100 alumni together with Georgian students organized a large-scale,
outdoor fundraiser December 21 to help orphanage #2 in Gldani. Events included an art exhibition and sale, an
auction personal belongings donated by famous people, drama performances, live music, and different games.
Many local and international organizations also helped and resulted in the collection of toys, clothing, and
approximately $1,500 for the orphans. Sopho Balavadze ‘95, Keti Botchorishvili ’98 and two FSA
Undergraduate alumni were the main organizers of this project that was covered by many Georgian television
stations and newspapers.

Seminar on Western MBA Programs: Twelve alumni along with other interested students attended a seminar
for prospective applicants to western MBA programs on December 23 at the Education Advising Center in
Kvali. Giorgi Chigogidze ‘98, currently a second year student at UCLA – Anderson, gave a presentation about
the university’s School of Management, its pros and cons, the academic curriculum, the student body, the
professors, and the alumni network. He also spoke about the MBA career choice in general and gave participants
advice on finding academic opportunities, determining an application strategy, and developing and presenting an
application package to a school of their choice. After the presentation participants had an opportunity to ask
questions and pick up catalogs of MBA schools.

Singing and Dancing Rehearsals: Twenty to 25 FLEX and UGrad alumni participated in singing rehearsals
held every evening from December 1-27 at the Alumni Resource Center. Alumni practiced Georgian and
English Christmas carols for the alumni reunion celebration. Lead singers of the Georgian Technical University
men’s choir, Misha Datebashvili, who later at alumni reunion was nominated as best singer, helped alumni with
different singing parts to arrange the carols and get best results. Irakli Gioshvili ‘03 and Irina Iashvili ’00
conducted dance rehearsals.

Alumni Christmas Reunion: Over 100 FLEX alumni, along with FSA Undergraduate and Muskie alumni,
attended the 11th annual Christmas reunion held on December 28. Alumni had the chance to get to know each
other better and strengthen ties. Proceeds from the admission tickets will be used to finance charity activities for
the orphanage of Kojori. Attending guests included staff of American Councils and the Cultural Affairs section
of U.S. Embassy, as well as representatives of local businesses and western organizations. Alumni presented a
program of Georgian and English Christmas carols led by Tika Tkemaladze ‘98 and Irakli Gioshvili ‘03, and
Irina Iashvili ’01. Sofi Machablishvili ‘03 performed dances from Chicago. Keti Botchorishvili ‘98, and
Salome Tsereteli ’00 Bakur Kvaratskhelia ’99 Giorgi Chigogidze ’98, Teona Mikadze ’97 Giorgi Akhalkatsi ’01
and Giga Vashakidze ’00 received award certificates for their contributions and commitment.

Upcoming Events:
        Monthly Meeting will take place on January 27.
        A Grant Writing Workshop will be held on January 30.
Contact: Tbilisi Alumni Assistant Tamila Vacharadze ‘01, 29-21-06

  Information Technology in Karaganda Orphanage: On December 15, Makenova Galiya ’02, Karakhanova
  Kabira ’00, and Sharipova Alina ’96 and four FSA Undergraduate alumni attended an Independence Day
  celebration in a local Karaganda orphanage. Two new computers provided by the local Beli Veter company
  were given to the orphans. Alumni plan to visit the orphanage to teach the children and teachers how to use the
  Internet. The event was covered an a local Karaganda television channel.

  Monthly Meeting: On December 22, 12 FLEX alumni gathered for the monthly meeting. Members of the
  Alumni Association discussed upcoming events and the Global Youth Service Day project.

  Upcoming events:
          A Visit to an Almaty Orphanage is planned for mid-January.
  Contact: Almaty Alumni Assistant Renat Bekturov ‘02, 63-09-41

  New Year’s Fundraiser for the Children’s Cancer Center: Maria Rechkunova ’99 and Farida Abdulhafizova
  ’01 helped lead the efforts of 20 FLEX alumni who worked on a fundraising campaign for organizing a New
  Year’s celebration at the Children’s Cancer Center. Farida’01 and members of the Students In Free Enterprise
  (SIFE) team contacted different organizations and businesses, asking for their support. On December 25, 20
  FLEX alumni raised $350 by holding a New Year’s celebration for children of employees of the UN, World
  Bank and other international and local organizations. On December 27, alumni visited the Center and brought
  holiday joy to 40 of the young patients who enjoyed singing songs and playing games.

  Donations to Alpine Fund: FLEX alumni contributed $30 to the volunteers of the Alpine Fund, a non-
  governmental organization that promotes outdoor education for vulnerable youth. The money was used to
  organize a holiday for children in a local sanatorium who received presents and enjoyed a performance featuring
  Santa Claus and the Snow Maiden.

  Charity Ball Preparations: Maria Rechkunova ’99 and Farida Abdulhafizova ’01 began preparations for a
  charity ball. They met three times a week to write letters to potential sponsors and call different organizations
  and businesses to inquire about in-kind donations.

  Upcoming events:
          FLEX Celebration Meeting: December/January. The meeting is intended to summarize the year 2003
          and plan activities for 2004.
          The Santa’s Gift project for orphans will take place January 13-15
  Contact: Bishkek Alumni Assistant Farida Abdulhafizova, 66-48-38

  Round 3 Recruitment, Chisinau: On December 2, Daniela Nemerenco’02 and Ala Ursu ‘02 assisted American
  Councils staff at round 3 of recruitment, speaking on the alumni panel and answering questions about and
  sharing their FLEX experiences.

  Bridges Between Us Seminars on Children’s Rights: On December 3, the BBU team in Comrat organized a
  seminar on children’s rights for a group of 25 ninth and tenth grade students from a lyceum in Comrat. The
  main tasks of the seminar were to provide participants with information on tolerance, different ethnicities of      5
  Moldova, and to make students aware of their rights and responsibilities. Representatives of six ethnicities and a
  guest speaker from a local NGO were present. All participants received a booklet entitled “All Different, All
  Equal: The Human Rights Manual,” the book, Roma Discrimination in Moldova, and the text of the
  International Convention on Children’s Rights. The BBU Comrat team includes Natalia Graur ‘00, Victoria
  Teterceva’02, and an FSA Undergraduate alumna. On December 5, Ala Ursu ’02, and an FSA Undergraduate
  alumna held a seminar on community service at a local high school in Soroca. The main objective was to inform
  and educate high school students, as well as their teachers, about volunteerism. Members of local NGOS made
  presentations on their activities and another FSA Undergraduate presented on the definition, types, and positive
  aspects of community service.

  International Women’s Bazaar: On December 6, the International Women’s Club of Moldova held a holiday
  bazaar. Representatives from each country within the international community were invited to participate in
  selling food and goods specific to their country at one of the tables. Approximately 2,000 people attended the
  bazaar, and all funds raised will be contributed to various women’s projects in Moldova. Irina Ionita ’03, Nadya
  Mustya ’02, Iulia Vrinceanu ’03, Liudmila Ceban ’03, Ina Becu ’03, Igor Garabajiv ’03, Serafim Florea ’03,
  Crisina Nicoara ’03, Ala Ursu ’02, and Irina Vitosinschi ’03 supported the bazaar by purchasing different items,
  selling entrance tickets, and raising over $250.

  FLEX Alumni Reunion, Christmas Celebration and Toy Drive: On December 19, more than fifty FLEX
  alumni gathered together to celebrate Christmas and discuss future plans at a reunion organized by Victoria
  Teteceva ’02, Igor Garabajiv ’03, Ludmila Bilevsch ’97, and Tatiana Echim ’98. Alumni of nearly all years and
  programs attended and developed and strengthened ties with one another. The “Bridges Between Us” interns
  had the opportunity to share their outreach projects with the rest of the community and find higher education
  experts for the Comrat, Cahul and Balti outreach projects. Alumni who attended the FLEX Ten Years of Service
  and Leadership alumni conference shared their impressions about what they have done to date and their future
  plans. The reunion was also the final stage of a toy drive for orphans and children from disadvantaged families
  conducted throughout November and December by Tatiana Echim’98 and Victoria Teterceva’02. The reunion
  entrance fee was one toy, and over 100 toys were collected and $63 was raised to buy supplies for children.
  Many alumni placed collection boxes at places of work and study. Distribution of the toys was done in
  collaboration with several local NGOs.

  Upcoming Events:
          A Roundtable on HIV in Moldova will be held on January 22.
          Part two of a Grant Writing Seminar is scheduled for January 17; part 3 will be held on January 31
          A Bridges Between Us Training on community needs assessment will take place on January 24.
  Contact: Chisinau Alumni Assistant Tatiana Echim ‘98, 24-80-12

  YES Club Meeting: On December 3, Anna Mitrokhina ’03 and Anton Khokholov ’98, FLEX alumni assistant,
  participated in the YES club. Olga Boltneva, chairperson of the English language club, had invited them to be
  guest speakers. This club, founded by Moscow teachers, is aimed at improving the English language skills of
  Moscow high school students. Anton and Anna made a presentation on the FLEX program and Anna shared her
  personal experience as an exchange student in the U.S. Themes such as the upcoming elections in Russia,
  similarities and differences between the Russian and American educational systems, cultural stereotypes, and
  democratic understanding were discussed during the meeting. The group agreed to organize several combined
  activities for FLEX alumni and YES club members.

  Orphanage Fundraiser: On December 10, Anna Gruzdeva and Irina Chernenkaya, alumni program assistants
  and Anton Khokholov, alumni assistant, along with 17 other FLEX alumni and U.S. Ambassador Alexander
  Vershbow participated in a fundraiser organized by American Councils and the Russian Orphan Opportunity
  Fund in support of Moscow orphanages. During the auction alumni contributed by purchasing t-shirts and
  artwork made by talented Russian orphans.
Monthly Meeting: On December 13, Alisa Cherepanova ‘03, Anton Khokholov ’98, Anna Melnikova ‘03,
Anna Mitrokhina ‘03 (Korolev), and Georgy Yermakov ‘03 (Korablino) attended the monthly meeting to
brainstorm about the creation of an International Students Club and the FLEX website. Georgy Ermakov ’03
who had volunteered to upgrade the old version of the site in November presented his demo version and alumni
approved the structure and design of the site, which will be finalized in January.

                                         International Students Club: On December 21, 29 FLEX alumni took
                                         part in the opening ceremony of the International Students Club that
                                         took lace at the U.S. Embassy dacha. The main idea of the club is to
                                         help foreign students adapt to Moscow and better understand Russian
                                         culture as well as provide different opportunities to FLEX alumni who
                                         are interested in international relationships. Students from the U.S.,
                                         Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and Lithuania attended the ceremony and presented
                                         information on their home countries. Anton Khokholov ’98, alumni
                                         assistant, and Irina Chernenkaya, alumni program assistant, gave a
                                         presentation on the FLEX program. Anastasiya Patrusheva ’03 and
                                         Lidiya Vetrova ’03 presented on FLEX charitable activities and Olga
Krylova ’02 presented on community service. Alisa Cherepanova ’03, Anna Melnikova ’03 and Anna
Mitrokhina ’03 shared their personal experiences as exchange students in the U.S. Evgeny Yankovoy ’01 talked
about different FLEX professional activities. Dinara Tanasheva ’94, Aleksey Rumyantsev ’95, and Katya
Ivanova ’96 told participants about the FLEX Ten Years of Service and Leadership summit. The event also
included several cooperation activities, a logo-designing contest for the Club and participant suggestions for
future Club activities such as monthly gatherings and a roundtable on culture shock. Special guests included
representatives from the U.S. and other foreign embassies and organizations. Georgy Yermakov ’03 and Mariya
Yermolova ’03 also participated.

Movie Night: On December 20, six FLEX alumni gathered at the IATP center to watch a Christmas movie and
discuss the upcoming Christmas celebration at St. Andrew’s cathedral. Participating alumni were Anastasiya
Patrusheva ‘03, Lidiya Vetrova ‘03, Alisa Cherepanova ‘03, Anna Melnikova ‘03, Anna Mitrokhina ‘03, and
Anton Khokhlov ‘98.

Monthly Meeting in Yaroslavl: On December 21, Alexey Gvozdarev ’01, Elena Klimenko ’02, Anastasia
Konina ’03, Nadezhda Krasotkina ’94, Anna Ogneva ’01, Maria Vinogradova ’97, and Marina Zavodchikova
’02 attended a monthly meeting. They had an interesting conversation with guest speaker Olga M.
Blondinskaya, a Ph.D. in psychological sciences and consultant for the Enterprise Support Foundation. Ms
Blondinskaya talked with alumni about the many problems youth face today, including use of drugs and alcohol,
academic stress, and lack of ecological awareness. She proposed a series of classes designed to address these

Christmas Celebration at St. Andrew’s Cathedral: On December 24, Alisa Cherepanova ‘03, Anton
Khokhlov ’98, Anna Melnikova ‘03, Anna Mitrokhina ’03 and Lidiya Vetrova ‘03 gathered for a Christmas
celebration at St. Andrew’s cathedral. They sang Christmas songs, listened to the cathedral’s choir, and
participated in a Christmas performance organized by the church’s parishioners. Afterwards alumni discussed
future plans for the next year.

Upcoming events:
        A Monthly Meeting is planned for January 17.
        A Roundtable Discussion on culture shock will be held on January 24.
Contact: Moscow Alumni Assistant Anton Khokholov ’98,, 230-45-44

Nizhny Novgorod
Conflict Resolution Workshop in Kirov: On December 18, Vladimir Gordeev '98 and Anna Miluytina '00
organized a workshop on conflict resolution for the of the Vyatka State University. Vladimir and Anna used the
information they received at the FLEX Ten Years of Service and Leadership Summit and other resources they
had researched about leading workshops.

Regional Newsletter Edition:. Dmitry Chobit ’98, Darya Ismagilova ’02, Anna Miluytina ’01, Irina Smirnova
’96, and Ekaterina Smayeva ’99, alumni assistant, contributed articles to the winter issue of the hub newsletter
Marshmallow, which is edited by Dmitry.

Christmas Helping Hand in Nizhny Novgorod: On December 26, Ksenia Gorshkova ’00,Darya Gubenkova
’96, Maria Kapustina ’96, Alexander Sladkov ’96, and Anton Tyupin ’95 delivered donations to a local
charitable organization. Donations were collected by alumni during the book and clothing drive held during
International Education Week. Over 200 items of clothing, 30 toys, and over 250 books were given to the
organization and will be distributed to orphans and low-income families.

Upcoming Events:
        An Alumni Meeting and Grant Writing Workshop will be held on January 10 in Cheboksary.
        Alumni Meeting and Movie Night is scheduled for January 25 in Nizhny Novgorod.
Contact: Nizhny Novgorod Alumni Assistant Ekaterina Smayeva ’99, 77-54-81

Monthly Meeting: At their monthly meeting on December 3, alumni planned an orphanage Christmas party and
an English Olympiad on the topic "Do You Know the United States?" Elena Astakhova `01, Andrey Burlutskiy
`02, Maksim Lobatii `03, Alexander Nozdrin `01, Natalya Rizina `02, Elena Semashko `01, and Vladimir
Zyankin `99 took part in the meeting.

Web Design Seminar: Elena Khruleva `01, Alexandra Mironova `00, Alexander Nozdrin `01, and Vladimir
Zyankin `99 are attending a web design course at the IATP center. The course began on December 7 and is
being led by a computer-engineering expert from Novosibirsk State Technical University.

Christmas Party at Orphanage #1: On December 28, Novosibirsk alumni organized a Christmas and New
Year’s party at Orphanage # 1. This year’s event was unique in that alumni involved the larger community
including students and a representative of a local financial services organization. The event included games,
fairy tale plays, charades, songs, and poems. The children enjoyed refreshments after the program. FLEX
alumni Alexander Nozdrin ’01 and Anna Sherbakova ’98 were active in organizing the event, as were FSA
Undergraduate alumni.

Toy, Clothing and Book Drive: Alumni organized drives in Novosibirsk and Tomsk, conducted in December.
All collected items were delivered to orphans.

Upcoming Events:
        The "Do You Know the United States?" competition will be held on January 9.
        An Alumni Meeting and Grant Writing Workshop will be held in January.
Contact: Novosibirsk Alumni Assistant Alexander Nozdrin ’01, 34-42-93

St. Petersburg
The Third Northwest Alumni Congress: The Congress was a full-day event that gave alumni of 11 U.S.
government-sponsored programs the opportunity to meet each other. The event started with an introductory
speech by American Councils staff and was followed by short speeches by the alumni coordinators. The
Congress included a roundtable discussion where the alumni were divided into four groups according to their
interests in business, NGOs, education, and government. Alumni also took part in workshops on fundraising,
working with local authorities, working with volunteers, NGOs, professional development, and using the
Internet to find funding resources, partners and projects. Participants also decided to renovate the Northwest     8
alumni web site. Oksana Hodjaeva ’01, Anna Loskutova ’02, Natalia Spartakova ’98, Andrey Yakovlev ’96, and
Maria Zolotokrylina ’02 took part in the Congress and ’03 alumni Olesya Bakharevskaya, Inna Kondratenko,
Maria Lebedinskaia, Varvara Miroshnichenko, and Veronika Sokolova helped with set-up.

Open House: Igor Gots ’01 displayed his paintings and drawings on December 8 at the second open house.
Alumni in attendance discussed art classes and art in Russia and the U. S. with their American guests. This was
also a farewell meeting for the American exchange students who studied in St. Petersburg, and they shared their
impressions and memories of Russia. Tatiana Denisova ’01, Oksana Hodjaeva ’01, Natalia Martikainen ’99,
Andrey Yakovlev ’95, Maria Zolotokrylina ’02, and Natalia Zhikina ’01 attended the open house.

Delegation Meeting: The Northwest Kyiv Summit delegates including Yevgeniy Gribov ’94, Natalia
Martikainen ’99, Taisia Novikova ’00, Natalia Spartakova ’98, Andrey Yakovlev ’96, and Maria Zolotokrylina
’02 met on December 12 to further discuss their projects and new ideas about developing the St. Petersburg and
regional alumni community.

Disabled Children’s Sports Festival: On December 19, the members of the newly formed local alumni
organization, Oasis, assisted with setting up and running a sports festival for disabled children in Petrozavodsk.
Lyudmila Chistiakova ’01, city alumni representative and member of the organizational committee, along with
Anastasya Nerovnaia ’03, and Nikita Vorobyov ’03 introduced several games for the children at the festival’s
closing celebration. Petrozavodsk alumni acted as cheerleaders during the event, which helped encourage the

American Concert and Reception at the Consul General’s Residence: FLEX and FSA Undergraduate alumni
were invited to attend a concert of American music and a reception at the home of Morris N. Hughes, consul
general at the U.S. Embassy. The alumni also had the opportunity to meet U.S. Ambassador Alexander
Vershbow. Yevgeniy Gribov ’94, Natalia Martikainen ’99, Taisia Novikova ’00, Sviatoslav Polyanskiy ’00,
Natalia Spartakova ’98, Mikhail Stukolkin ’96 and Maria Zolotokrylina ’02 attended the event.

Christmas Celebration: On December 22, 15 FLEX alumni along with other alumni of different programs
gathered for a Christmas celebration where they played Christmas games and exchanged gifts in Secret Santa

Upcoming Events:
        A Grant Writing Training will be held in mid-January
        The Third Open House will be held.
        The Monthly Meeting will take place in mid-January.
Contact: St. Petersburg Alumni Assistant Igor Gots ’01, 117-3551

World AIDS Day Exhibition: Population Services International Center and the Samara American Alumni Club
organized this exhibition held from November 25-December 3 at the American Corner in observance of World
AIDS Day. Colorful literature on AIDS, its history, and prevention was demonstrated to the visitors, who were
mostly students of local universities and visitors of American Corner’s library. Seven FLEX alumni assisted in
spreading information about this event to university students. Pavel Alasheyev ’01, Valentina Dolgikh ’02,
Alexander Kuznetsov ’01, Oksana Malyugina ’03, Elena Pastukhova ’00, Anastasia Pechkurova ’03, and Maria
Smetannikova ’98 attended the opening ceremony.

Monthly Alumni Meeting: On December 5, alumni analyzed the November activity results and planned
another visit to the orphanage for children with cognitive disabilities for December 30. Iliya Brezhnev ’02,
Valentina Dolgikh ’02, Ekaterina Gafarova ’03, Tatyana Lebakina ’03, Irina Malakhovskaya ’98, Oksana
Malyugina ’03, Yulya Nenasheva ’97, Elena Pastukhova ’00, Maria Smetannikova ’98, and Maria Soutchkova
’02 attended the meeting.

Workshop Training on Personal Development and Forming an Effective Team: On December 6 and 7,
Samara alumni took part in a two-day training conducted by American Councils and the Samara Alumni Club.
The trainer, Viktor Delevi, a Member of the European Association of Psychiatrists, made a presentation
including the themes, hearing yourself, ambitions and expectations, effective communication, and preparing for
competition. Alumni who attended the training were Oksana Malyugina ‘03, Elena Pastukhova ’00, and
Anastasia Pechkurova ‘03.

Meeting with the Youth Affairs Department: Samara FLEX alumni met with Alexander O. Dorofeyev, vice-
director of the Samara Youth Affairs Department, on December 15. Mr. Dorofeyev gave a presentation of the
mission, goals and work of the Committee. The highlight of the event was a discussion on opportunities for
cooperation, such as the library project and the Global Youth Service Day project. Valentina Dolgikh ’02, Irina
Malakhovskaya ’98, Oksana Malyugina ’03, Yulia Nenasheva ’97, Elena Pastukhova ’00, Anastasia Pechkurova
’03, Maria Smetannikova ’98, Maria Soutchkova ’02, and Elizaveta Spiridonova ’03 attended the meeting.

American Cinema: One Hundred Years of Filmmaking: Maria Belyakova ’96, Valentina Dolgikh ’02, Yulia
Nenasheva ’97, and Elena Pastukhova ’00 took part in a seminar on American films that was organized by the
American Alumni Club and IREX and held on December 20. After a showing of the 1949 comedy, A Letter to
Three Wives, Valeriy Bondarenko, a renowned Samara movie critic, led a discussion about the history of
American cinema.

Christmas Fundraising Concert: Anastasia Pechkurova ’03 helped organize this event to raise money for a
local Samara orphanage. The concert took place on December 25 at the Samara State Medical University, where
students and staff also became involved with organizing the concert. Donations reached nearly 7,000 rubles,
which will be used to purchase food and clothing for children of a local orphanage.

New Year’s at the Orphanage: On December 30 alumni celebrated the New Year with children at a local
orphanage. Alumni including Elena Pastukhova ‘00 and Anastasia Pechkurova ’03 along with students from the
Samara Medical University gave the children fruit, toys, clothes, and sweets, and medicine that had been
collected during the clothing and toy drive and purchased with funds raised at the Christmas Fundraising

Upcoming events:
        The Monthly Alumni Meeting will take place in mid-January.
        A Roundtable with the Samara Youth Organization will be held at the end of January.
Contact: Samara Alumni Assistant Elena Pastukhova ‘00 264-96-79

Canned Food Drive: FLEX and other U.S. government-sponsored program alumni continued their Christmas
food drive tradition from November to January 9. Proceeds will benefit Project Living Hope, an organization
that works with homeless children in Vladivostok. Alumni raised nearly 200 cans of food for this project. FLEX
alumni including Yana Boroday ‘99, Marina Kaurova ‘99, Anna Koneva ‘99, Christina Mefodyeva ‘00, Zoya
Nabatova ‘97, Katerina Pavlova ‘03, Anastasia Prokonich ‘02, Dmitriy Shatokhin ‘02, Anna Ustyugova ‘99,
Valentina Yurenok ‘98, and Polina Zavyalova ’00 gathered 80 items.

Essay Writing Seminar and Martin Luther King, Jr. Observation: On December 26 in preparation for an
essay contest and conference celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, FLEX and FSA Undergraduate
alumni participated in a writing seminar taught by a visiting American professor of business writing on
December 26. The winners of the contest will have the opportunity to read their essays work aloud during the
event. Attendees learned how an essay should be written in terms of structure and interest. Alumni had the
chance to ask questions, brainstorm topics, and discuss the philosophy of non-violence, building tolerance, the
history of the civil rights movement in the U.S., and Dr. King’s role in its development, human rights and civil
society development. Yana Boroday ’99, Marina Kaurova ’99, Anna Koneva ’99, Svetlana Kostromitinova ’99,
Christina Mefodyeva ’00, Zoya Nabatova ’97, Andrew Pak ’97, Katerina Pavlova ’03, Anastasia Prokonich ’02,
Dmitriy Shatokhin ’02, Anna Ustyugova ’ 99, Konstantin Yurchik ’03, Valentina Yurenok ’98, and Polina
Zavyalova ’00 took part in the seminar.

Model UN of the Russian Far East, Second International Conference: Pavel Khizhnyak ’96, Svetlana
Kostromitinova ’99, Aleksandr Novak ’03, Andrey Pak ’97, Dmitry Shatokhin ’02, and Polina Zavyalova ’00
participated in a debate competition from December 28-31. The debate topics included international
development, environmental policy, cultural preservation, world security issues, and child labor. The team from
Vladivostok represented Germany at the conference and the team included Dmitry, Polina, and two alumni from
the FSA Undergraduate program.

Upcoming events:
        An Essay Writing Competition in honor of Martin Luther King Day will be held on January 10.
        The “We Come Together for Positive Changes” cultural show and workshop will be held from January
        The Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have a Dream” conference will be held on January 20.
        The Monthly Alumni Meeting will be held on January 23.
Contact: Vladivostok Alumni Assistant Valentina Yurenok ‘98, 22-37-98

Letters to Father Frost project: Alumni chose three schools in Volzhskiy and Volgograd and offered second
and third graders the chance to write letters to Father Frost. Children were not given any specific instructions
and their letters were very different. Some wrote what gift they wanted for New Year’s, while others asked how
Father Frost was doing and invited him to visit their school Christmas parties. Children from “Avtorskaya”
school in Volzhskiy sent Ded Moroz (Father Frost) a videotape about their school and many drawings. Alumni
decided to invite Father Frost to one school that never had a Christmas party before and give sweets to children.

School #4 Christmas Party: On 24 December, Elena Wisely ’01 and American Councils Volgograd Office
Director Elena Konkina, together with Father Frost visited the elementary school pupils of Volgograd school #4.
In order to invite Father Frost, students were asked to write letters to him a month in advance. Second graders
wrote interesting letters, in which they told Father Frost about themselves, their families, friends, school,
interests, dreams, and expressed some Christmas wishes. Elena Gladkova ’99 and Elena Wisely ’01 gathered at
the office and read all the letters, marking the most interesting ones. The event included several contests and a
puppet theather presentation.

Christmas Party in Avtorskaya School in Volzhskiy: On 24 December, Elena Fomenko ’03 (Volzhskiy),
Andrey Arkhipov ’03 (Volzhskiy) and Irina Kudinova, American Councils program assistant, together with Ded
Moroz went to Volzhskiy school. Several weeks before the party children made a big collective letter from their
school for Ded Moroz and sent some of their artwork. The children paricipated in games and contests and were
very glad that Ded Moroz came to them to share the joy of the holiday and invited him to visit them again.

Christmas Party in School #124 in Volgograd: On 27 December, FLEX alumni assistant Elena Gladkova `99
together with Ded Moroz and Snow Maiden Snegurochka went to the Christmas party held at school #124 for
children from first, second, and third grades. During the party Father Frost presented some sweet gifts to those
children who wrote letters to him and thanked them for love and care. American Councils staff negotiated a
discount with the KonFil – Volgograd chocolate factory, which provided treats for the event.

Volgograd Alumni Christmas Party: On 27 December, Volgograd and Volzhskiy alumni had a Christmas
party held at the “Dialog” cafe. Fifteen FLEX alumni and two Ugrad alumni attended. The theme of the party
was the Olympic Games, since the 2004 is declared the year of the Olympics. Everyone had fun, shared a joy of
the Christmas season, and wished each other the best for the New Year ahead.

Upcoming events:
        Web-conference in Elista will be held on January 20. Students from Elista are planning a web-
        conference on the topic “Equal Rights Among Men and Women” with a college in Denmark.                       11
  Contact: Volgograd Alumni Assistant Elena Gladkova ‘98 36-42-85

  Christmas Carols: A Christmas celebration was held on December 16 at the American Information Center in
  Yekaterinburg. Scott Rauland, the United States Consul General and his family; Barbara Cates, Consul for
  Political, Economic and Public Affairs; and other United States Consulate representatives, together with Michael
  Hackett, the Yekaterinburg office director, and Timothy Koss, a FLEX recruiter, invited alumni from the U.S.
  government-sponsored programsand and university students to sing Christmas carols. Participants sang
  Christmas carols, read Christmas poems, and participated in several contests. Mr. Rauland introduced the
  Operation: Santa Claus program, which would collect toys, clothing, and food to be donated to orphans and
  disadvantaged children. Participating alumni in this event were: Svetlana Baranova ’01, Grigoryi Ivankov ’94,
  Yelena Lipchenko ’00, and Valentina Oposhnyan ’98.

  Share a Christmas Card: Alumni collected 30 Christmas cards during December to donate to boarding school
  #31. Due alumni enthusiasm and a large number of cards, the project will be continue into January. Yelena
  Grishchenko, American Councils program coordinator in Yekaterinburg, Nataliya Shipulina ’03, and Maria
  Trofimova ’03 were the most active participants in this project.

  Upcoming events:
          Movie Night will be held on January 15 at the American Councils office.
          Ice-skating Evening will be held on January 23. FLEX alumni will invite schoolchildren from boarding
          school #4 in Yekaterinburg to the Yunost ice-skating ring to teach them how to skate.
          United States Consulate General Photography Exhibition devoted to the Consulate’s tenth anniversary,
          will be held on March 31. During January and February, Ural alumni will submit their pictures of the
          United States to the Consulate.
  Contact: Yekaterinburg Alumni Assistant Svetlana Baranova ’01, 61-60-34

   Anti-AIDS Day, December 1: FLEX alumni volunteered to share information about the problem of drug abuse
  among university students. Due to a variety of circumstances, Tajikistan has become one of the primary transit
  points for the flow of drugs from Central Asia to Europe. As drugs are transported through Tajikistan, some of
  them remain and are dispersed throughout the country. Alumni and volunteers from the Red Crescent Society
  worked together to create and distribute informational booklets to youth in Dushanbe. Alumni who participated
  in this event were Bahtioyr Astonakulov ’03, Aziza Baimatova’98, Firuz Khairullaev ’03, Bahodur Astinakulov
  ’03, Temur Rakhimov ’02, Firuz Oyev ’02, Nikolai Scwartz ’03, and Nadejda Tretyakova ’95.

  Meet the Alumni: On December 17, alumni from all programs had the opportunity to meet representatives
  from several international organizations located in Dushanbe, as well as Patrick Lee, the new senior
  representative of American Councils in Dushanbe. The event took place at the Business Center “Diyor”.
  Alumni also talked with Maya Vakhobova, a representative of the United States Embassy. The FLEX alumni
  who participated in this event were Bahodur Abduhalikov ’03, Bahtioyr Astonakulov ’03, Aziza Baimatova ’98,
  Dmitry Frolov ’02, Parvina Gafurova ’01, Firuz Khairullaev ’03, Nasiba Kasimova ’98, Botur Kosimov ’97,
  Shukhrat Rakhimov ’01, Temur Rakhimov ’02, Nadejda Tretyakova ’95, and Elena Volovich ’03.

   New Year’s Celebration at the Orphanage: On December 27, FLEX alumni went to an orphanage in the
  Leninsky region to celebrate New Year’s with the children. Prior to the event, alumni and the Internet Access
  and Training Program (IATP) Center gathered clothes, toys and other items from university students in
  Dushanbe. During their holiday visit, alumni played games with the children, presented the play of the miracle
  of New Year’s greetings, and gave the children presents from Santa Claus and his helpers. The alumni who
  participated in the event were Aziza Baimatova ’98, Firuz Oyev ’02, Temur Rakhimov ’02, Nadejda Tretyakova
  ’95, and Elena Volovich ’02.

  Orphanage Visit in Chkalovsk: Three FLEX alumni visited an orphanage located in Chkalovsk, Tajikistan on
  December 27. Alumni celebrated New Year’s with more than 20 children aged 8-12 years old by telling them
  about Christmas and how people celebrate New Year’s in the United States. Children from the orphanage had
  prepared a small show with poems and songs. At the end of the show, alumni gave presents to the children.
  Teachers and the vice director of the orphanage thanked the alumni for their help and support. FLEX alumni
  visiting the orphanage were Nisso Haidarova ’01, Tahmina Khakimova ’96, and Tahmina Rahmatova ’99.

  Upcoming events:
          Roundtable on Environmental Policy will be held on January 15.
          Regional Representatives’ Training will be held in Dushanbe from January 17-18.
  Contact: Dushanbe Alumni Assistant Nadejda Tretyakova ’95, 21-21-03

  Monthly Alumni Meeting: On December 6, nine FLEX alumni gathered for their monthly meeting and
  discussed various activities that would be held during the month of December. They planned the Christmas
  celebration at the School for Hard of Hearing Children, and upcoming plans for FLEX program testing to be
  held on December 14. Alumni who attended the meeting included Bahara Agayeva ’02, Maisa Allaberdiyeva
  ’02, Yusup Ashirov ’03, Bahtiyar Haidarov ’03, Vasilina Haritonova ’03, Zarina Khudaibergenova ’02,
  Lyudmila Mansurova ’00, Bahara Nuriyeva ’02, and Diana Shaimova ’00.

  Conversation Class: Twice a week throughout the month of December, Yusup Ashirov ’03, and Bahara
  Nuriyeva ’02 led English conversational classes at the American Councils office. Their students were divided
  into two groups of 15, and each group met once a week for one hour. Yusup and Bahara want to help students
  develop their conversational and communicational skills in English. Each week Bahara introduced a new topic
  for group study and discussion, such as American slang and the structure of debates. Alumni are planning to
  present     more     subjects     for  their    visitors to  discuss   during    the    upcoming     classes.
  Grammar TOEFL Class: Throughout December, Zarina Khudaibergenova ‘02 held a series of TOEFL-type
  tests for all interested visitors. FLEX alumni prepared a sample test, created answer sheets and used these
  features when testing young people who attended. The sample test was written by 15-20 students at each
  session. This project will continue in January.

  Human Rights Day Symposium: On December 10, Dinara Matkarimova, a FLEX alumni coordinator, and
  Natalie Ashton-Baker, a Cultural Affairs Officer from the U.S. Embassy organized and conducted a Human
  Rights Day symposium. Alumni and other fluent English speakers were invited to participate in the event, for a
  total of 20 attendees. FLEX alumni participating in this symposium were Maisa Allaberdiyeva ’02, Yusup
  Ashirov ’03, Jeren Bairamova ’00, and Arslan Penjiyev ’03.

  Christmas Discussion: On December 24, eight FLEX alumni and four Undergraduate program alumni
  gathered for a Christmas discussion. This event was organized by Dinara Matkarimova, an alumni coordinator,
  and Natalie Ashton-Baker, Cultural Affairs Officer from the U.S. Embassy. Natalie first started the discussion
  by telling attendees about her family’s Christmas traditions, then each alumnus shared his or her experiences
  while being in the United States. Alumni who participated in the discussion were Bahara Agayeva ’02, Maisa
  Allaberdiyeva ’02, Yusup Ashirov ’03, Vasilina Haritonova ’03, Zarina Khudaibergenova ’02, Lyudmila
  Mansurova ’00, Arslan Penjiyev ’03, and Diana Shaimova ’00.

  Christmas Celebration: On December 27, five alumni visited the School for Hard of Hearing Children in
  Ashgabat to celebrate New Year’s with them. There were about 50 children who celebrated with the alumni.
  Participating alumni played games with the children, and the children presented holiday skits, dances and
  poems. Alumni gave presents donated by local residents and by the United States Embassy. American Councils
  provided sweets for the children, which had been gathered by FLEX alumni. Alumni who visited the school
were Bahar Agayeva ’02, Yusup Ashirov ’03, Sergey Atliyev ’01, Lyudmila Mansurova ’00, and Diana
Shaimova ’00.

Upcoming events:
        Monthly Meeting: There will be a monthly meeting for FLEX alumni in January. Upcoming events and
        activities will be discussed.
        English Conversational Club Classes: Discussion classes will be held with the English Conversational
        Grand Grants Writing Workshop: A grand grants workshop for alumni of various U.S. government-
        sponsored exchange programs is scheduled to be held at the end of January. This would unite FLEX
        alumni with other alumni to learn about various grant possibilities available to them.

FLEX Presentation: On December 3, American Corner and Alumni Club organized FLEX presentations,
highlighting recruitment and program information, at schools #2 and #3. The 36 participants were high school
students and teachers of English.

TOEFL Classes: Twice weekly, Tatiana Khan ’00 and American Corner organized English classes for high
school students and other visitors. There were 30 people in attendance.

Conversation Classes : Every Friday, Leila Ischanova ‘03 organized conversation classes at the American
Corner. About 15 high school students attended the class to improve their conversational skills.

FLEX Alumni Meeting: On December 2, Leila Ischanova ’03 organized and conducted the FLEX alumni
meeting at the American Corner. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss alumni activities for January,
preparation for the FLEX tests, and the New Year’s celebration. Alumni attendees were Jalal Beckchanov ’02,
Ahmed Hodjaev ’03, Laziz Hudaybergenov ’02, Leila Ishchanova ’03, and Tatiana Khan ’00.

Debates for Human Rights Day: On December 10, FLEX alumnae Leila Ischanova ’03 and Tatiana Khan ’00
organized debates on themes associated with Human Rights Day. There were about fourteen high school
students in attendance.

Movie Night: On December 12 and 19, Leila Ishchanova ’03 organized a movie night, which was attended by
FLEX alumni and 28 guests. The purpose of the event was to help attendees improve listening comprehension,
practice conversational skills, and develop critical thinking skills.

What is AUCA?: On December 24, Selbi Hanova ’02 organized an event called “What is AUCA?” She helped
familiarize alumni and visitors with American University-Central Asia, in Kyrgyzstan its educational system,
and students’ lifestyles. High school students, teachers of English, and other visitors attended the event.

Alumni Chat Club: On December 24, Leila Ishchanova ’03 organized an alumni chat for the Alumni Club.
This event gave alumni the opportunity to chat with host families in the United States. Alumni in attendance
were Ahmaed Hodjaev ’03, Leila Ishchanova ’03, Tatiana Khan ’00, and Anastasia Saparalieva ’02.

New Year’s Celebration: On December 30, Leila Ishchanova ’03 and Tatiana Khan ’00 organized a New
Year’s celebration. Alumni invited high school students, teachers of English, Peace Corps volunteers, and
others to attend.

Upcoming events:
        Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Classes: Alumni of Dashoguz region are going to
        continue TOEFL classes for interested visitors.
        English Classes: English classes will also be held by alumni for visitors at the American Corner.
        Charity at the Orphanage: Alumni are planning to organize and conduct a charity event at the
        orphanage.                                                                                             14
        Movie Nights: Leila Ishchanova ’03 is planning to conduct movie nights during the month of January
        for alumni and interested guests.

Movie Club: This weekly activity was designed by Mehri Karyagdeva ‘01 to help improve listening skills of
intermediate and advanced English as a Second Language (ESL) students. After the movie, students participated
in short debates about the movie in order to test their understanding of the film. New words from the movie are
discussed and reviewed during the next class. Members of this club watched the film, The Accidental Tourist.

Children’s Summer Camp: Alumni and Peace Corps volunteers worked together on a Children’s Summer
Camp. The first meeting was held on December 24, when responsibilities were divided among volunteers. At
the second meeting, alumni started writing alumni grant proposals for funding for the camps. The facilitators
were Mekhri Hudaikulieva ’98 and Ian Cornell, a Peace Corp volunteer.

Alumni Meeting: At the weekly Friday meeting, alumni decided to sponsor a charity event for an orphanage in
Turkmenabat. Alumni also discussed the Christmas charity party for the community with Language Center #2.
They prepared plays, games, dances, and made posters.

Charity Party: On December 29, a charity party was held at Language Center #2. About 200 people attended.
The event started with performances and finished with a disco. From the cost of tickets, food, and drinks,
800,000 manat ($153) was raised for the orphanage to buy a new furnace. About eight alumni participated in
this event.

Upcoming events:
        Movie Club: Every Tuesday, American Corner will hold Movie Club meetings. Mekhri Karyagdiyeva
        ’01 will host viewings for 15 students at a time at the American Corner office.
        Alumni Meeting: Every Friday, alumni will gather for the alumni meeting. They will have an
        opportunity to meet and discuss upcoming events for the month.

Alumni Monthly Meeting: On December 5, FLEX alumni together with Peace Corps volunteers held their
monthly meeting, where they discussed events in the coming month. The idea of creating a group for alumni
and Peace Corps volunteers to work together was introduced. The alumnae who attended the meeting were
Irada Abbasova ’02 and OksanaYeshcherkina ’03.

English Video Club: On December 11, 17, and 24, Oksana Yeshcherkina ’03 and Regional Representative
Jennet Mamedova held English Video Club activities for interested visitors to the American Corner. During the
month of December, participants watched Free Willy. After the movie, students discussed the movie and learned
abaout English used in the film. Fifteen students participated in the club.

Music Club: On December 12 and 26, Peace Corps volunteers Lance Chimka, Robert Huber, and Alex Minier,
held a music club for visitors of American Corner. During the club meeting, they sang songs in English and
explained unfamiliar words. Eighteen students participated in the club. Alumnae who helped with the club were
Irada Abbasova ’02 and Oksana Yeshcerkina ’03.

Arts Club: On December 18, Peace Corps volunteer Rebecca Bowman held an art club meeting for the visitors
of the center. During the meeting, the participants made Christmas decorations, cards, and stockings. Rebecca
Bowman talked about Christmas and how it is celebrated in the United States. Seventeen students participated
in the activity.

Christmas Celebration: On December 27, FLEX alumni and Peace Corps volunteers organized a Christmas
celebration for children from the local orphanage. A visit by Santa Claus started the celebration and then the
children played various games. The children also had a chance to interact with the volunteers and dance with      15
  them. Fifty children attended the event. Alumni who participated in this event were Irada Abbasova ’02 and
  Oksana Yeshcherkina ’03. Peace Corps volunteers who participated were Lance Chimka, Alex Minier, Robert
  Huber, and Charles Gussow.

  Upcoming events:
          Monthly Alumni Meeting: Alumni will have their monthly meeting to discuss upcoming events.
          Music Club: Peace Corps volunteers and FLEX alumni will continue the Music Club through the month
          of January.
          English Video Club: Oksana Yeshcherkina ’03 will continue to conduct the English Video Club weekly
          in the month of January.
          Arts Club: Rebecca Bowman is going to continue the Arts Club through the month of January, where
          she will teach participants of the club how to make different crafts out of recyclable materials.
  Contact: Ashgabat Alumni Assistant Diana Shaimova ‘00, 34-26-34

  English Language Classes: Luhansk alumni are using the knowledge they gained during their exchange year
  in the United States and sharing it with the local community. Their goals are to make English lessons available
  to more people, while attracting new participants through innovative methods in teaching. During December
  many different kinds of classes were taught. Nataliya Stelmakh ’97 hosted a video club where participants had a
  chance to watch a movie in English and learn words and phrases about it. Anna Yablons’ka ‘03 taught a home
  reading for beginners class and another for advanced students. Olha Zhdanova ‘03 and Ihor Mironov ‘03
  taught a business English class. Anna Yablons’ka ‘03 and Olena Korotyans’ka hosted a drama club. Olena
  Samars’ka ‘03 taught an advanced English grammar class to interested participants. Natalya Stelmakh ’97
  taught a class to help students that are preparing to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  Yevgen Chernikov ‘03 taught a class entitled Internet for English. Nataliya Stelmakh ’97 also taught a class
  about country studies, and Yevgen Chernikov ‘03 conducted computer training seminars to help attendees
  improve their computer skills. All of these alumni prepared and had a considerable amount of work to do in
  order to make these classes successful.

  Fundraising Seminar: Kseniya Isayenko, Kharkiv FLEX alumni assistant, traveled to Dnipropetrovs’k on
  December 7, to conduct a fundraising seminar for Dnipropetrovs’k alumni. The training included writing letters
  to sponsors and communicating with media. Alumni learned different ways to attract sponsors and manage a
  project. Alumni practiced writing budgets and letters to the government and sponsors.

  Christmas Visit to Orphanages: On December 22 and 27, Dnipropetrovs’k alumni visited orphanages. Alumni
  involved central area schools in collecting toys and clothes, which were distributed to two orphanages: Shkola-
  internat for children of disadvantaged families and an orphanage. Alumni made presentations about Christmas
  in the United States. The goals of these events were to give love and attention to the children, share the traditions
  of the holiday with the community, and continue the tradition of sharing Christmas with children of Kharkiv

  Christmas Stockings: On December 12, FLEX and Eurasian UnderGraduate alumni and members of other
  youth non-governmental organizations (NGO) and the local community gathered to celebrate Christmas with the
  children at an orphanage. Alumni and the children played games, sang songs, read stories, and received
  presents. Partners in Education (PiE) alumnus, Andriy Klimishin ‘99, played the role of Santa Claus. Yevhen
  Bobyk ‘03, Kseniya Isayenko ‘01, and Liudmila Suprun ’99 participated in the meeting.                                   16
American Parliament Debate Tournament of Four
Capitals: Alumni from Kharkiv, Kyiv, and Moscow came
together for a debate tournament on December 13-14 in the
Kharkiv Cultural Center “Beyt Dan.” The goals of the
event were to discuss social problems and “Millennium
Development Goals,” look for new solutions, promote
cooperation among young people from Russia and Ukraine,
and develop public speaking skills among youth. The event
was dedicated to the AIDS awareness day and the main
theme of the tournament was HIV/AIDS. First prize was
awarded to the Kyiv team “Pirotechnics,” second place to
the KORA Kyiv team, and third place went to team “18” in
Kharkiv. Top speaker of the tournament was Nazariy
Sovsun from team “18.” During the debates, participants
discussed such topics as HIV/AIDS and prevention, women’s health, and problems with the current system of
education. The most important part of this event was that it spread information about the problems of our
society, emphasized the necessity to cooperate in order to make our country a better place to live, and gave
young people an opportunity to express their thoughts and share ideas with each other. Viktoriya Svetkova, vice
president of Youth Councils, Kseniya Isayenko ‘01, Serhiy Honcharuk ’98, and Mr. Kulinich from the Kharkiv
Youth Committee were the organizers of the event. Other volunteers were Anton Borisov ’02 and Olha Ivanova
‘01. Alumni want to give a special thanks to Katerina Roshina, director of the Youth section of the “Beyt Dan”
cultural center. Tetyana Poladko ‘00 served as one of the tournament judges.

Upcoming events:
        Dnipropetovs'k English Language Speaking Club will take place on January 14 and 28. The goals of
        the club are to create a network of active young people who are interested in developing civil society
        communication models.
        Computer Classes in Luhansk will continue every Thursday and Sunday by Evgen Chernikov ’03.
        Business English Classes will be taught every Tuesday and Sunday by Olha Zhdanova ‘03 and
        Andriy Mironov ‘03.
        Home Reading Literature Class will be held on Saturday and Anna Yablons’ka ‘03 will be the
        teacher. Internet Research Seminar will take place on January 30 at the Internet Access and Training
        Program (IATP) Center. IATP specialists will provide FLEX alumni with Internet training on the
        theoretical knowledge and practical skills of Internet research.
Contact: Kharkiv Alumni Assistant Kseniya Isayenko ‘01, 45-

Monthly Alumni Meeting: On December 4, six FLEX alumni came to the regular alumni meeting. Those who
participated in the event are Mariya Dubrovska ‘03, Oleksandr Fyodorov ‘01, Kateryna Golitsyna ‘02, Artem
Kolimiychuk ‘01, Veronika Shulevksa ‘03, Anna Smirnova ‘03, and Andriy Varha ’03. They evaluated
November alumni activities and find out about plans for December. Alumni selected Kateryna Golitsyna and
Artem Kolomiychuk to represent Kyiv in the Zhytomyr debate tournament on December 6.

Debate Tournament in Zhytomyr Dedicated to the International Day of Human Rights: On December 6,
seven alumni participated in the debate tournament. Those who participated are Lyubov Blin ‘02, Illya Dyadik
‘01 (Zhytomyr), Lyubov Dyakova ‘03 (Zhytomyr), Kateryna Golitsina ‘03, Artem Kolomiychuk ‘01 (Brovary,
Kyiv oblast), Nataliya Olenchuk ‘02, and Sergiy Topachevskiy ‘01. Carrie Kiley, Peace Corp volunteer in
Zhytomyr and a Youth Can organization manager, was the judge for the event. Initially the participants debated
the idea that the Ukrainian government should pay more attention to the rights of youth. After a short
discussion, both teams agreed that there are enough laws passed, but they are not carried out due to lack of funds
and bureaucracy of the government organs. Participants also debated the idea of legalizing prostitution. After
the debates Zhytomyr alumni showed the city to Kyiv alumni and had a discussion of alumni activities.
St. Andrew’s Day Celebration: On December 13, Bohdana Depo ’03, Mariya Dubrovska ‘02, Iryna Tokatly
’01, and Maryna Yaroshchuk ’02 took part in a St. Andrew’s holiday celebration which is an ancient Ukrainian
holiday rich in various traditions and customs. The event aimed to promote Ukrainian culture and language
among alumni.

Happy Hour: On December 17, Ruslana Deykun ’96, Marta Pryimak ‘00, Anna Smirnova ‘03, Andriy Varha
‘03, Oleksandr Verbitskiy ’99, and Maryna Yaroshchuk ‘02 socialized with alumni of U.S. government-
sponsored programs during Happy Hour at the local restaurant. Alumni shared impressions from recent
activities, discussed their career plans, and made more friends in the alumni association.

Benefit Evening Organizing Committee Meetings: On December 9, 16, and 23, organizers of the Fourth
Annual Benefit Ball met to discuss their work and to find out recent news and updates in the organizing process.
The benefit evening is planned for March 20.

St. Nicholas Holiday Celebration: On December 19, Nataliya Voynarovska ’00 and Maryna Yaroshchuk ’02 in
the cooperation with five students from the National Linguistic University arranged a small holiday concert for
the orphans and children with disabilities in the local Kyiv orphanage. Alumni and students played various
games with children and St. Nicholas (played by one student) gave small gifts to the kids.

New Year and Christmas Celebration at Orphanage #12: On December 24, Eduard Prokopchuk ‘03,
Svitlana Shevchenko ‘99, Anna Smirnova ‘03, Olena Sydorenko ‘03, Iryna Tokatly ‘01, Andriy Varha ‘03, Olga
Yankova ‘02, Maryna Yaroshchuk ‘02, Anna Zubko ’03, and Olena Govorenko (YMCA projects coordinator
and Ugrad alumna) organized a Christmas/New Year visit to the Kyiv orphanage #12. Alumni divided into four
groups to socialize and play games with the children. Children learned new teambuilding games and appreciated
the attention, and alumni learned to be more caring and patient. Orphans were then greeted by Did Moroz (Santa
Claus), played by Eduard Prokopchuk ‘03 and Snigurochka (Granddaughter of Did Moroz). Alumni gave out
small presents, which were provided by YMCA and collected during a candy drive held at the American
Councils office.

Upcoming events:
        Christmas Caroling in Kyiv and Zhytomyr will take place on January 13 and 14. They will visit homes
        of older alumni and raise money and candy, which will be given to orphans.
        Martin Luther King’s Day Commemoration throughout Kyiv Hub will be held on January 19 when
        alumni will commemorate Martin Luther King's Day by writing essays about how they dream Ukrainian
        people should live and what they should do to achieve it. The best essays will be published in the FLEX
        quarterly newsletter and the winner will get a prize.
        Project Design and Management Workshop, Grant Application writing session for Kyiv Hub alumni
        will be held on January 31. Carrie Kiley, Peace Corp volunteer and Youth Can coordinator, and Stacia
        Nanayeva '99 will run the event.
Contact: Kyiv Alumni Assistant Maryna Yaroshchuk ’02, 246-82-

Regular Alumni Meeting in L’viv: Eighteen alumni gathered on December 2 at the L’viv American Councils
office to discuss current issues of the alumni association. Alumni were introduced to a project about increasing
social awareness via peer education in Novovolyns’k (Volyns’ka oblast’). This project was designed by the
L’viv delegation at the FLEX Summit in Kyiv as their Global Youth Service Day project.

Alumni Meeting in Chernivtsi: Four FLEX alumni attended an all-alumni meeting held by L’viv American
Councils staff in their city on December 2. Maksym Dunich ‘02, Alyona Hlyvko ‘03, Olena Luchina ‘02, and
Anastasiya Zarubina ’02 all attended the meeting.

HIV/AIDS Awareness Seminar: On December 4-5, five FLEX alumni held a seminar dedicated to HIV/AIDS
day for a group of 17 high school students. Olha Dehtyarova ‘01, Anastasiya Khmilyovs’ka ‘03, Anton
Podil’chak ‘03, Nataliya Salo ‘01, and Khrystyna Tryndus ’01 organized the event and were the trainers.

Leadership Seminar in Zhydachiv: On December 7, Olena Borshch ‘02, Orysya Kobel ‘02, Marta Mylymuk
‘02, and Anastasiya Yevsyeyeva ’02 held a seminar on the development of leadership skills for 23 high school
students in the Zhydachiv in L’vivs’ka oblast’.

St. Nicola’s Charity Event Preparation: In December, six alumni continued working together with other youth
non-governmental organizations (NGO) in L’viv on the project that raised funds, toys, books, and clothes for
children at local orphanages. Alumni collected the presents, classified and packed them, and gave them to the
children. The alumni who took part in the project are Oksana Hrytsenko ‘01, Maryana Kupriyenko ‘02, Oksana
Les’kiv ‘02, Mykola Pekh ‘00, Nadiya Ratushnyak ‘03, and Nataliya Salo ‘01.

Charity Visit to Zaluchchya Dolishnye Orphanage: On December 21, Antonina Popova ‘98 together with
Roman Okolovych from the international student organization AIESEC made a trip to Zaluchchya Dolishnye
orphanage. They deliver $300 worth of presents and highly needed supplies to this specialized orphanage for
children with cerebral palsy.

Special Alumni meeting in L’viv: Twelve alumni came to the American Councils office on December 23, to
discuss the plan of creating a non-governmental organizations (NGO) in the L’viv hub. The alumni discussed
the mission and goals of the prospective NGO and distributed arrangement tasks.

Letters to Father Frost Project in Ternopil’: Throughout December, Lesya Brylins’ka ‘03, Lilia Furman ‘02
(project leader), Maryana Lukshyn ‘01, Viktor Pilyarchuk ‘02, and Yuliya Pukhals’ka ’01, together with alumni
of other programs, wrote replies to children’s letters addressed to Father Frost. Alumni wrote to every child that
wrote regardless of their families’ financial situation. In some cases children were also sent small gifts and
books. Over 190 letters were written and mailed.

Teaching English at the Boarding School for the Visually Impaired: Nataliya Bak ’01 has continued her
project of managing a group of young linguists who teach English to students from 1-5 grades of the boarding

Upcoming events:
        Alumni Meeting will be held on January 9.
        All-Ukrainian Project-development Workshop is planned for January 31.
        First Stage of the Global Youth Service Day Project is planned for late January.
Contact: L’viv Alumni Assistant Antonina Popova ’98, 97-11-25.

General Alumni Meeting: On December 16, FLEX alumni from Odesa met to socialize, share their successes,
and learn about upcoming alumni events, such as a Christmas visit to an orphanage. The goal of the event was
to encourage alumni from Odesa to stay active and involved in alumni activities. Four alumni were present:
Kostyantyn Besfamilniy ’01, Kateryna Komarova ’02, Oleksandra Naydis ’01, and Genadiy Starostin ’02.

Organizational meeting: On December 26, Kostyantyn Besfamilniy ’01, Kateryna Komarova ’02, and Genadiy
Starostin ’02 gathered to discuss the upcoming alumni visit to Odesa Orphanage #4. Alumni divided
responsibilities and made arrangements for the event.

Christmas orphanage celebration: On December 29, Odesa FLEX alumni and members of the international
student organization, AEGEE, visited Odesa orphanage #4 to socialize with students, decorate a Christmas tree,
and talk about American culture and Christmas celebrations. FLEX alumni brought little presents such as
candy, fruit, markers, and coloring books. However, the most important gift was the Christmas tree itself. Yuriy
  Basyuk ’01, Kostyantyn Besfamilniy ’01, Nina Borysova ’02, Kateryna Komarova ’02, and Genadiy Starostin
  ’02 participated.

  Upcoming Events:
          Visit to an Orphanage: On January 6, several FLEX alumni will accompany the host family of Nina
          Borysova ‘02 during their visit to Odesa orphanage # 4. Nina’s host mother brought gifts and hygienic
          products for children, which she plans to distribute on Christmas Eve.
          Grant Proposal Writing Workshop: On January 17-18, fifteen of the most active FLEX alumni from
          Southern Ukraine will come to Odesa to learn how to write effective proposals for the FLEX Alumni
          Grants Program.
          General Alumni meeting: On January 20, Odesa FLEX alumni will gather at the art café, Pobeda, to
          discuss future alumni events.
  Contact: Odesa Alumni Assistant Ekaterina Komarova ’02, 32-15-

  Drugs and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Seminar: Raihan Izimbetova '98 and Diora Ziyaeva '00 organized a
  seminar entitled, "Drugs and Sexually Transmitted Diseases" on December 4. They described their educational
  outreach efforts to different groups of at-risk teens through their FLEX Alumni Grant project. U.S. Embassy
  Political Officer Julie Z. Kim; four FLEX alumni, Akmal Abdullaev '97, Elena Kim '99, Sherali Rakhmatullaev
  '00, and Hurshid Sadikov '97; Fulbright Program Alumnus Bahrom Aliyev '96; and several other students
  attended this seminar. At the end of the seminar, alumni asked questions and had a group discussion concerning
  the information that had been presented.

  Kyiv Summit Follow-up Meeting: On December 13, ten FLEX alumni met to follow up on the Kyiv Summit
  “FLEX: Ten Years of Service and Leadership.” They wanted to capitalize on the energy and ideas generated
  during the Kyiv Summit, during which 15 FLEX alumni represented Uzbekistan successfully. At the meeting,
  they showed the power point presentation, “The Mid-Summer Swing on the Bottom of the Aral Sea," which
  summit delegates had shown in Kyiv. Staff in the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy provided alumni
  with an LCD projector to present the slide show. Delegates shared the ideas they developed while in Kyiv. At
  the end of the presentation, alumni discussed ideas for future alumni activities, including proposals for the
  creation of a FLEX alumni association in Uzbekistan. Ten alumni attended the follow-up meeting: Emilia
  Asadova '02, Dilnoza Djurakhodjaeva '02, Rustam Haydarov '98, Yulia Hwang '99, Saida Ismailova '01, Elena
  Kim '99, Artyom Kursakov '02, Shekhroz Narzikulov '00, Alexandr Pak '03, and Jasur Rahmanov '02.

  Charity Ball in Nukus: FLEX alumni Nigora Dekhanova ’99 and Raihan Izimbetova ’98 organized a charity
  ball in Nukus, Karakalpakstan along with Peace Corps volunteer Casey Benson on December 20. The event
  called “1000 Stars” raised money for a one-week day camp for orphan students of the Aral Balalar (“Children of
  Aral” in Karakalpak) school in Nukus. It took more than two months to organize the charity ball. The
  Newmans, a local American family, contributed a lot of time to make the ballroom look festive. Other
  volunteers worked on logistics, advertising, and administration of the ball. Seventy-five people attended the
  event, which raised $100. Staff of the Academic Lyceum, where the ball was held, were very cooperative,
  providing the space for free. The ball included games, contests, a talent show, an election for the king and queen
  of the ball, and great music. At the end of the evening, attendees asked the ball’s organizers to hold a similar
  event for Valentine’s Day. Local employees of non-governmental organizations said that the ball was very well
  organized and offered their support for the next event. All the money raised at the Charity Ball will support the
  aforementioned day camp, scheduled for the end of January.

  Clothing Drive for Orphanage #15 in the Boka region: On December 21, 22 FLEX alumni and 13 UGrad
  alumni organized a clothing drive for Orphanage #15 in the Boka region, located near Tashkent. Orphanage #15
  was chosen because it had no sponsors and the children were in dire need of warm clothes for the winter. The
  orphanage is home to 175 children who have lost their parents or have been abandoned. Since the last alumni
  meeting, FLEX alumni have been collecting donations in the form of clothes, books, toys, and money for the
  children of the orphanage. Alumni also contacted local and international organizations and received
  contributions. As a result of these fundraising efforts, the budget for this activity was increased from $470 to
  nearly $1,000. All the children in the orphanage were given warm clothes and the funds were used to buy other
  neccessities. FLEX alumni Kudrat Akbarov '99, Dilnoza Djurakhodjaeva '02 (FLEX alumni assistant), Yulia
  Hwang '99, Saida Ismailova '01, Javlon Jahanov '02, Elena Kim '99, Artyom Kursakov '02, Shekhroz Narzikulov
  '00, Alexandr Pak '03, and Jasurbek Rahmanov '02 were especially active.

  On Sunday morning, alumni, together with representatives from International Research and Exchanges Board
  (IREX) and the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the United States Embassy, members of the national media, and
  students of nearby schools traveled to the Boka region. When the bus arrived at the orphanage, the cooks were
  busy making a huge pot of Uzbek plov. The non-profit organization “A Child A Smile" performed for the
  children. After the show, FLEX alumni Kudrat Akbarov '99, Dilnoza Djurakhodjaeva '02, Artyom Kursakov '02
  and several others played different educational games with the children. Children active in the games received
  special awards and prizes, including “I Love New York” t-shirts.

  Internet Access and Training Program (IATP) Longest Night: On December 21, more than ten alumni
  celebrated “The Longest Night of IATP (Internet Access and Training Program).” The first part of the event
  was the Central Asian Traditions chat. The chat was aimed at broadening alumni’s knowledge of other Central
  Asian countries, as well as providing alumni with some interesting information about their own countries.
  Before the on-line contest, alumni from each country prepared five questions and interesting facts about their
  homeland. After the chat, alumni discussed the events of the past year and brainstormed ideas for 2004.
  Winners of the Best Alumni Web Page Design Contest and the Best Poster Contest were also announced. The
  following web sites display the transcripts and photos from The Longest Night event.

  Photos from Uzbekistan -

  The story Kyrgyzstan made about Uzbekistan -

  The story Uzbekistan made about Turkmenistan -

  Chat log -

  Upcoming Events:
          The Alumni Welcome Meeting at American Councils will be held on January 17. Alumni will meet the
          new FLEX Program Hub Director Nathan Truitt.
          A Veteran’s House visit is planned for January 16. This will be a joint community service project with
          Teaching Excellence Awards Program alumni. They will visit the Veteran's House and then take its
          residents to the Gorkiy Theater
  Contact: Tashkent Alumni Assistant Dilnoza Djurakhodjaeva '02 55-88-60

  Lia Avetisyan ’96 works as a web developer at Web company, which provides Internet service. Lia also
  recreated the web site for the Tenth Anniversary FLEX Summit at

  Artiom Chakmishian ’95 works as a senior specialist in the Marketing Department at “Bars” Ltd. and is a
  Muskie Program semifinalist in the field of business administration.

  Tigran Karapetyan ’96 was re-elected president of Youth For Achievements (YFA) association.

  Zaruhi Lavchyan ’99 studies at the Academy of Public Administration and was selected as a World Youth
  Festival Steering Committee Member for the festival, which will take place in Brussels this year.
   Irina Liloyan ’98 and Ani Hakobyan ’00 are the Executive Board members responsible for project development
   and public relations at YFA.

   Sona Manucharyan ’00 is the Executive Board member responsible for Legal Affairs at YFA.

   Anranik Martirosyan ’99 is the Executive Board member responsible for financial affairs at YFA.

   Anna Matinyan ’01 is the Executive Board member responsible for member relations at YFA.

   Varya Meruzhanyan ’00 was elected vice-president of YFA.

   Hanum Azizova ’98 is employed by the BP (Beyond Petroleum) Group in Azerbaijan, and holds the position of
   Human Resources Coordinator in the Human Resource Department.

   Anar Ismaylov ’00 is a senior at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He is expecting to graduate from the
   business program, which is ranked second in the country. After graduation, he will begin working A.G.
   Edwards, an investment bank.

   Fariz Ismailzade '96 was invited to present a paper on civil society development in the Caucasus and Central
   Asia at a conference at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri to be held in March 2004. He also gave a
   live interview to BBC Radio and World Report in connection with the political situation in Azerbaijan.

   Jeyhun Karamov '99 started as Project Assistant for Capacity Building for State Social Protection Fund of the
   Republic of Azerbaijan (UNDP). Prior to that, he worked as a Program Assistant for the International
   Foundation for Election Systems (IFES). From December 2-5, he participated in the Working Group on
   Compliance with Social Security Contributions organized by the International Social Security Association and
   the Italian Social Security Institution.

   Tamara Maharramova ’01 works as a welding inspector for AMEC Construction Company as a QA/QC
   Department Welding Training School Administrator. She completed the Welding Training Institute 3.0 Visual
   Inspection course and is a qualified welder in SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc Welding), GSFCAW (Gas Shielded
   Flux Cored Arc Welding), and GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding).

   Tatiana Bykova ’03 won first place in the Regional Olympiad in English and took sixth place in the Regional
   Olympiad in Belarusian.

   Katerina Stratskevich ’00 took part in a conference “Ways of Democracy Development in Belarus” held on

   December 19, 2003 at Belarusian State University.

   Tatiana Vishniakova’ 02 is employed at the Internet Access and Training Program (IATP) Center in Brest.

   Lasha Chkhartishvili ’01 is interning at the law firm Khuntsria & Partners as a paralegal.

   Irina Iashvili ’01, Sandro Rtveladze ’01, and Mari Vardosanidze ’01 have been accepted to attend the American
   Institute on Political and Economic Systems in Prague, Czech Republic this summer.
  Vika Melkadze ‘01 and Irina Rekhviashvili ‘03 have worked as interpreter/assistants to the Long-term Observers
  of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) /Office for Democratic Institutions and
  Human Rights (ODIHR) election observation mission to Georgia.

  Renat Bekturov ’02 served as an intern in the Senate of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the Committee of
  Economy, Finance and Budget Planning from December 8-12. Together with other interns, he worked on bills
  about financial leasing and audit and participated in a variety of committee meetings.

  Maksat Tynaev ’99 works as an Administration and Logistics Assistant at American Councils for International

  Aijan Karabukaeva '02 was chosen to be a captain of the American University – Central Asia (AUCA) debate
  team and has already organized several tournaments.

  Natalia Graur ’00, and Cezara Haheu ’98 participated on the program Civil Society Development in Moldova,
  EURO TV Chisinau, where they presented the Alumni Board and its plans for the future.

  Twelve FLEX alumni were hired at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mission
  as interpreters during State Duma (parliament) elections (December 5-December 8). Each FLEX alumnus
  guided two representatives of the OSCE mission in Russia. Aleksandra Bukacheva ’98, Tigran Karapetyan ’96,
  Pavel Rassadkin ’98, and Evgeny Yankovoy ’01were employed as OSCE office staff. Participating alumni
  were: Edil Baisalov ’95, Aleksandra Bukacheva ’98, Aleksandra Chuprinuk ’99, Olesya Dianova ’97, Tigran
  Karapetyan ’96, Ekaterina Karasseva ’96, Anton Khokholov ’98, Anton Melnikov ’98, Anna Mitrokhina ’03,
  Pavel Rassadkin ’98, Aleksey Rumyantsev ’95, and Evgeny Yankovoy ’01.

  Nizhny Novgorod
  Darya Gubenkova ’96 of Nizhny Novgorod works as a quality coordinator for Lear, which specializes in
  automobile interior upholstering. The Russian automobile plant GAZ works with Lear.

  Irina Novikova ’97 and Ekaterina Smayeva ’99 received the President’s award of Nizhny Novgorod State
  Linguistic University Scholarship for Academic Excellence.

  Polina Makova ’03 (Yoshkar-Ola) won first prize at the Yoshkar-Ola English Language Olympiad. She was
  also nominated to represent her city at the Mari El Republic English Language Olympiad.

   Anna Demidchick `01, Irina Sorokina `95, Yuliya Doroshenko `95, and Elena Shitova `95 (Barnaul) worked as
   interpreters for short-term observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) during
   the Russian Federation Duma elections.

   Anastasia Pechkurova `03 organized a charitable concert at the Samara State Medical University, which raised
   7000 rubles for presents for the children of Samara Orphanage #3.

   Ekaterina Gafarova ‘03, Tatyana Lebakina ’03, and Alexandra Matyushina ’03 participated in the English
   Language City Olympiad on December 17. All three represented School #120. Ekaterina Gafarova was
   awarded second place, Tatyana Lebakina took third place, and Alexandra Matyushina came in fourth.

   Svetlana Botkina `01 (Saratov) took part in a poetry translation contest held at her university. She translated the
   poem “The Rainy Day” by Henry Longfellow and received second place. She also translated a verse by
   Tyutchev, for which she received first place.

   Elena Gladkova `99 was chosen as one of five students from Volgograd State Medical Academy to go to a
   training in laproscopic surgery designed for doctors and students in Saratov.

   Varvara Glushak ’99, a fourth year student in the department of Computer Sciences at Far Eastern State
   University in Vladivostok, was hired to be an engineer-programmer at Ronda Ltd., a subsidiary company of
   Motorola. She will be assisting in the development of software for cellular phones and working with
   organizations that provide cellular service.

   Vasily Lyubansky’99, a fifth year student of International Relations/Japanese Culture at Far Eastern State
   University, will study Japanese culture and language on a three-month exchange program in Tokyo, Japan.

   Semen Shuripa ’01, a fourth year student of International Relations/Korean Language in the Economics
   Department at Far Eastern State University in Vladivostok, is attending Yonsey University in South Korea. He
   is currently studying Korean Economics and Language as an exchange student on a three-month exchange
   program established between the two institutions.

   Natalya Kalinina '96, Dmitriy Metelev '97, Anastasiya Sveschinskaya '02, Anastasiya Syrchina '99, and Oleg
   Zhuravlev '96 worked as interpreters with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the
   Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODHIR) Election Observation Mission Short
   Term Observers during the elections for the Russian State Duma.

   Elena Volovich ’03 (Khudjand) began working as a translator at the Asian Development Bank in Dushanbe for a
   project on farm economics.
  Umedjon Hoshimov ’98 (Khudjand), Tahmina Khakimova ’96 (Khudjand), and Artem Pashenko ’97 were
  selected as semi-finalists of the Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program.

  Maisa Allaberdiyeva ’02 was hired as an administrator for the Internet Access and Training Program (IATP) at
  the National Library.

  Olha Zhdanova ‘03 will be working in the Luhansk Internet Access and Training Program (IATP) Center as the
  IATP representative starting on January 10.

  Olha Ivanova ’01 was invited to work as an interpreter for Keiko Matsui, a Japanese jazz artist, and her band in
  December. It was Keiko Matsui’s first visit to Ukraine. Olha also interpreted during the press conference.

  Andriy Luzanov ’97 works as the coordinator for the Open World program at American Councils in Kyiv.

  Svitlana Belushkina ’97, Karina Makarenko ’98, Anna Opanasyuk ’99, and Yuliya Popova ‘99 served as
  facilitators for participants of the Open World program on their 10-day professional exchange in the United
  States from December 7-17. The Open World program is sponsored by the Open World Leadership Center at
  the United States Library of Congress.

  Oxana Nesterenko ’00 works at UNAIDS as communications officer. UNAIDS is a UN Secretariat of the
  HIV/AIDS Program.

  Stanislav Polyakov ’01 won the All-Ukrainian Olympiad for Students of Computer Science.              Currently,
  Stanislav is working as a marketing assistant for the Happy Days Restaurant Group.

  Vadym Tereshchuk ’94 works as a lawyer at Pryanchuk, Melnik, Tereshchuk & Co. He also belongs to the
  Ukrainian National Union of Young Lawyers. Vadym conducted a workshop on private practice for students
  and young professionals during which he talked about problems one faces when starting his/her own practice.
  The workshop was a part of a job fair, held for law students and young lawyers. One hundred and fifty people
  came to the fair.

  Tetyana Artamonova ’00 was hired by Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc. to work on the opening of the company’s
  offices in Ukraine.

  Olha Dehtyarova ’01, Antonina Popova ’98, UGrad alumni Tetyana Dytyna ’03, Iryna Matyak ’02, and Sofiya
  Skachko ’02 interpreted at the international conference, Religious Pluralism in Eastern Europe, from December

  Maksym Romanchenko ’02 won first place in a camping competition among Odesa universities.                          25
  Kateryna Zhyrova’00 works as an intern at an architectural studio in Odesa.

  Vatan Nurmatov '00 shared first place in the Best Alumni Web Page Design Contest with an alumna from
  Kyrgyzstan from the Longest Night of IATP (Internet Access and Training Program) project. Winners of the
  contest are listed at

  Ilkin Yusibov '02 was declared the winner of The Best Poster Contest as part of the Longest Night of IATP. A
  description of the contest is on the site:

  Raihan Izimbetova '98 and Diora Ziyaeva '00 approached Population Services International (PSI) for assistance
  in carrying out their project “HIV/AIDS and Drug Awareness Project Seminars and Sports Activities for
  Juvenile Criminals in Prisons and Skin Disease Centers for Prostitutes of Uzbekistan.” PSI was impressed by
  the dedication of the two project directors and offered assistance by donating condom samples. PSI also
  produced brochures on HIV/AIDS. PSI offered to take over the program after its conclusion in December.

  Sanjar Khudayberdiev '02 and Stanislav Kim '02 visited the Tashkent Juvenile Criminals Prison and the
  Zangiata Juvenile Criminals Prison, in order to conduct different sport activities with Project Directors Raihan
  Izimbetova '98 and Diora Ziyaeva '00.


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