In 2020, the Social Development Fund held a competition for grants for social projects among students, alumni and employees of the Nazarbayev University community.
The competition aims to promote the ideas and values of Nazarbayev University, to support civil initiatives for their advancement in society and citizens' initiatives of the Nazarbayev University community.
Participants of the competition include students, alumni, a staff of Nazarbayev University and its organizations, as well as organizations established by them, initiatives groups of students, alumni and employees of NU, student clubs, schools, and Nazarbayev University's legal entities.
Competition's mandatory requirement is a social project's compliance with one or several principles reflected in the Declaration of Nazarbayev University:
· Independency and academic freedom
· Transparency and openness
150 project proposals were received during the applications' submission period and evaluated based on a point basis by 24 independent experts in education, health, environment, IT, vulnerable groups support, and finance against the agreed criteria.
Overall, nine projects received funding in a total amount of 31.2 million KZT. Their implementation is expected in 2020-2021.
An initiative group of Cultural Center "Rukhani Zhangyru"
Kalambayeva Gulnaz, a Senior Manager, Nazarbayev University Cultural Center "Rukhani Zhangyru"
Kurmanbay Kultas, the Head of Nazarbayev University Cultural Center "Rukhani Zhangyru"
Ensuring equal access for the population to educational materials in the national language on preparation for the international English language proficiency tests
- Kazakh-speaking population, including rural youth
- English teachers in Kazakh-speaking classes
- contributing to the enhancement of English language proficiency among the Kazakh-speaking population, including rural areas
- providing an opportunity to prepare for the international English language proficiency tests in the Kazakh language
Project budget: 1,581,253 KZT
To elaborate and translate the most useful instructions and educational materials on preparation for the international English language proficiency tests into the national language.
The information sources will comprise Cambridge/Oxford IELTS preparation books, Longman/Oxford Preparation books for the TOEFL iBT Test, Target Band 7 by Simone Braverman, etc.
Newly developed materials will be made available at the web-sites of Public Association NU Alumni and published in two hard copies for Nazarbayev University library.
Most importantly, the educational institutions will have free access to the reading and video materials, including the institutions in rural areas and the regional, municipal, and district administrations (akimats).
An initiative group of students
Maksotova Aisulu, a 4th-year student at the School of Science and Humanities, Biological Sciences Program
Sarybekova Assem, a 3rd-year student at the School of Science and Humanities, Political Science and International Relations Program
Kayirzhanova Gulmira, a 2nd-year student at the School of Science and Humanities, Political Science and International Relations Program
Ensuring access for the population to free and qualitative additional educational resources in the national language, the content of which is based on the translation of materials from Khan Academy, a world-known educational platform.
- secondary school students
- students in technical and vocational education (TVE) institutions, higher educational institutions (HEI)
- teachers at schools, TVE institutions, and HEI
- parents of students from schools, TVE institutions, and HEI
- youth of NEET category (Not in Education, Employment or Training)
- ensuring access for students of general education schools, TVE institutions, and higher educational institutions to free materials in Kazakh to study the subjects based on world standards
- preparing school students for exams in biology and algebra (students using Khan Academy platform pass the exams 1.6-fold better)
Project budget: 5,000,000 KZT
To develop 140 video lessons in biology and algebra in the Kazakh language.
One hundred twenty-five volunteers are engaged in the project; 25 have been actively involved in translating the content. Also, teachers with expertise in relevant subjects and translation experts were committed to verifying the content translated.
Ready-to-use content will be uploaded into Khan Academy Qazaq platform and enable the school students to obtain a quality education in the national language meeting the global educational standards.
Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization created in 2008 by Salman Khan, a graduate of MIT and Harvard University. The Academy's mission is to provide "a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere". The Academy website provides access to the collection of more than 4,200 free micro-lectures on various educational subjects in English.
The students of Nazarbayev University became the first promoters of Khan Academy's content translation into Kazakh. In May 2019, a memorandum on translation and localization of the platform's content was signed with Khan Academy, followed by the establishment of Khan Academy Qazaq club under Nazarbayev University.
Since then, the students, through their efforts, translated 94 items of video content for mathematics and arithmetic, including all subjects on mathematics for junior school without Fund's financing.
NU Women in Engineering student club, representative – Mulyukova Madina, a 2nd-year student at the School of Engineering and Digital Sciences, Electrical and Computer Engineering Program
The popularization of careers in engineering among young women and the promotion of women's role in the field of engineering
- schoolgirls from the middle and senior grades interested in majors in engineering (Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools in Atyrau and Nur-Sultan, general education school in Nur-Sultan)
- volunteers from among the students of engineering departments at Nazarbayev University
- enhancement and qualitative enlargement of girls' community in STEM field
- development of professional, personal, and leadership skills among schoolgirls
- popularization of careers in engineering among young women
Project budget: 697,500 KZT
Through such educational courses, the project aims to inform young girls about the engineering majors taught at Nazarbayev University. It will help raise awareness among schoolgirls on what it's like to be an engineering student, responsibilities, and requirements set for the engineers based on practical and theoretical knowledge.
The project is expected to include six groups of schoolgirls in Atyrau and Nur-Sultan cities totaling up to 100 persons.
The project team has membership in the engineering club "NU Women in Engineering". The project model and its results will be described and handed over to the club for further distribution.
An initiative group of students
Matiyeva Aizhamal, a 3rd-year student at the School of Engineering and Digital Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering Program
Gulnur Pernebekova, a 3rd-year student at the School of Engineering and Digital Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering Program
Kamila Zheksekeyeva, a 2nd-year student at the School of Science and Humanities
Promotion of waste treatment culture and usage of biological fertilizers
- public catering facilities (restaurants, cafeteria, etc.)
-educational institutions (schools, technical and vocational educational institutions, higher educational institutions)
- raising public awareness of the food waste problem and fostering a culture of deliberate waste treatment
- providing solution to food waste disposal and formation of bio humus for interested parties
- contributing to the prevention of greenhouse gas emissions (methane)
Project budget: 1,301,500 KZT
The project provides 150 devices (vermicomposter) for food waste treatment and training on their use of up to 300 persons.
Vermicomposter is an enclosed unit accommodating the soil and earthworms eating food waste and turning them into fertilizer – bio humus. Produced fertilizers can be used at one’s garden plot or sold to interested organizations (horticultural societies, greenhouses, individuals, etc.).
Before the receipt of the Fund’s financing, the students won a grant from NU Green Campus. As a part of the grant, prototypes for vermicomposting with earthworms were created. The prototypes were tested by five experts of faculty staff from Nazarbayev University. Currently, based on their recommendations, the models are being refined under the Fund’s grant.
NU Enactus student club
Armsan Rebecca, a 2nd-year student at the School of Science and Humanities, Sociology Program
Yussupova Elmira, a 2nd-year student at the School of Science and Humanities, Sociology Program
Contribution to the development of inclusive society through the arrangement of art sessions for children with disabilities
- children with disabilities, mental or physical disabilities
- parents of children with disabilities, mental or physical disabilities
- art advisors
- socialization of children with disabilities
- development of inclusive society
Project budget: 174,000 KZT
The project has social and commercial goals.
The first project goal is to involve disabled children in creative activities, having a therapeutic effect (pictures painting).
The second goal is to develop an inclusive society by drawing attention to children's artworks and further selling such paintings.
Besides creating the works' catalog and putting up for auction each work produced by a child, professional designers are expected to develop promotional items with the pictures images. After the sale, we will transfer the proceeds from it to the little artists. They will be able to spend the proceeds on rehabilitation or fulfillment of their desires.
Up to 10 children will be involved in the project.
Funding beneficiary: Public Association Alpha Academy Educational Center, Ziyabekov Bakhnur, the chairman of the Association, a graduate of Master’s Program at the Graduate School of Education (M.Sc., Education Leadership, Graduate School of Education Nazarbayev University),
- increasing English proficiency level among the school students in rural areas, a buildup of internal motivation to self-study
- increasing general culture level among the school students
- developing information and communication competence among the school students
- school students of the 8th -10th grades from general education Kazakh speaking schools in rural areas
- public opinion leaders
- increasing awareness among the school students on the role of English as a basis for intellectual, emotional and aesthetic and moral, and spiritual development
- creating English teaching model for school students in rural areas
- increasing motivation for learning and self-development among the school students
Project budget: 9,480,000 KZT grant of NU Social Development Fund + 2,400,000 KZT co-financing from own sources
The project provides for online English courses via the platform "helloaul.kz". Course duration will be two months. It is also planned to involve up to 80 volunteers as teachers.
Educational materials for the course program will be developed together with the professors of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakh Ablai Khan University of International Relations and World Languages, and advisors of Autonomous educational organization "Nazarbayev Intellectual schools". Also, educational materials will be distributed via QR codes among the students.
Within the project implementation period, up to 1,000 school students from rural areas are expected to be involved; at least 40% of them will achieve a conversational English level. As part of the project, cooperation has been initiated with Turkestan, Zhambyl, and Almaty regions. Negotiations are in progress with the local executive bodies in Almaty and Shymkent.
Since 2016, Public Association Alpha Academy Educational Center has taught more than 15 languages (English, Kazakh, Russian, German, etc.) to approximately 10 thousand school students of senior level in rural areas of South Kazakhstan, Zhambyl, and Almaty regions. More than 600 graduates of Public Association Alpha Academy Educational Center taught foreign languages in the summertime voluntarily. They carried out the activities offline. Fund's financing will enable to test the online model leading to the extension of coverage in the future and reducing operational expenses.
An initiative group of Nazarbayev University’s alumni
Tazhiyeva Assem, a graduate of Master’s Program at the Graduate School of Education
Mambetalina Dana, a graduate of Master’s Program at the Graduate School of Education of Nazarbayev University
Provision of access for parents and guardians of children with disabilities to the relevant information and resources required for self-guided work with children of tender age (from 0 to 3 years)
- families with disabled children in Kazakhstan
- subject matter experts (pediatricians, neurologists, rehabilitation therapists, psychologists, ergo therapists, speech therapists, speech pathologists, physiotherapists, massage therapists)
- rehabilitation facilities
- charity foundations
- scientists and students
Development of mobile applications/website in the Kazakh and Russian languages with qualitative and reliable content created together with subject matter experts for parents and guardians of children with disabilities from 0 to 3 years.
Project budget: 10,000,000 KZT
The project provides an application/website comprising over 100 useful materials that will help parents and experts in self-guided work with disabled children of tender age.
An application or website will accommodate legislative acts in the area of disabled children safeguarding, data of Kazakh and international studies, information on accessing to public services (child daycare centers, psychological, medical and educational guidance centers, acquisition of disability confirmation, intervention offices, rehabilitation, sanatorium, and resort treatment, etc.) and private companies’ services. The website will include a translation of five published articles of the Graduate School of Education of Nazarbayev University on inclusion and other relevant data.
As a part of project implementation, 15 online consultations would be carried out for the parents. Overall, the project will cover up to 3,000 users during the first year of operation.
An initiative group of students
Zholgazy Alua, a 4th-year student at the School of Engineering and Digital Sciences, Electrical and Computer Engineering Program
Zakharova Alina, a 4th-year student at the School of Engineering and Digital Sciences, Chemicals and Materials Engineering Program
Zhagyparova Kalamkas, a 4th-year student at the School of Engineering and Digital Sciences, Electrical and Computer Engineering Program
Developing eco-habits of the population through the usage of cosmetic products on tap
- mothers, 25-35 years old, the population of million-plus cities
- conscious consumption followers
- development of eco-consumption culture among the population
- reduction of plastic waste quantities
Project budget: 1,910,000 KZT
The project provides the creation of machines for cosmetics distribution on tap and sale of such cosmetics in eco-stores. It is cost-effective for the buyer since he or she does not need to pay for the packaging. It is friendly for the environment since large amounts of plastic waste will not end up in waste bins after the use of cosmetics. Fabrication of machines includes parts and casing, installation of contactless payment systems, and assembly of the whole device.
Bloggers and eco-influencers are expected to be involved in the project's popularization.
Four months after the usage, we will interview the buyers via electronic poll and three in-depth interviews to improve and further develop the project.
The machine's prototype was assembled in September 2020 and tested for two months in the eco-concept store "Nevrednyi" (Harmless). Fund's grant will help us to produce a new machine with due consideration of identified deficiencies and usage of better quality materials.
Also, the project won 2 grants from other sources of financing:
- Impact Hub Almaty – 600,000 KZT. Fabrication of one machine and procurement of raw products (November 2020 – April 2021)
- NU Green Campus – fabrication of two machines and procurement of raw products (November 2020 – April 2021).
Funding beneficiary: Ibadulla Assel, a 4th-year student at the School of Science and Humanities, Biological Sciences Program in partnership with NU Phycology Club
Contribution to the development of Nazarbayev University students’ mental health via emotional support and training of techniques in self-recovery
- students of Nazarbayev University
- alumni of Nazarbayev University
- improvement of well-being, the emotional state of students and alumni
- training of trainers prepared to provide emotional support to the students
Project budget: 1,050,000 KZT
The project goal is to develop and describe a model of emotional support for Nazarbayev University’s students being in a stressful or potentially stressful situation (high study loads, change of study mode in quarantine conditions, etc.).
The first project stage envisages the selection and training of two trainers among the students and alumni of Nazarbayev University. Preference will be based on interviews carried out by experts from the International Academy of Emotional Intelligence.
Online ToT (training of trainers) will last two months and include lectures and workshops (two times per week) and trainer’s skills practical training.
Following the completion of training, a second stage envisages up to two training to be carried by the trainers during the year among Nazarbayev University students, where at least 100 participants will be involved in emotional well-being enhancement. The program will comprise weekly training, daily morning meditation, discussion of emotional issues, management of emotions, sports activities, etc.
The program duration will be ten weeks.
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