Month: April 2020

Start on the good. How the unique Burabike Fest project managed to collect 1 billion tenge for hospitals

For seven years Burabike Fest has collected 1 billion tenge. The charity project allowed for 25 hospitals in remote areas of the country getting the long-waited medical equipment.  Only in 2019, 4,000 people took part in the Burabike charity festival.

These figures have behind them a big job and big hearts of the organisers and participants of the annual charity festival which has been held since 2013 in the Schuchinsk-Borovoe resourt area jointly with the Rixos Borovoe Hotel. The purpose of this project is important and useful – collection of money for purchase of the vitally important equipment for oblast, district and rural medical institutions.

Last year, thanks to participants and sponsors of Burabike Fest 2019, the amount of charity proceeds reached the record 300.2 million tenge. The idea to arrange such a festival, gathering together all friends and caring Kazakhstanis was initiated by businessman and philanthropist Bulat Utemuratov. He himself takes parts in the bike ride and auction ever year, creating the desire to help and share in the entrepreneurship society.

“In 2019 we put up a tent village, organised a concert, programmes for children. This included sports and family recreation with the musical accompaniment. People enjoy the festival very much, and most importantly – the raised money are used for charity purposes”, told Bulat Utemuratov to journalists during the festival held in Borovoe.

Bulat Utemuratov / Photo by

Charity has to be organised thoroughly, otherwise its super idea – to help and to support those who needs this – will be lost. In the case of Burabike Fest, everything runs like clockwork: every year, at the agreed time, business community representatives, famed sportsmen, journalists and artists gather in Borovoe to have the bike ride and to take part in the auction afterwards.

Lots are put up for charity trading. In 2019, for example, one could see flutes from the collection of Batyrkhan Shukenov, an autographed racket of Rafael Nadal, a bicycle of the Astana team racer Davide Ballerini and a jacket of Dimash Kudaibergen. All these people are friends of Bulat Utemuratov. With the proceeds from the auction, vital medical equipment is bought and distributed to needy hospitals throughout the country. The idea is fully supported by the head of the National Scientific Cardiac Surgery Centre, the renowned cardiac surgeon Yuri Pya.

In 2019 he took part in the music and sports festival. This is the second bike ride done by Yuri Vladimirovich at Burabike Fest. The festival, in his opinion, changes the society to the better.

Yuri Pya / Photo by

“This proves that people are ready not only to have a healthy lifestyle but to do the good. We arranged various events in our centre too. After that we have got an invitation from Bulat Zhamitovich to take part in the events held by his Foundation. It’s great that such things are developed here too”, said the renowned cardio surgeon.

Eight medical institutions throughout the country received equipment which helps to increase the quality of services provided to patients, thanks to the results of the VII Sports and Music Festival Burabike Fest 2019. These include the district hospital in the Shelek village, Almaty Oblast. On 28 January 2020 Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation gave an artificial lung ventilator apparatus to this small district hospital.

“An artificial lung ventilation apparatus costing 14 million tenge was given to the newly renovated intensive care department of the district hospital in the Shelek village designed for 180 beds and servicing 50,000 people in the Yenbekshikazakh district of the Almaty Oblast. We hope it will serve well, and we wish the doctors not to have to use it often and all patients to recover soon”, said Marat Aitmagambetov, Director of Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation.

In previous years equipment from Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation was received in the Almaty Oblast by the Taldykorgan perinatal centre, district hospitals in Panfilovo (Talgar district) and Alakol (Alakol district).

On 10 February Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation transferred new medical equipment for the total amount of 58 million tenge to the Zhangaly district hospital in the West Kazakhstan Oblast. The equipment includes a modern fully equipped Mercedes-Benz Sprinter mobile intensive care unit priced at 44 million tenge, and an artificial lung ventilation (ALV) apparatus totaling 14 million tenge. By the way, the Zhangaly district consists of eight rural areas where about 25,000 people live. And all these people are serviced by one central district hospital designed for just 45 beds.

“The hospital urgently needed a new mobile intensive care unit in order to quickly transport patients from five medical outpatient clinics and three feldsher’s stations as well as to deliver critically ill people to hospitals in the oblast centre of Uralsk. The hospital’s need for an ALV apparatus was no less acute. Instead, the doctors were forced to use an outdated anesthesia and breathing apparatus, which did not allow to regulate the oxygen supply, because of which a patient might receive mechanical injuries of the respiratory tract”, said the staff of Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation.  

“They borrowed a Gazelle vehicle to save a mother and a child”

Thanks to the charity proceeds raised at Bulat Utemuratov’s initiative, assistance was rendered to the Yesil district hospital in the Akmola Oblast. It received medical equipment for 73 million tenge.

A territory of 8,000 square kilometres, one town and 17 rural districts, 25 thousand people and no single mobile intensive care unit, 20-year old medical equipment which is obsolete both physically and morally. These were realities of work of the staff in the Yesil district hospital, Akmola Oblast, up to the beginning of 2020.

“Imagine a situation: you have a woman in childbirth with a severe case of the third category, you must take such women to the maternity hospital in Kokshetau, 350 km far, and even further – to Nur Sultan, 415 km far. It is urgent, because it is the question of the life of the fetus and mommy! And you have no special vehicles, what should you transport them in? We got out by borrowing a Gazelle vehicle from an ambulance station or mobile intensive care units from colleagues in neighboring districts. And each time the whole team was under stress. Now we have our new, modern mobile intensive care unit, and there will be no more rush job situations connected with the search for special vehicles”, says Dastan Asanuly, head physician of the Yesil hospital.

The hospital received a set of medical equipment at the beginning of the year, including the flagship mobile intensive care unit of the Mercedes-Benz brand with a full set to save and protect a person’s life, a modern anesthesia and breathing apparatus for the surgery department and an incubator for intensive care of newborns in the intensive care unit.

“Our old anesthesia and breathing apparatus, which is over 20 years old, as far back as of the Soviet design, was at death’s door, it is impossible to find spare parts for it anymore. Now we have the newest apparatus of European make, complete with a system for monitoring the depth of anesthesia and sedation with all accessories. We have a new Japanese incubator for the intensive care unit with adjustable supply of oxygen and humidity, thanks to it we will nurse back to health many premature and serious case newborns!” shared his joy the head doctor.

Hundreds of lives of adults and babies are behind each of such purchase, donation, gift, charity that will help to save them. The newest equipment fitted in compliance with all standards was received by: Zhangaly, Yesil, Kyzylzhar central district hospitals, Akmola Oblast Multi-Profile Hospital, Taldykorgan Town Hospital, Kyzylorda Perinatal Centre “Ana men bala”, district hospital in the Shelek village and the Research and Scientific Institute of Orthopedics and Traumatology in the city of Nur-Sultan.

In 2020 Burabike Fest will be held on 29 and 30 August. Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation receives applications from potential beneficiaries for purchase of medical equipment. Registration of participants of the event will be open from 15 March on the website.      

Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation was set up in the beginning of 2014. The Foundation’s mission is to help Kazakhstan to become a better place for the life of people today and in the future through the support of development of healthcare, education and culture. The idea to create the foundation belongs to its founder Bulat Utemuratov, who, a while back, has allocated 12.5 million dollars for the “Autism. One world for all” fund programme.

How Kazakhstani business and private initiatives help to cope with Covid-2019

11 March 2020 became a distressing date for the entire planet: the World Health Organization announced coronavirus a pandemic. As for the beginning of April, Covid-19 was registered in over 180 countries of the world, including Kazakhstan.

Countermeasures for any calamity, as in the case of coronavirus, need help on the part of the society and business, and private initiatives are most valuable at such times. The Verny Capital group of companies, where a well-known philanthropist Bulat Utemuratov is a shareholder, did not stay on the sidelines: they allocated 1 million dollars to fight the pandemic.  

Major shareholder of the Verny Capital group of companies, businessman and philanthropist Bulat Utemuratov:

“There is no single person in the world today who would not be affected by the threat of coronavirus infection spread and by the measures taken by Governments aiming to stop the global pandemic. This is a very uneasy time and we have to survive it together, helping and supporting. I have taken a decision to transfer 1 million dollars to the Republican Relief Fund for Kazakhstanis. I also reconfirm the commitment of the group of companies to the principles of socially responsible business under any circumstances”, emphasized Bulat Utemuratov.

Verny Capital led by Bulat Utemuratov shows its commitment through the support of a range of steps taken by the President and the Government of Kazakhstan to stabilise the economic and social situation in the country in the global pandemic conditions.

While doctors are helping Kazakhstanis to come through the illness and scientists are trying to create the Covid-2019 vaccine, the country needs tests for the dangerous infection. And here too Bulat Utemuratov decided to make his contribution to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Rapid tests for 200 million tenge from Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation

In addition to the global amount of 1 million dollars, Bulat Utemuratov allocated 200 million tenge more for measures to control Covid-19 in Nur-Sultan and Almaty. These are the two cities where the biggest number of the infected was registered. This money was used to timely buy and deliver rapid test sets to detect the presence of antibodies to the virus in a human organism.

Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Kazakhstan Aizhan Yesmagambetova:

“It is planned to make an average of 500 to 1,000 tests a day. My resolution provides for the categories of people who will be subject to rapid testing. These are emergency medical officers not admitted to a hospital with the ARVI symptoms, people who were potentially contacted, and entrants through the road and railway checkpoints, state body employees who are directly engaged in the events related to liquidation of the coronavirus infection in our country”, said Aizhan Yesmagambetova.

This is how tests bought on the money of Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation look like

Rapid tests of capillary blood work in the following way: they will reveal presence of antibodies to Covid-19 coronavirus within 10 minutes. Tests produced in the PRC comply with the provisions of the European Parliament Directive, and on top of that they have passed through the compulsory validation in the Central Reference Laboratory in Almaty.

This is important – to not allow the use of low quality tests in the course of screening the population, as it has happened in some European countries. In total the Foundation bought 94,000 IgG/IgM rapid tests. These tests were certified, and after that Healthcare Departments of Nur-Sultan and Almaty organised ten mobile groups per each city to carry out rapid analyses. Tests were divided evenly between the two cities.

“The most important step to control the coronavirus spread is an early detection of the infected for the sake of their health and the health of people around. This is illustrated by the experience of countries which have already overcome the peak of the epidemic. The timely taken measures will allow to limit infection niduses, to reduce the quantity of the diseased and to minimise the number of lethal cases”, stressed Marat Aitmagambetov, Director of Bulat Utemuratov Foundation.

The businessmen is also well known for paying timely attention to urgent social issues and providing operative assistance in solving them.

In total, Bulat Utemuratov spent 6 billion tenge for public charity in 2019, not to mention personal initiatives which he prefers not speak to the press about. Utemuratov’s Foundation is the only one in Kazakhstan that opens autism centres in regions. In 2019 the charity company of the reputed philanthropist expanded its activities and built houses for multi-child families in Kyzylorda and for the affected in Arys.

Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation has been in action for the sixth year now, its mission is to help Kazakhstan to turn into the better place for the life of people today and in the future. The priority is development and sponsorship of projects in healthcare, education, culture and sports.

“Aid Card”. How thousands of Kazakhstani families get assistance in the hour of need

In 2018, a charity project with an inspiring name “Aid Card” was launched in Kazakhstan. It was founded by businessman and philanthropist Bulat Utemuratov. Charity assistance rendered by Mr Utemuratov is wide ranging, it touches upon many spheres of life of Kazakhstanis and always comes in time – when people do need support here and now. “Aid Cards” are issued to families that found themselves in trouble because of high waters and floods.

The algorithm of this work is clear and coordinated as this is required in emergency situations: Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation allocates money to support those affected by natural and man-made disasters, the Red Crescent Society identifies the needy and arranges the transfer of Fortebank cards with money in the account to them.

Bulat Utemuratov has the first-hand knowledge of what it is about. It is not the first year that he has been helping entire villages and regions. Last year, the foundation of his name, together with the Red Crescent Society of Kazakhstan and ForteBank, provided financial assistance to flood-affected families of the Shet district, Pidzhim village, North-Kazakhstan Oblast and Akmola Oblast. “Aid Cards” were issued to affected families whose homes were completely or partially destroyed. The recipients included single pensioners, people with disabilities, single mothers and multi-child low-income families.

The scale of the implemented project is supported by figures: in 2018, assistance was received by 863 families in the East Kazakhstan Oblast for a total amount of almost 82 million tenge, in 2019, cash assistance was provided to 764 families in the amount of almost 114 million tenge. All this money was received by flood victims in the Karaganda, Akmola, North Kazakhstan and Almaty Oblasts, as well as by residents of the Arys town who lost their homes and property as a result of explosions in an ammunition depot.

Arys. Life is continuing

In 2019, the Foundation rendered assistance to those affected by man-made disaster in the Arys town – the town and its inhabitants suffered severely as a result of ammunition explosions. The victims were also issued with “Aid Cards” on which funds were transferred at a rate of 30,000 tenge per family member.

People affected by explosions in the Arys town

They do manage to restore the town as a whole gradually, but alongside with this there are private stories from lives of real people who lost their homes and sources of income. Bulat Utemuratov, understanding the situation, decided that the direct financial support to victims had a whole range of advantages compared with humanitarian aid or in-kind assistance. And this is why:

  • Speed. Unlike in-kind aid, money is very mobile. It can be quickly transferred to anywhere in the country.
  • Optimisation of expenses. Distribution of cash aid is done faster than that of humanitarian aid. Very often expenses for transportation of a humanitarian cargo turn out to be higher than its total cost. 
  • Flexibility. Money givesits recipients flexibility in using the aid. Needs of the affected might be different, and money – universal means of exchange – can satisfy actually any of those.
  • Positive influence on the local economy. Humanitarian aid can negatively impact the local trade as it covers the demand in goods for a while. Cash injections, vice versa, influence the local market positively, stimulating retail.

The total amount of cash aid from Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation comprised 60 million tenge for 2,000 people just at the first stage. This decision was taken after the joint monitoring held at points in the city of Shymkent and after the assessment of needs of the victims.

These funds helped people to overcome the first and the hardest days of the crisis and to cover their primary needs – to buy hygienic items, medicines and clothes.

More than just money

The “Aid Card” project was continued in 2020. The total sum allocated by the businessman for these purposes will depend on the scale of calamities and the number of victims. The assurances of this were given by the Director of this charity organisation, Marat Aitmagambetov, speaking at a briefing in Nur-Sultan. Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation increased the amount of assistance: now every person gets 50,000 tenge, thus a family of four gets 200,000 tenge at once.

And now, in this mid-April the Red Crescent Society response team distributed cards with money in the account to 61 families affected by spring floods in the Karamyrza village of the Kostanay Oblast. Waking up after a long, hard winter, snow began to melt in regions, and, consequently, to drown the farmsteads and entire villages. Residents of remote auls (villages) say: stocks are running out, livestock is dying, high water has come to our homes. In such cases, real money will help the population, making it possible to immediately buy food products in a nearby shop, pay for services and secure themselves in case of an emergency. 197 people received aid for a total sum of 9,850,000 tenge. With the money received, people were able to purchase essential goods and partially restore their property.

“Unfortunately, traditional spring floods repeat this year and, despite the state of emergency, we and our partners continue working and implementing the “Aid Card” project in favour of beneficiaries. We hope that we will lighten the burden of flood consequences for our compatriots,” noted the Director of Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation, Marat Aitmagambetov.

The floods continued advancing on the northern regions of the country, and after the Kostanay Oblast came to the North Kazakhstan one. In Petropavlovsk, aid was provided to 800 people from 244 families for the amount of 39,550,000 tenge.

“This year the work of our joint response team is heavily complicated by the state of emergency and the quarantine related to the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, we managed to be in the location of floods and to give the helping hand to our compatriots. We hope that we did lighten their burden of flood consequences,” said the Director of Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation, Marat Aitmagambetov.

Photo by press service of Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation

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