Strengthening volunteerism and management in Kazahstan
20 December 2006, 11:13
by Eenjin Batsuren

Almaty, Kazakhstan: Dear friends,

As everyone else in the volunteer community, UNV Country Office Team in Kazakhstan is also preparing to celebrate IVD Day. Here are some updates on our preparation work.

An introduction of UNV Strategy as a tool to promote national volunteerism and lunching V4D on national base to stakeholder and decision-makers and thus, mitigating further partnership between civil society, community, authorities, and other interested parties.

Kazakhstan is aspiring to be listed as one of the most competitive 50 countries in the world. It has enormous economic and  highly skilled human capital, but underutilizing it. Volunteering is important part of the common people, but is almost not recognized and neglected by decision-makers. There is no national policy, and any legislation document to regulate and support volunteering in the country. A low number of international volunteers from the country with highly literate human capital and advanced economic transition, can be explained mainly by the lack of awareness among the general population and distorted notion of volunteerism - remnants from the central-planned economy system.

There is also a lot of room for work within the country itself. High concentration of power, weak civil society, limited public participation, social exclusion, marginalization, and divisive social forces resulted in poverty and inequality.

Overall, the key priority of UN Volunteers Country Office in Kazakhstan is to ensure sustainability through capacity building of local people by localizing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  Recognizing volunteerism as development resource, UNV together with its partners aspires to promote the recognition and use of this resource in the achieving and localizing development programs. Volunteerism to UNV is a social phenomenon that cuts across social groups, traverses borders and is present in all aspects of human activity

In relation to that,  UNV Kazakhstan together with UN Resident Coordinator Office has launched Volunteerism and MDG Public awareness among the university students.

This campaign is thought to build a solid awareness among students, and nation in general on understanding that volunteerism is a tool to achieve MDGs, and mobilization of Kazakhstan’s resources as a contribution to the international development world. The UNV trained students will l act then as pillar and ambassadors to deliver message to the student body about a role of volunteerism to achieve MDGs (= government development priorities).

We have planned to hold a pess briefing with the message that Kazakhstan is becoming a middle income country and is in the state of becoming an emerging donor, not a recipient country any more. In light of this, Kazakhstan is not fully utilizing its capital – volunteers, with appropriate recognition and appreciation from the decision makers (e.g. legislation mechanism, etc), and proper volunteer management the country can achieve its ambitious goal with extra resources on hand.  Also, we would like to convey our support in building local capacity in managing volunteers, establishing a mechanism of sharing information, and not duplicating the efforts is key to success. There is a sufficient willingness to volunteer but there is lack of management.

We would also hold the best journalist work award ceremony and a program led by student volunteers.
IVD celebration in Kazahstan is being organized by UNV and participated by Volunteer Service Overseas, the Academy of Labour and Social Studies, the international student organization AIESEC, MIRAS high school, the Almaty Confederation of NGOs and members of the media.

With best regards,

Eenjin Batsuren
Programme Officer, UN Volunteers

From: IVD 2006 Blog
© UNV Kazakhstan

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