ASTANA – President Nursultan Nazarbayev congratulated the winners and finalists of the Mereilі Otbasy (Happy Family) national contest on Sept 19. The Bimakhambetovs from South Kazakhstan were named best family.
The Bimakhambetovs are a large family of eight children, 33 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. The President presented the winners the keys to a domestically produced minibus. Nazarbayev noted that it was difficult to choose the winners. The rest of the 15 finalists of the contest got Niva cars. It is expected that the Mereilі Otbasy competition will become an annual event.
In his speech, the President noted that Strategy 2050 entails the ambitious goal of making Kazakhstan one of the 30 most-developed countries in the world.
“In the middle of the 21st century, the most-developed countries will be those in which the vast majority of families live in peace and prosperity. These countries will raise children, givethem quality education, take care of the older generation and lead healthy lifestyles,” Nazarbayev said.
The President instructed that a plan to strengthen family relationships, moral and ethical values for 2015-2020 be developed.
He stressed that the main focus of this important effort should be the National Commission for Women, Family and Demographic Policy under the President, noting the need to strengthen its structure and increase itsinvolvement in society.
In addition, Nazarbayev drew attention to the importance of developing the legislative framework for the protection of older people from discrimination based on age, as well as creating an enabling legal environment for citizens who adopt orphans.
In his speech, he also noted the importance of the planned development of infrastructure to support the family, motherhood and childhood and ensure a decent life for seniors.
“First of all, I propose creating a volunteer runombudsman’s office for children’s rights. It is necessary to establish a single national database of orphans and children left without care. It is necessary to develop a network of institutions operating on the basis of public-private partnership, providing comprehensive assistance to young families, single mothers, children, the elderly people,” he said.
The President stressed the need to strengthen outreach efforts iffamilies and moral values that promote strong healthy families are to be strengthened. He noted the significance of the first Mereili Otbasy contest, which was participated in by families of 15 ethnic groups and 34 international families.
“Today, we gathered here to participate in the final stage of the First National Competition Mereilі Otbasy. The competition has presented us many beautiful life stories of great love and care for loved ones, the ability to overcome life’s difficulties, decent work and cherishing and honouring the family. The participants are Kazakhstan citizens of different professions – teachers, doctors, firefighters, athletes, police officers, scientists, farmers, energy, oil and railroad workers and cultural figures,”he said.
Nazarbayev congratulated the winners and wished Kazakhstan’sfamilies health, prosperity and happiness.
The award ceremony ended with a festive concert put on by Kazakh singers.
A total of 1,298 families from all regions of Kazakhstan participated in the competition. In the final round, SMS and Internet voting narrowed that number down to 16 families.
The title of “Honoured Citizen of Almaty” was awarded to the most deserving residents of the city, who have made significant contributions to the development of their native city. Among them was the family of famous Kazakh mountain climber Maksut Zhumayev. Zhumayev and his wife Olga are alpinists and have two children. Their six-year-old son Issatay is a future hockey player and their four-year-old daughter Ailinis already showing great talent in dance.
“Being in front of the whole country on TV is a special feeling because of the responsibility you have in knowing that so many people depend on you. It’s not only personal, but for our family, for the future of Kazakhstan, for the youth of Kazakhstan,” Zhumayev said.
The annual Mereilі Otbasy competition was approved by a December 2013 presidential decreeoncultivating moral values and positive images of family and marriage and raising the status of the family.
The competition is held in three stages: the first stage is on the district (city) level, the second stage on the regional level and the third stage is on the national level. Applications for participation were submitted on a special form with the necessary documents to district (city) akimats (administrations) between April 1 and 30.