Tokayev declares 2020 to be year of volunteer

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed the decree Aug. 27 declaring 2020 as the Year of the Volunteer.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Photo credit: akorda.kz.

Speaking at the May 29 Kazakh-Russian Youth Cooperation Forum in Kostanai, Tokayev noted the volunteer movement is necessary for the country, reported Zakon.kz. There is a particular need to develop digital volunteer initiatives.

“I see that many civic initiatives, volunteer and social projects originate in social networks. Interested people with an active lifestyle offer socially significant ideas and projects. We must pay attention to them and strongly support them,” he added.

The state needs to develop education centres for volunteers, a better information policy and volunteer infrastructure within social networks. Tokayev noted the government and akims (governors) must offer their support to potential young volunteers by encouraging constructive youth initiatives and controlling problems of access to education, training, employment and quality leisure.

Photo credit: liter.kz.

The proposal to declare 2020 the Year of Support for the Volunteer Movement was initially voiced during the forum by National Volunteer Network Chairperson Vera Kim. Tokayev then supported the idea by paraphrasing Viktor Tsoi’s “Zvezda Po Imeni Solnce” lyrics as “volunteering is the work of young people, a cure for wrinkles.”

In July, the Ministry of Education and Science supported students by offering to pay part of their tuition in exchange for volunteering with one of the social organisations. 

More than 200 volunteer organisations currently operate in Kazakhstan, with more than 50,000 people involved in the movement. Last year, 25 projects aimed at increasing volunteer potential and training and attracting individuals and volunteer organisations for social projects and events were implemented within the state social order in the regions. The Qazvolunteer website was launched in May to make volunteering more accessible for Kazakh youth.

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