In the meantime, there was an announcement to apply for the International Emerging Leaders Program at the Graduate Center of CUNY which focused on development of community foundations and philanthropy. I decided to apply for the fellowship as it was very relevant to my current career interest as it focused on community development, fundraising and management of non-for-profit organizations with focus on community foundations. But the fellowship covered only full tuition fee of the course and I needed to manage my housing and living costs. The most problematic issue is a housing in Manhattan. I was not sure if I would be able to accept this offer given my unemployed situation.
Then I remembered of the Interfaith Women’s Residency Program (I knew about the program through my friend). I thought it would be a perfect location for me to live and conduct my research as I was going to look into church model of community services and whether it would be possible to adopt this model in mosques in Kyrgyzstan (mosques do not take active part in community building). When I applied for the program it was the first week of August and I had very little hope. I believed my application was very late. But sometimes you get a help from people/organizations you least expect. Now I am one of the Interfaith Women’s Residency Program fellows and I am proud and thankful for God to be in this circle and gaining these connections.