Chevron’s Zangar project prepares Atyrau Region youth for careers in science, technology   

NUR-SULTAN – The Zangar programme has reached more than 9,600 young people in the Atyrau Region as part of the Chevron youth development programme.

The International Youth Foundation (IYF) launched the project in partnership with the Atyrau regional akimat (administration) in 2015. It prepares youth to succeed in their careers with 21st century skills and training in science, technology, education and mathematics (STEM).

“It is a great pleasure to see how Zangar boosts youth inclusion and civic engagement. The combination of life skills and STEM training is practical and powerful. According to employers across sectors, life skills such as communication, critical thinking and teamwork are critical and in demand. In fact, this often-missing skillset has been identified as one of the major employability needs of young people in Atyrau. STEM skills, which are associated with creativity and problem solving, are also among the skills of the future,” IYF Kazakhstan Director Assem Satmukhambetova told The Astana Times.  

The foundation creates an environment which supports youth learning and professional skill building and expanding programming for life skills and STEM education.

“Today, more young men and women than ever before are working to make their way in the world. Zangar’s role is to provide them with what it takes to be successful – in work and life. Young people in Kazakhstan have amazing enthusiasm and tremendous potential; with a solid foundation of skills, support and opportunities, they’re sure to soar,” she added.

Zangar incorporates IYF’s globally-proven Passport to Success (PTS) programme’s curriculum. Eighty-two percent of participants observed self-improvement in personal responsibility, decision making and respecting self and others.

This year, the PTS course included a unit on financial education. It is comprised of 11 lessons designed to support young people to apply core life skills like self-management, problem solving, decision making and resilience, to tackle complex financial issues and respond to new financial opportunities and challenges as they navigate life in effective ways.

“During the series of job interviews, I was able to demonstrate my work-readiness, including presentational and problem-solving skills, workplace protocol and negotiation skills, which I developed during PTS. As a result, I received the only internship offer from the maintenance and turnaround department of one of the leading oil companies in Atyrau,” said APEC PetroTechnic graduate Amina Yelemessova.

Zangar has built a STEM ecosystem driven by 37 organisations including educational institutions, not-for-profit associations and government entities working together to promote STEM in education, innovation, industry and community. The STEM component of the project covers continuous courses and offers diverse, hands-on activities.

In 2017, IYF launched Fab Lab Atyrau, the first fabrication laboratory in Kazakhstan, creating a space where young people can develop, design and build projects using state-of-the-art tools and equipment. Its successful projects include colour and sound-detecting devices to assist people with impaired sight and hearing and a remote-controlled robot for exploring hazardous environments.

“Fab Lab is a great place to practice knowledge and see how things work,” said Diyas Umirbekov, an 11th grade student from Karazhigitov lyceum No. 16, who designed and constructed an electric wheelchair.  

Zangar also supports local partners in developing their own capacities, leading to growth and progress. To date, 406 individuals have been trained to deliver the PTS curriculum and STEM courses.

The Public Association Info Centre and Bolashak Engineering took part in the capacity-strengthening trainings on monitoring and evaluation, blog writing, storytelling, grantee orientation and other areas.