Month: October 2020

Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation gave new homes to 150 families in the Maktaaral District

Three-room houses were granted to residents of villages that were affected by floods in the Turkestan Oblast.

Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation allocated 6 mln dollars to construct houses for families left without homes following floods in the Maktaaral District. The emergency occurred on 2 May 2020 when the blow-out of the Sardobe water reservoir in Uzbekistan led to high water covering five villages in the bordering Turkestan Oblast.

Three residential places – Zhenis, Zhanaturmys and Dostyk – were affected the most, the bulk of houses there was destroyed. Residents were evacuated to the Myrzakent village. They were accommodated at their relatives and temporary facilities opened in a rush. The latter were opened in kindergarten and school buildings. Thousands of people lived in such conditions for five months.

“We had nothing left: our house was flooded, cattle died. We evaded our home just in what we were dressed in. First we lived at school, then with our in-laws, then – with our son in another village. Too many people were left homeless because of the flood. It’s good that gentle people did not leave us high and dry and are helping us,” tells a local resident, Dariga Kaiyrova.

Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation built new houses for the flood victims on the edge of the Myrzakent village. A new microdistrict situated in 70 hectares appeared here to accommodate relocatees.

New housing was given to 150 families. Instead of old houses with stove heating and outdoor plumbing, the new settlers got three-room cottages of 100 square metres. The houses were commissioned as ready-to-move-in: with linoleum, doors, plumbing fixtures and tiles in toilets. As a gift, water heating devices and gas stoves were installed in kitchens. Rooms are spacious and light. Houses have own fenced parcels of land. Gas heating is laid through to cottages.

“Our house was built at the account of Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation. I am thankful for my family was given a roof over our heads. This is a big and good deed. We will finally live as before, in our big family,” says happily Gulbanu Naushabekova.

The woman’s family is eight people who had to separate after the flooding. Parents stayed with relatives, and the young family and their children – in a kindergarten.

“Our shareholder Bulat Utemuratov was the first among Kazakhstani
philanthropists to respond to the calamity that occurred this spring. He allocated 6 mln dollars for construction of 150 houses for residents of Maktaaral who lost their homes following the disaster. This is, perhaps, the biggest contribution to the region recovery. Implementing the project we were choosing only the best materials and were strictly monitoring the quality of works,” said at the keys delivery ceremony the General Director of the Verny Capital group of companies, Erlan Ospanov.

Umirzak Shukeyev, Akim (Governor) of the Turkestan Oblast, handed to Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation a letter of thanks from the President of Kazakhstan for involvement in the new microdistrict construction.

The Akimat paid for central water supply, heating and sewage systems be connected to new houses, street lighting in courtyards be installed and high-speed internet line be extended.

“The charity project was implemented in cooperation with the Turkestan Oblast Akimat. Our partnership became yet another successful example when the private initiative and the public support efficiently solve community problems. Last year we have financed construction of houses for 100 multi-child families in Kyzylorda and 100 families affected by ammunition explosions in Arys. Here in Myrzakent we are now implementing the third and most large-scaled project on construction of housing,” – added the Director of Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation, Marat

Two first projects – construction of houses in Kyzylorda and Arys – were implemented by Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation at their own initiative in 2019. The amount of 1.3 billion tenge was allocated for these charity programmes. With the construction of houses in Myrzakent, the amount of the sponsorship comprised 3.7 billion tenge.

Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation was established 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.

5.5 million dollars allocated by Bulat Utemuratov to control Covid-19

Part of the money was given to the Republican Coronavirus Control Fund, the rest was used to buy first express tests and module PCR laboratories.

Kazakhstani businessman Bulat Utemuratov continues his charity efforts during the pandemic and coronacrisis. The philanthropist has allocated the total of 5.5 million dollars to fight Covid-19 through his namesake foundation and the Verny Capital group of companies.  

Assistance to people through the Birgemiz Foundation

The principal shareholder of the Verny Capital group of companies made the first contribution of 1 million dollars in the Republican Coronavirus Control Fund. This happened on 20 March 2020 – exactly a week after the first Covid-19 contraction cases were revealed in Kazakhstan. Then the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, addressed compatriot businessmen calling them to help the country in that uneasy period.

“There is no single person in the world now who would be not affected by the threat of the coronavirus infection spread and by the measures undertaken by governments to stop the global pandemic. These are very hard times and we need to survive through them together, helping and supporting, therefore I have taken a decision to transfer 1 million dollars to the Republican Coronavirus Control Fund,” then said Bulat Utemuratov.

Funds of Birgemiz Foundation were used to pay out 50,000 tenge to socially vulnerable groups of population during several months, and to buy medicines, personal protective equipment and artificial lung ventilation devices for hospitals.

First express tests for Kazakhstanis

In April 2020, when there were already over 600 people in Kazakhstan infected with the new type of coronavirus, and screening systems were in deficiency in the country, Bulat Utemuratov’s Charity Foundation has imported 94,000 Covid-19 express tests.

47,000 kits each were donated to the public health departments of Nur-Sultan and Almaty, where the highest number of the infected was recorded at that time.

Tests made in China (where the Covid-19 outbreak started) were certified in the territory of the European Union and were mandatorily validated in the Central Reference Laboratory of Almaty that verified their quality. Following the decision of the Ministry of Health, express tests were sent for the charge-free screening of high-risk groups:

  • medical and law-enforcement officers;
  • patients with ORVI symptoms and chronic diseases;
  • those in contact with the infected;
  • those arriving from abroad via road checkpoints.

To buy express tests, Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation allocated 200 million tenge.

High-tech module PRC laboratories

In June, when the number of the infected in Kazakhstan went above 10,000 and the Republic borders were closed, Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation brought two mobile PCR laboratories and gave them free of charge to the health departments in Nur-Sultan and Almaty.

“First module laboratories were developed as late as in April, and only in China. The manufacturer – BGI company – is the world leader in medical research, production of equipment and consumables for laboratory tests. There were difficulties with delivery because of the closed borders of Kazakhstan, with logistics – because of block posts between cities within the country, but the state needed such laboratories urgently. We managed to supply the complexes to Kazakhstan as early as in the beginning of June,” told they in Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation.

Then – at the peak of the pandemic – state laboratories could not cope with the load, and Kazakhstanis had to wait for Covid-19 test results for several days. Therefore opening of new laboratories in the two most densely populated cities of the Republic lifted a certain tension.

Laboratories feature three air-inflated modules, which allows for their rapid deployment and move from one place to another. They are intended not for biomaterial sampling but for sample testing. Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation equipped the laboratories with kits of required agents sufficient for 30,000 tests. The capacity of each laboratory is 1,000 analyses a day with a potential increase up to 5,000. Test results are ready within three hours.

Purchase and delivery of PCR-screening laboratories cost Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation 4 million dollars.

British education in Kazakhstan: how Haileybury schools teach during the pandemic

The international private Haileybury school working in compliance with the British standards of education has moved to the mixed mode of work.

The international private Haileybury Almaty school introduced the unprecedented measures to comply with the sanitary regulations to enable junior pupils to study in classrooms. Every room has air disinfecting re-circulators, sanitiser dispensers and additional tables installed to place children so that the social distance is observed. Middle school and senior pupils are taught remotely, but their tutorial process matches the classroom format as much as possible.

“We give the best knowledge and learning environment”

While children were on their summer vacations, the management of Haileybury in Nur-Sultan and Almaty developed comprehensive plans to prepare both schools to various teaching scenarios: traditional, mixed and distance. Covid-19-free environment was created in improved campuses: classroom furniture was arranged taking into consideration the social distancing, markings were put throughout the school territory, sanitizers, webcams with built-in thermovision devices and re-circulators that kill 99% of viruses and bacteria in the air and on open surfaces were installed.

The Ministry of Education permitted to open at schools only skeleton classes for pupils in grades 1-4. But the learning process at Haileybury is arranged according to the British educational standards which are believed to be ones of the best in the world. Here, instead of the usual 11 grades, a 5 key stages system is envisaged which covers a child’s life period from 4 to 18 years. Therefore pupils of the primary school – children aged from 4 to 10 years – started their schooling from September (Key stage 1 and Key stage 2). Each classroom accommodates no more than 15 people.

“Very strict safety measures were taken at our school due to Covid-19. Junior pupils are taught offline, and senior pupils are studying remotely. This is a quite strange and at the same time exciting experience in the school education. But I am sure that we provide the best possible knowledge and learning environment both for the children studying in classrooms and for the students learning at home,” says Simon Mills, Haileybury Almaty Director.

Last academic years Simon Mills headed the Robert Gordon’s College – one of the biggest independent schools of Scotland and the United Kingdom. He joined Haileybury in August 2020.

Now the mask wearing mode is in effect at the school, and personnel in contact with other people also wear protective shields (distributors, cleaners, medical staff, security service staff). 

Sanitisers are available throughout the entire school territory: at the entrance/exit, in classrooms and in the canteen. Movement inside the building is possible only one-way, and signs on the floor warn about this. Separation barriers are installed between the groups to isolate children. Wardrobes and elevators do not work during the pandemic to avoid accumulation of people.

“Teachers give lessons in real time”

Haileybury tries to build the distance learning process so that it as close as possible to the traditional format. “Teachers give lessons in real time while being at school, that is, these are not pre-recorded lessons. We have equipped them with the necessary devices: cameras, powerful computers, high-speed Internet. We have conducted trainings so that all staff understand the essence of online learning. We are very proud that even in such an environment we continue to provide children with a quality education and prepare them for exams,” continues Simon Mills.

The daily routine of middle and senior school pupils did not change. They still wake up in the morning, get connected to online lessons, take rest during breaks and lunch time.

“We expect the second wave of coronavirus this winter, but in the event the quarantine measures are lifted we are ready to return all pupils to the traditional format of education right now,” added the school director.  

What’s different about the education at Haileybury Almaty

Pupils of three first stages at Haileybury Almatyget basic education in English. Senior stage pupils (14-16 years old) take a two-year course that forms and develops their academic knowledge, skills and abilities. Having passed exams, students get an international secondary education certificate (IGCSE).  

The next milestone – fifth stage – is preparation for A-Level exams (programme of preparation for admission to universities in the UK or other Western countries). The programme allows students of the last two grades to focus on the three main disciplines: mathematics, STEM and English. The A-Level at Haileybury Almaty is equal to the first year of study at the university, so graduates usually go straight to the second year of the world’s leading universities.

The international private schools Haileybury in Nur-Sultan and Almaty fall under the structure of the Verny Capital group of companies which major shareholder is businessman and philanthropist Bulat Utemuratov. This is a non-commercial organisation, and the founder does not get dividends on it. The schools are the social assets of Verny Capital.

© Bulat Utemuratov
All rights reserved.