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Madina Karsakpayeva, Kazakhstan: MA in Special and Inclusive Education (EMSIE)

Updated: Mar 12

Growing up as a differently-abled person, I experienced loneliness and the feeling of being odd among my peers and neighbors. Although I used to meet my classmates only twice a year, every meeting left me with a feeling of alienation. And the attitude of society was not the only hurdle for that I had to face but I also had to struggle with lack of infrastructure to accommodate me. As a result, my parents had to move me around. Whenever I would go to attend some events, I still felt invisible.

As I grew up, I started facing more challenges. As an adolescent, I started liking boys and young men, but my feelings were never reciprocated, and I couldn’t even imagine sharing my feelings with the boys I liked. I felt that it was never expected of me to attract or be interested in men and for that reason, I knew from the very outset that I will end up being single for the rest of my life. Therefore, whenever I would think of having a relationship or a child, I used to brush those thoughts aside.

So, dear ladies in this world of perfect bodies choose to be unique soul!

I find it funny that even my childhood dreams were quite humble – deprived of any risks or ambitions. Growing up, during adolescent years, I kept asking the same question: Why me? The only solace was that I was born to a very supportive and loving family. None of my family members, siblings ever discriminated against me. Instead, I was always and still showered with their love, patience and acceptance. Its pure happiness to call parents as your best friends! However, I had no wide choice in regard to education. From the very beginning homeschooling made a huge impact on my life. Even though limited interaction with the outside world sometimes made me confused when dealing with strangers; education became my biggest strength and power in life. Education enabled me to thrive in an environment where nobody would notice or be offended by my wheelchair. Education enabled me to regain my confidence, forget the past and start moving forward. Education became the source of bringing so many wonderful people in my life. Education is the greatest power that still gives me wings in my PhD!

So, dear ladies in this world of perfect bodies choose to be unique soul!

EMA is the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association. EMA was founded in 2006 and is registered as an AISBL non-profit organisation. Our aims are to help EMJMD students and alumni, promote higher education, and be a go-to network for our Alumni across the world.

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