The Education Bridge Fund provides no-interest, emergency awards to Turkmen students, with the goal of this program to enable already resourceful students to remain enrolled in university by allowing them to overcome short-term financial obstacles to completing their education.
The program is flexible in how emergency is defined but generally they believe an emergency to be an unforeseen and usually unavoidable situation that creates a temporary financial obstacle for a student to pay for their education. It can also help buy books that might be beyond a student’s budget, help with rent for a month, get them home for a family emergency, etc.
The program generally doesn’t help pay a student’s tuition unless they are close, say within hundreds of dollars, before they can "bridge" the gap.
Applicants must be current Turkmen citizens and must be undergraduate students enrolled in full-time studies at a college or university accredited by a recognized regional/international body outside of Turkmenistan. Sometimes there are exceptions for graduate students.
Applicants also must have completed their freshman year of studies before applying.
Tim Moench, a long-time supporter of the Arzuw Foundation, has been volunteering with the Education Bridge Fund since Spring 2013.
“We've come across some incredibly resourceful students,” he says. “It is good to know that we've allowed a small number of students to stay in school and finish their education.”
Although they have a small budget and some students have been turned away, Tim says they do their best to get the word out to do what they can for the students.
“We'd like to help every Turkmen student who comes to us, especially those brave ones who come to study in the US,” he says. “We are all volunteers, and come from many different backgrounds. What we all have in common is a great desire to see Turkmen students succeed.”
In the first round of Education Bridge Fund awards the program was able to help three students with awards of $1,000. One student had earned less than expected at his summer job, another needed assistance paying rent before his campus job paychecks began arriving. These are the types of gaps this fund hopes to continue to be able to fill. Learn more.