Year of Youth

Young people’s potential is immense, especially among children – expert’s view

First of all, patriotism is the desire to support the prosperity of your country participating in its activity. The proper formation of moral and spiritual values begins from a young age. Kazakhstan has such an organization for this - “Zhas Ulan”, which brings up the country’s younger generation based on high values, principles of tolerance, democracy and culture of mutual understanding. Leader of the Republican United Children and Youth Organization Dinara Sadvakassova shared about the activity of “Zhas Ulan”, its projects and plans for the future in the interview with the Information Agency.
Nur-Sultan15 April , 16:35

- Dinara, tell about the work of “Zhas Ulan”? What is the objective and essence of your organization?

- The Republican United Children and Youth Organization “Zhas Ulan” was established on July 6, 2011 at the initiative of First President - Yelbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The objective of the organization is the upbringing of the younger generation in keeping with patriotism, the personal fulfilment of children and adolescents.

At the moment, the organization has representative offices and branches in all regions of Kazakhstan. “Zhas Ulan” unites more than one and a half million schoolchildren.

The essence of the work is to create conditions for the maximum development of an individual in such areas as environmental, patriotic, spiritual, moral, sports, labor, legal education. Within these areas, the organization implements short-term and long-term projects.

- As it’s known, a Year of Youth Roadmap of Kazakhstan has defined 11 main directions, including 101 projects and 600 events. Did you take part in the creation of the Roadmap? What initiatives did you introduce?

- We didn’t take part in the creation of the Roadmap, but other youth organizations put forward their ideas. Unfortunately, our proposals were not included in the Roadmap.

Also I’d like to note that all the projects included in the Roadmap are mainly aimed at young people. According to the Law of Kazakhstan “On State Youth Policy”, young people start from the age of 14, that is, from 14 to 18 — these are schoolchildren. But, unfortunately, basically the Roadmap meets the needs of young people who already study at universities, colleges or work. The work with the school youth is not particularly underway. But we are trying to improve it.

- What work will be carried out by the “Zhas Ulan” United Children and Youth Organization for the implementation of the Year of Youth Roadmap?

- We will not implement the Roadmap and points that are indicated there because there are no specific points that would be assigned to us or corresponded to our target audience. But we have our own new projects that we have written and are going to implement within the Year of Youth framework.

- What youth projects does the organization implement, besides major events in the country?

- There are a lot of projects in our organization for implementation of which we attract business, partners, sponsors. At the moment we have several projects underway.

The first project, “Open English”, is aimed at free English language teaching of schoolchildren. It is currently operating at 15 schools in the city of Nur-Sultan in a pilot mode. The training system is based on the Cambridge KET and PET system. As soon as the pilot project ends in Nur-Sultan, if it shows good results, the project will be implemented in other regions of Kazakhstan.

We also have the “Orkendeu” project (“Prosper” – author’s note) to promote national values ​​among adolescent children. It is implemented within the framework of the “Rukhani Zhangyru” program. The project is also carried out in a pilot mode at 4 schools in Kazakhstan. Schoolchildren, their parents and teachers are involved in this project.

There is one more project where we act as a partner. It is the “Social Lift” project. For every socially useful activity, volunteers or zhas ulaners-activists are awarded points - lifts. These points can accumulate. There is a lift market where these points can be spent.

Also on the First Channel “Eurasia” we are going to launch the youth television project “Content”, which will weekly talk about topical issues that interest young people.

At the moment, we carry out sight screening in 7 cities of the country, because statistics show that it is during the school period the pupils' vision deteriorates. The Healthcare Ministry has supported us, we, in turn, have attracted business.

Every year since 2013, we have been conducting Leadership Schools, where we teach schoolchildren leadership skills, oratory, entrepreneurship. We also have the “I Have the Right” project, where we also teach children their rights and obligations.

Every year we hold summer camps, educational, tourist. Every year with a different bias. For example, last year we held a youth tourist and educational camp.

For 3 years, we have been implementing a project for working with young families - “Otbasy bakyt mekeni” (“Family – a happy place”- author’s note). According to statistics, in Kazakhstan every third marriage ends in divorce. To revive the institution of family and strengthen family values, we conduct a set of activities to work with young families. And in this complex of events there is a competition for the best young family.

- What plans, projects for the future does “Zhas Ulan” have?

- Plans are to kick off an anti-bullying project in the future that is because of increasing occurrence of children being trolled, bullied in schools or on social networks. We aim at raising public awareness of the issue and holding work with psychologists, parents and children themselves to reach out to them to be tolerant to each other, especially on social networks.

The nationwide contest “Kasietti dombyra” (“Spiritual dombyra”) will shortly be started up with three nominations. Regional stages will be followed by the nation-wide stage ahead of Dombra Day holiday. 

There are plans to hold training workshops throughout the country for senior youth leaders as they are directly engaged in child-rearing. 

- What do you think about the development of the youth movement in the country? What problems does the younger generation have and what is the potential of our young people?

- The country encourages the active youth movement. But as always, there are problems facing young generations. Housing and employment are quite acute, with the latter leading to insufficient knowledge. There has occurred a shift in the today’s younger generation’s values greatly towards material values over spiritual, which possibly reflects the needs of the times, the effects of globalization, information and communication technologies. Yet, our young people’s potential is immense, especially among children as they are very intelligible, advanced and gifted.

Key is to properly use their potential, reveal, open up and apply it for the greater good of not foreign nations but our nation as the country keeps tackling staff retention.

- Thank you for the interview!

Saltanat Sarina

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