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Maria Asinskaya's Story

I had never realized the fact that we are responsible for the society we live in –and had no idea that we are even capable of influencing it-- until I arrived at KFCSED. I had graduated from the University of International Business with a Bachelor’s on Hospitality Business Management. On these kinds of specializations we are always taught on how to get the most profit possible, how to attract more clients, and how to deliver services with quality, in order to make clients come back to you. In other words, there were 4 years of business-oriented studies for future managers. After graduation, I learned about the launching of a social project that aimed at educating young women from disadvantaged communities and families in the sphere of hospitality services. I got curious about trying myself in this field, even though I wasn’t clear about what the word ‘social’ meant. That is how, in 2012, I eventually started to learn about the work of KFCSED. At first I was a bit disorientated, since it was hard for me to understand what benefits the Foundation received with all its projects. But with time I understood that all that we do is aimed to contribute to Kazakhstan society, and that each one of our beneficiaries individually meant a lot more than mere profits. To see how you help someone get through difficulties and motivate them, to help them find a job, improve their relationships with their families, this is our most important trophy. Once I saw these results, I didn’t want dedicate my time on anything else. KFCSED completely changed my values and view of life. I’m very happy to see that, in these last years, the number of socially responsible initiatives is growing in Kazakhstan, and so the number of volunteers and people who start to get concerned over such issues as ecology. In general, people are growing to be aware and active over social issues. KFCSED opened new horizons and goals for me, and in a near future I look forward to get a master’s degree on social work.

Maria Asinskaya

Zarrina Mulloboeva's Story

My name is Zarrina Mulloboeva. I am from Tajikistan as well as FLEX alumni ‘13. During my first year at KIMEP University I participated in the project by Kazakhstan Foundation for Cultural, Social and Educational Development “We can make a difference”. This project was aimed to teach us, female college students, leadership skills, value of volunteering and project management. With two other girls from UIB I started working on the eco-project “Be Green, Be Amazing”. Why eco- project? Almaty is the largest city but also the most polluted in Kazakhstan. The most pollutions comes from cars and manufacturing but in recent years people use more and more plastic bags that take centuries to decompose. Unfortunately, people do not realize the real harm of the plastic and continue to use it. Every day millions of plastic bags and bottles are taken out of city. They harm our health, destroy the soil, pollute water and kill animals, because of chemical toxins they consist of.

The project consisted of small and fun training about environment and recycling for young people of Almaty and presented self-designed eco-bags for the participants. Also we opened pages in social networks such as Vkontakte, Facebook and Instagram to post update of the project as well as useful tips for being green. Through this project we wanted reach out for young people of Almaty. We wanted them to be aware and make saving the environment a part of their everyday life. Taking care of the environment shouldn’t be a burden but rather style of life. Using these bags instead of plastic ones is the first step for achieving goals and next generations will more and more responsible and then the world would be a better place.

Along the way we had many people and organizations to help and support. For example, training from Nadezhda Vashenko who works in Posadi Derevo, place from Nekafe, support from KFCSED team, funding from FLEX Alumni Community, designer Nicolas Journoud, ecobagz.kz and others. As for me, completing this project has contributed hugely to my personal and career development. It is the first big project that I did so first of all it is a big responsibility I have taken for myself and my teammates and with university work and other extracurricular activities it was a good challenge for my time-management skills.

However it is not the end. In the fall, we resumed the project with funding from FLEX grant and many new ideas and people. I hope that this project will be a good addition to the Green Movement around the world and together we can make a difference!

Aigerim Kaparova's Story

I participated in KFCSED's project 'We Can Make a Difference', which lasted an academic year. After trainings we were divided into groups. My group consisted of four students and our work was based on promoting volunteering actions among teenagers studying in public schools in Almaty. Thanks to this project, I learned a lot of things. At the beginning I lacked many skills, like project design and budget planning. With this project we learned all this, and to be responsible as project coordinators. We also learned to work as a team. I really hope that, with all these skills achieved and initiatives conducted, we've had effectively contributed to our society. Especially to our school students who participated as volunteers. This project has also helped me in my professional development, as a potential Marketing specialist. I had to advertise our project, to find funding and collaborators, do some networking, establish partnerships and get people to join our work. I really liked our supervisors, because they were always motivating us to move forward and helped us till the very end. I enjoyed the trainings on leadership, volunteering and project development. The atmosphere was open and friendly, which made you feel comfortable around the other volunteers. I think this is what helped us in our own personal development. I've learned to be constant and patient., and that things will never come out right at the first try. The important thing is to not lose motivation.

Aiman Kipchakbayeva's Story

I casually came across KFCSED, an organization that promotes superior values within the Kazakhstan society: belief in the dignity and kindness in people, collaboration and social solidarity towards all project participants. This happened in 2009, when I was still coursing my second year at the Kazakhstan National University named after al-Farabi. This university granted me the opportunity to meet some volunteers from KFCSED. Among them was Maria Javier Brugarolas, with whom I later on participated at the development of a project located in the village of Saimasai, in the region of Almaty. Within the frameworks of this project I was hired as a coordinator. Throughout the year, I, as a student, obtained huge experience that improved my professional as well as life skills. Since Almaty is the kind of metropolis where a lot of educational institutions are located, part of my job included recruiting likeminded volunteers, by giving presentations about the project in front a wide audience. I have to admit that this was not easy, given that my receptors were students like me. The work I did afterwards at KFCSED, above all establishing contacts with project beneficiaries, contributed to my personal development. The trainings and lessons conducted for them strengthened my self-confidence and increased my potential to be a young professional. Thanks to KFCSED, I could get to know wonderful people from the village of Saimasai, experience the outskirts of the region of Almaty, and receive great satisfaction from the relationships established with the teachers and scholars from the village school. Now I am currently working as a teacher, and I understand that the experience obtained working at KFCSED contributed to the formation of my teaching career, where I continue to work on social projects organized within the work with school students. I firmly believe in KFCSED’s success and bright future, since after these 15 years this organization has already succeeded in the development of several dozen of great projects in our big country, and continues persistently to move on to even greater achievements. These moments of relief and satisfaction obtained from giving out kindness and warmth to others will be certainly experienced many times more, thanks to KFCSED’s small but incredibly friendly, energetic and creative team.

Aiman Kipchakbayeva

Zhansulu Bakbergenova's Story

I first learned about KFCSED from one of my professors at the university when I was at my second year. She suggested me to participate in a project that was being implemented by the Foundation. The project was about volunteering development. Every Saturday we drove to a village, Saymasay, and conducted lessons at a local school to girls from 5th- 7th grades. We taught different subjects, basically about practical things: hand-made crafts, sewing, cooking, etc.

Being a volunteer is not a simple job. Not everyone is ready to give oneself to somebody else without receiving anything in return.

At first I didn’t take this seriously. Sometimes I overslept when I had to wake up really early to go to the village, especially during the winter. But as the project went on (it lasted a few months), I started to understand the significance of what we were doing. I experienced an incredible satisfaction every time I spent time with the school girls and saw how glad they got when we arrived, how they smiled and were shy but eager to talk to us. Children are like little angel; it makes me want to help all of them.

Participating in this project inspired me positively in different aspects of my life. One time, when I came back home covered in dust and high-spirited, I told my family about the day’s work. My mom then told me that my eyes were sparkly, as if I had fallen in love.

This was a crucial moment in my life. Since then I always try to participate in different projects. Interest, experience and desire to bring a change in the social life of the country: this is the main investment for me.

Zhansulu Bakbergenova
Born in 1992

Zhanar Abdikadirova's Story

Hello to the KFCSED Team!

I remember our good projects, the warm meetings, the attentive and inspiring project monitors and the interesting and highly-motivated project participants. Moreover, I always remember these times as one of the brightest moments of my life. I will be more than ready to partner with you! I will be attentive on your new projects and wait for the next meeting!

Zhanar Abdikadirova