Society • 20 January, 2020

“The Best Volunteer of the Year” and social student loans: How volunteers are encouraged in Kazakhstan

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In the interview with PrimeMinister.kz, the Chairman of the Committee on Civil Society Affairs of the Ministry of Information and Social Development Aliya Galimova spoke about the measures taken to increase the role of volunteering in the country.

As Galimova noted, volunteer work is free of charge. But at the same time, volunteering needs money - for transportation costs, uniforms, etc.

“If we are talking about volunteer work in an animal shelter, then animals need food, feed. For search engines we need means of communication — walkie-talkies, means of transport, identification clothes — vests,” said the chairman of the Committee.

This year, within the framework of the Year of the Volunteer, a competition called “Zhana Bastama” will be organized, which will be held in each region. About 10 volunteer initiatives will be selected from each region, which will be encouraged both morally and financially. In particular, the costs of various expenses that are necessary for the volunteer or volunteer organization will be encouraged.

“We expect that such an incentive will amount to about 1 million tenge for a volunteer organization, initiative or volunteer. The work will be organized in the near future,” Galimova said.

The chairman of the Committee on Civil Society Affairs also announced that it is planned to establish the award “The Best Volunteer of the Year.”

“When we communicate with volunteers, we ask what kind of encouragement, incentive is most important for them. It was a pleasant discovery for us and a surprise that the volunteers say that moral encouragement and stimulation are important for them to be noticed, paid attention to, so that as many people as possible can tell about them. Therefore, we plan to establish this award,” Galimova said.

Within the framework of the Year of the Volunteer, it is also planned to provide an opportunity for volunteer organizations to go abroad to large dialogue venues, volunteer conferences in order to exchange experiences and talk about Kazakhstan's experience.

“For example, in July 2020, a large global technical meeting is planned in New York on volunteering. We expect Kazakhstan to present its experience in volunteering, and we want a number of volunteer organizations to be able to visit such large projects. In addition, a large Expo 2020 exhibition will be organized this year in Dubai. Already, they are inviting volunteers from all over the world. And, I think, volunteers from Kazakhstan will be a prominent segment, having behind them a lot of experience organizing Expo in Kazakhstan,” said the chairman of the Committee.

Within the framework of the Year of Youth, the project “Social Student Loan” was launched, aimed at the wide involvement of students in social and socially useful activities. A memorandum of cooperation was signed between the Ministries of Education and Science and Information and Social Development in the framework of this project.

Under the project, university students will be able to receive monetary rewards and transfer academic loans for the results of community service.

The following types of social student loans are provided to full-time university students: 1) a loan of 20,000 tenge for 20 hours of activity; 2) a loan of 50,000 tenge for 50 hours of activity.

Students as volunteers will provide assistance in orphanages, nursing homes, educational and other social institutions.

The thematic module of the project is located on a single online platform of volunteers Qazvolunteer.kz.

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