Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Luba Yusim: Development in Kazakhstan


Luba Yusim (MPA '12) is interning in Kazakhstan as part of the DPMI Plus program.

April 20, 2012

“My participation in the DPMI program enriched my understanding of development and provided me with concrete skills and tools that I could utilize to support participatory, sustainable change. The program complemented my coursework as it not only allowed me to find an outlet to put theory into practice, but also provided me with an overview of a variety of skills that I would apply more deeply in my courses and in my professional work.  Now, as part of the DPMI Plus program, I am interning with the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia in Almaty, Kazakhstan where I am able to utilize the skills and tools learned in DPMI daily.  This has provided me with the ability to deepen my understanding of development, my role in it, and has enabled me to confidently navigate the most complex situations.”

Luba Yusim is pursuing her Master's in Public Administration at the Monterey Institute.  Currently, Luba is interning in Almaty, Kazakhstan as part of the Development Project Management Institute Plus (DPMI Plus) program.

As part of DPMI Plus, Luba was connected with the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia (EFCA), which “mobilizes public and private resources to help citizens participate in building their future by strengthening their communities and improving their civic and economic wellbeing.”

Luba is working as part of the Research and Development Department at EFCA, where she supports the grant proposal development process through project design, drafting of documented, and organization of necessary proposal elements to ensure success of the proposal. She is also designing an evaluation project for four programs EFCA has implemented in Kazakhstan to assess program impact on youth, vulnerable groups, and organizational capacity development.

Luba shares a new cultural fact she has learned about Kazakhstan by residing in Almaty: For Kazakh's the sheep's head is incredibly valued.  In rural settings it acts as a sign of respect and is often offered to the most honored guest on a festive plate.  Upon receiving the head, the guest must divide the rest of the meat among other guests in the following manner: the ear is given to the youngest child to signify the child listening to and obeying his elders; the eyes are given to the two closest friends of the guest so that they will support and watch over the guest; and the pelvic bones are given to the second most respect guests. 

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