Mariyam Ydyrys

SUSI 2014

In 2016, Mariyam co-founded an NGO called "Jas Volunteers" (JV) in the capital city of Astana. "Jas" comes from the Kazakh word “young,” as their goal is to engage young people in meaningful community service. So far, the NGO has organized multiple cultural and educational projects benefiting high school students, senior citizens, children from low-income families and children living in orphanages. Notable projects in 2016 include launching a city-wide high school Math League in order to enhance student interest in mathematics, and engage them in volunteering activities; and opening English language speaking clubs at high schools including trips to American corner, where students learn about different United States sponsored programs. Recently, Mariyam's NGO also partnered with a well-known local charity foundation called Shugyla to raise funds to help educate children from low-income families. As of March 2016, Jas Volunteers has around 60 volunteers, and that number continues to grow.

photo from Mariyam Ydyrys's project
Jas Volunteers university students present motivational seminars to local high school students in Astana.


The Study of the United States Institute (SUSI) on Women's Leadership is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). ECA’s mission is "to foster mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to promote friendly and peaceful relations.

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