Eastern Michigan University international student and Fulbright Scholar donates portion of GameAbove Alumni Pay-it-Forward gift to home country, Tajikistan, to help in COVID-19 fight

YPSILANTI — When Eastern Michigan University graduate and Fulbright Scholar Nasiba Usmonova received a $600* gift from the GameAbove Alumni Pay-it-Forward fund, she didn’t hesitate to donate a portion of it to her small home country of Tajikistan to help in the country’s fight against COVID-19.

Nasiba Usmonova
Nasiba Usmonova

Usmonova, an international student from Tajikistan, graduated with the Winter 2020 class with a Master of Science in Applied Econometrics. She donated the funds to Charity Company “SIZ,” part of the Tajik American Cultural Association, an organization established to promote and facilitate intercultural understanding and cooperation by organizing programs that focus on historical, economic, and social issues concerning Tajik-American community.

The funds that Usmonova donated will help to support Tajikistan healthcare and medical professionals on the front lines with medical supplies and equipment. 

“Tajikistan is a slow developing country, and it is very difficult for the government to manage such an unexpected situation such as COVID-19,” said Usmonova. “As a citizen of Tajikistan, I knew I had to find a way to help support my country. Thanks to the generous gift from the GameAbove Alumni Pay-it-Forward fund, I was able to contribute to the well-being of my home country. I am happy to know that my donation will be helping my home country’s healthcare heroes.”  

Tajikistan is a country in Central Asia surrounded by Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

Those interested in donating to help support Tajikistan’s fight against COVID-19 can visit MoboVatanem, an organization aimed at providing urgent support to front line fighters in Tajikistan in the form of equipment or medical supplies; help provide food to the families that are most affected and to educate people about social distancing, self-isolation, and quarantine.

GameAbove, a group of EMU alumni that previously donated in the past eight months more than $15 million supporting a variety of initiatives on and off-campus, recognizes the need to ease economic hardships created by the global pandemic.

The GameAbove’s new Alumni Pay-it-Forward fund was a $2 million donation to Eastern Michigan University to help students. This included an immediate gift of nearly $600* for each EMU April 2020 graduate, without obligations or restrictions regarding eligibility or use. The donation also includes a $400 gift that will be made in the fall to each new incoming freshman student to help them get started in a year filled with uncertainty and anxiety over COVID-19.

*Note: Income tax rules limit GameAbove to individual gifts of $599 or less. 

About GameAbove

At GameAbove, our primary focus is to help shape, inspire and support the current and future students of Eastern Michigan University by reaching new heights in learning through transformation and inspiration in the educational experience. Together, we will strive for that next level of success with a GameAbove all others. The GameAbove family of organizations will also help improve the higher education experience by exploring and supporting the use of innovative financial models to sustain universities, creative giving within the community, enhancing the campus environment, elevating athletics, and promoting pioneering academic programs. www.gameabove.com

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves nearly 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

May 27, 2020

Written by:
Morgan Mark

Morgan Mark