Gulzada Ilipbaeva

CCP scholarship holder from Kyrgyzstan

I come from Tamga, a rural district in the northern highlands of Kyrgyszstan. Even as a young girl, I dreamt of travelling abroad. When I heard about the CrossCulture Internships Programme (CCP), I was so excited! I was working for a non-governmental organisation, the Central Asian Mountain Communities (AGOCA). This organisation works to promote sustainable development in rural regions of Central Asia. So I was very interested in the work of similar organisations in Germany. First of all I went to Sonthofen in the Allgäu region. In 2005, this town was named Alpine Town of the Year for its sustainable urban development. My second host organisation was the Michael Succow Stiftung, a nature conservation organisation in Greifswald. In both these internships, I was involved in ongoing projects. I like the way my colleagues work in Germany: they are very punctual and plan very thoroughly. I picked up some useful ideas from them.

My stay also provided me with a number of new contacts. For example, at the end of my internship the Michael Succow Stiftung worked on a project with AGOCA. I’m still in touch with a lot of my former colleagues. When I returned home, a number of professional opportunities opened up for me. Today I work for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kyrgyzstan. I would never have come this far without my CCP internship. So it is an honour for me to be able to spread the word about the programme as the CCP Country Representative in Kyrgyzstan.