UNICEF and Kazakh Ministry of Information and Public Development Join Forces to Initiate New Critical Thinking Program for Children

NUR-SULTAN – The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)and the Youth Research Center of the Kazakh Ministry of Information and Public Development jointly initiated a new SAMGAU program for the development of critical thinking, teamwork, creative and soft skills among Kazakh adolescents and youth, reported the press service of the ministry on July 13.

Kazakh youth during SAMGAU workshops. Photo credit: Gov.kz.

SAMGAU, which means upshift in Kazakh, specifically aims to empower socially vulnerable youth, including those in the NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) category. The Kazakh Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population also participated in the development of the initiative. 

The program is implemented in six regions of the country on the basis of youth resource centers. More than 30 seminars on life and business skills, two online boot camps were held within the framework of SAMGAU. 

To promote the sustainable growth of the youth, 13 teams in the program have received mini-grants to implement their own projects.

Ersain Kobylandy, the director of the youth resource center of the Karkalanisk district of Karaganda region, highlighted the inclusivity of the program. 

“The youth of the district had the opportunity to learn vital skills, such as the basics of business, social entrepreneurship, time management, critical and creative thinking, communication and leadership skills, teamwork. The main focus of the project is on young people with special needs, including young people with HIV and other chronic diseases, people with disabilities and youth left without parental care,” noted Kobylandy. 

SAMGAU is just one program included in the memorandum of cooperation signed between UNICEF and the Youth Research Center on July 9. 

The memorandum entails cooperation between the two parties in further development and improvement of youth resource centers, as well as the creation of sustainable ways to foster skills and competencies among adolescents and youth, training young workers and encouraging active partnerships and mentoring support. 

Cooperation in research work and the exchange of analytical reviews in the field of state youth policy is also outlined in the memorandum. 

“An agreement with UNICEF will unite and synchronize efforts to support socially vulnerable Kazakh youth and open up new opportunities for their self-growth,” said Director of the Youth Research Center Ayana Sakosheva.

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