ASTANA – The Dec. 14 7th Winter Charity Ball at Radisson Hotel Astana raised 13 million tenge (US$70,815) for educational programmes for children from orphanages and low-income families, the organisers said.
The event was opened by Miss Kazakhstan 2013 Aidai Issayeva, who performed a classic polonaise, and included dances ranging from the Viennese waltz to rock’n’roll. The ball also included performances by Kazakh singers, including the ChickFlick band and Aizhan Sultanova. Virtuoso pianist Oleg Pereverzev also performed as well as Zhanar Dugalova, the recent winner of the international song contest Turkvision-2014, who sang her hit “Izin korem.”
“I gladly accepted the offer to become a participant of this wonderful ball. I think that the guests present here, actors, dancers – all contribute to one noble cause. I wish that, in general, there were [more] charitable activities,” said Dugalova.
The culmination of the evening was an auction of art and other valued objects, including boxing gloves autographed by Gennady Golovkin, a yellow jersey of the Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali and an original ball and jersey of the Arsenal football club autographed by stars Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud.
The funds raised in the two years since the launch of the charity ball have been used to renovate the SOS Children’s Village Astana and Nur orphanage in Talgar. The funds have also been used to help construct game and concert halls and purchase specialised medical equipment for the Child Mental Health and Social Institution of Astana.
The event was part of the Nur Otan party’s Baqytty balalyq (Kazakh for Happy Childhood) project, which seeks to aid orphans by improving the legal framework for their adoption and to cultivate respect for adoption in Kazakhstan. In that effort, more than 40 amendments to three codes and three laws on the protection of the rights of orphans have been prepared and passed, career guidance has been provided to high school aged orphans and 359 apartments have been provided to orphans and families that adopted them.