NUR-SULTAN – Thirty young people received grants worth three million tenge (US$6,903) each from President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Dec. 8 as part of the Generation of Independence grant competition, reports Akorda press service.
The grant competition is the initiative of President Tokayev to support the projects of young people and to form a community of active creative youth. The call for applications opened in July and young citizens aged from 14 to 29 years old were eligible to submit their projects across five areas – science, culture, IT, business, and media. The grants will be used to improve their projects.
Tokayev congratulated the winners and said that the period of independence raised an entire generation of people “free in spirit and thought.”
“A generation of independence is growing up who are already contributing to the prosperity of our homeland. At my initiative, special grants have been awarded to young people born and raised during the period of independence. (…) There is a good Kazakh saying ‘zhas kelse-iske’ (a path is always open to the young). The hopes and aspirations of our people have always been associated with the younger generation, so we pay special attention to ensuring that young people receive the proper education, knowledge and skills,” said Tokayev, adding that the ambitions of young people to serve their country brings hope.
The majority of projects were related to the environment. Tokayev called the protection of unique nature and environment a “sacred duty of each citizen.”
“I am sure that the new ideas of young people will be implemented in various spheres and will benefit people. In fact, it will be a gift of the independence generation for the anniversary of our independence,” said the President.
Supporting young people has long been a priority for the Kazakh government. The country’s Bolashak presidential scholarship program launched in 1993 “amid the systemic crisis” is one of the examples of how the country gave a chance to more than 10,000 young talented people to receive a quality education in foreign countries.
Tokayev also brought up the Presidential Youth Personnel Reserve as another example of a social elevator for young people. He said that “it gives young and ambitious professionals another opportunity to prove themselves in public administration.”
The selection, which began in September, is close to its final round in which 50 winners will be selected. Back in 2019, 300 people were admitted to the reserve and nearly 60 percent of them now work in state bodies.