More than 4 thousand Kazakhstanis, whose houses had been damaged by floods, received the targeted financial aid within the Aid Card Project.
The Aid Card is the joint initiative of the Bulat Utemuratov Foundation, the Red Crescent of Kazakhstan and ForteBank. The Project aims to provide timely support to people affected by natural and man-made disasters. Total amount of the aid provided in 2022 exceeded 400 million tenge.
This year’s floods affected several areas at once, including usually arid regions. Thus, in the Mangystau region, the water damaged 174 houses in 13 settlements. Over a thousand people were forced to get out of their homes in a hurry, leaving behind all their belongings. The Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation allocated 104 million Tenge to support the Mangystau Region residents. Average amount of aid was 600 thousand Tenge per a family.
“The rain was short, but very heavy. At 3 a.m. the water was already in the house. There were eight of us including young children, schoolchildren and elderly parents. We stayed in the house till the last, the water rose about a meter high outside, and it was scary to go out. In the morning we were evacuated by the rescuers. All this time we have been living in housing provided by the local Akimat. We cannot return to our house; we had to remove all the floors, the electricity does not work, and there is still a strong smell of damp,” said Raikhan Tanatova, a resident of the Rakhat District in Zhanaozen.
The state of emergency was declared twice this spring in the Turkestan region. First, water entered 180 houses in 6 villages of Kazygurt and Saryagash districts. At that time, 1,115 people received help as part of the Aid Card Project. Two weeks later, heavy rains caused flooding of 141 more houses in the villages of Kakpak and Sharbulak. According to Ulanar Kalbirova, a resident of Kakpak village, she began to fear a repeat of the situation, “We had just started putting the house and yard in order when the floods started again, we had to pack up and go into town to our daughter. I cry every time when I see what our house has become. We used to grow raspberries and corn in our yard to sell, and now there won’t be any harvest.” Total amount of aid to the Turkestan region was more than 195 million tenge. The residents used the money to buy building materials and furniture.
Earlier this year, floods affected more than 1,000 residents of the Aktobe, West Kazakhstan and Pavlodar regions. The Bulat Utemuratov Foundation allocated more than 110 million tenge to help rebuild damaged houses and buy basic necessities.
The Aid Card Project has been underway since 2018. During this time, more than 12 thousand Kazakhstanis have become recipients of financial support.
The Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation presented a project of a new passenger terminal of Korkyt Ata airport. The estimated cost of the project, which is being implemented by the Verny Capital Group, is about USD 25 million. Upon construction completion, the facility will be transferred to the communal ownership of the city free of charge.
According to Yerlan Ospanov, General Director of the Verny Capital Group of Companies, it is planned to start construction in February 2023, and the new terminal will be able to accommodate the first passengers in September 2024.
“Verny Capital has solid experience in design and construction of socially significant facilities and public spaces. The new airport terminal will meet the best international practices and will give impetus to the development of the entire region,” Ospanov said.
The total area of the two-story terminal with stained glass facades made of tempered glass will be 7,500 square meters. The international and domestic flight zones will be able to accommodate 130 and 160 guests, respectively. A jet bridge, escalators and elevators, an automated luggage conveying and handling system, a hall for transit passengers and a CIP hall are provided for in the terminal. The new building will have self-check-in counters, prayer rooms, a Duty Free zone, as well as specialized spaces for employees of border and customs services, phytosanitary and veterinary services, sanitary and epidemiological control and transit police department. Equipment, technologies and design materials of international brands will be used in the construction.
“The airport is the main gate of the region, one of our key facilities. The attitude of guests arriving in our city is formed based on the appearance of the airport, the level of comfort and quality of service. The construction of a new, modern airport terminal is a very relevant and expected solution. On behalf of all residents of the region, I express my gratitude to the Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation for its valuable contribution to the development of the air transport complex of the Kyzylorda Region,” said Nurlybek Nalibayev, Akim of the Kyzylorda Region.
The renovated passenger airport project complies with the current standards of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Its author is GMW Mimarlic, the Turkish design company, which has 20 years of experience in designing airports in the Netherlands, Russia, Turkey and the Gulf countries.
To September 1, 2023, a new school for 1,500 students will be opened in Kosshy town of the Akmola Region. The charity project worth about 7.5 billion Tenge is financed by the Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation. Upon completion of construction, the school will be donated to the city.
In addition to classrooms, the new school will be equipped with recreational areas, modern training and production workshops, sports and gymnastic areas, an information center, a laboratory, an art studio, and a co-working space. The total area of the three-storey school will be about 16 thousand square meters. There is a basketball-and-volleyball court, a stadium with a mini-football pitch and race tracks, playgrounds for older and younger schoolchildren. Play and sports areas are designed with soft rubber coating based on polymer chips. A lawn of perennial grasses, trees and shrubs of local species will be planted around the school. The entrance zone will be equipped with ramps, tactile paths for the visually impaired.
The population of Kosshy is about 65 thousand people. With the growing birth rate and further urbanization the need for student places is increasing. Thus, in September 2021 the number of first-graders in one of the schools of the town was about 700 people, the entire alphabet up to the letter “Y” had been used to indicate a first grade parallel.
“I have two children of school age. Our school designed for one thousand two hundred students teaches all five thousand in three shifts. It is understandable that under such conditions, teachers simply cannot give every child the attention he or she deserves. Construction of a new school is essential to life of our town,” Natalya Pospelova, resident of Kosshy, said.
“There are only three schools in our town, two of them are public schools, and they are overcrowded. We are grateful to the Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation for supporting the project to build a new school in Kosshy. I have seen the design of the new school – it will meet the best world standards. Children will be able not only to get knowledge and rest between lessons in comfortable, well-designed rooms, but also to develop their practical skills and abilities, as the school will have training and production spaces equipped with special equipment,” Gaidar Kassenov, Akim of Kosshy, said.
In addition to modern infrastructure, the new school will introduce in-demand, innovative additional education programs, which are also one of the key activities of the Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation. Last year the Foundation launched two projects in the school education field – Green Schools and Leadership Academy. Under the first project, a year-round greenhouse will be installed at the school, where children will gain practical skills and knowledge about growing vegetables, berries, and herbs. Within the framework of the Leadership Academy, teens will be able to develop critical thinking, leadership skills and communication competencies.
Young Kazakhstani tennis players made it to the decisive stage of the World Team Championship
The year of 2022 is becoming a truly breakthrough year for Kazakhstani tennis. First, the men’s team for the third time in a row won the right to play in the final tournament of the Davis Cup (also known as the World Team Championship). Then, for the first time in their history, the girls made their way to the final tournament of the Billie Jean King Cup (also in the status of the World Championship). And now the juniors have followed their example: at the qualifying tournament of the World Championship held in New Delhi, our guys under 14 secured one of the three berths allocated for the Asian region!
So, how was the path of our junior team to the coveted top three developing?
Young teens are playing
The championship of national teams, made up of players not older than 14 years (as of the tournament start), has been held since 1992. And if the first of them was attended by 54 teams, now a good hundred teams are fighting for the right to go to the Czech town Prostejov, which has been hosting the final tournament since 1999. And for sure, there are players in their rosters who will brightly show themselves in adult tournaments as soon as in 3-4 years. Like it has already been done by the first racket of the world Pole Iga Swiatek, American Coco Gauff, Czech Marketa Vondrousova, Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov, who helped their countries to win and join the prize-winners of the junior championships.
In recent years, the Asia and Oceania zone was represented in the final tournament by the teams of Australia and Japan, South Korea and Thailand, China and Hong Kong. Moreover, the Koreans in 2011 and 2015 became world champions.
These teams were once again the favorites for the qualifier held in New Delhi, a small but very important part of Delhi’s vast urban conglomerate of over 10 million people. After all, New Delhi, located south of the so-called Old City and planned by Edwin Lutyens, one of the leading British architects of the 20th century, is the official capital of India.
Test of strength
So, 16 teams first determined the top two in each of the four groups, after which this eight, according to the knockout system, determined the three holders of tickets to the World Cup. The national team of Kazakhstan, which included Damir Zhalgasbay (02.21.2008, Almaty), Zangar Nurlanuly (07.04.2008, Turkestan), Daniel Tazabekov (01.08.2008, Shymkent) and the captain (head coach) of the team Sergey Kvak, got into group D – with teams from Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
And although the opponents whom we have got at the first stage were not the strongest, one must take into account the extreme weather conditions in which the tournament was held: during the day the shade temperature exceeded +40°C, and there was no relief even in the evening. So, in conditions of extreme dehydration, players having cramps was not uncommon here.
The abnormality of holding the tournament in such conditions was noted even by famous Australian Lleyton Hewitt, who came to support his son Cruz. Although he, who played in two dozen Australian open championships, was no stranger to the heat on the court. The extremely poor air quality and spicy food, which was unusual for our players, also added problems.
We are going to the World Cup!
Having won in all matches of the group stage with the same score of 3-0, our guys reached the Hong Kong team in the quarterfinals. We won again – 2-0 (here the doubles game was not held as it did not matter), but lost to the Koreans in the semi-finals – 1-2.
It should be noted that the first number of Koreans Cho Se Hyuk, who despite his age is quite a tall and powerful guy, already has experience in playing in adult ITF tournaments. So it is no coincidence that in New Delhi he won all 6 singles and 5 doubles. Hence, in the match with us, after Damir Zhalgasbay defeated the second number of the Koreans with a score of 6:3, 6:2, it was Cho who decided the fate of the match, first having defeated Zangar Nurlanuly – 6:1, 6:1, and then, paired with Do Gyeom, having beaten our duo Zhalgasbay/Nurlanuly – 6:4, 6:2. Moreover, it was obvious that the opponents gelled well together which our players were lacking. Maybe that’s because Zangar permanently lives and trains in Slovakia, and Damir – in Almaty (Daniel – in the Czech Republic).
And yet, the Kazakhstanis had a good chance for final success, for which it was necessary to beat the Thai team, which in the other semi-final lost to the Japanese team – 0-2. And here the heroism of Damir Zhalgasbay should be noted: he managed to save two match points and after three hours of the hardest struggle, got over himself to pull out the victory – 2:6, 7:6 (7:5), 7:5. Inspired by this, Zangar simply “wiped out” his opponent – 6:2, 6:1.
2-0 – and for the first time in the history of Kazakhstani tennis we will play in the final tournament of the junior world championship, which will be held from 1 to 6 November. The winners of the qualification were our rivals in the semi-finals, who beat the Japanese with a score of 2-1 in the final.
The Asia and Oceania zone was the first to complete its qualifying round. During May, the finalists from other regions will also be known: two teams will go to Prostejov from Africa and the North and Central America/Caribbean zone, three -from South America, while Europe will have the largest representation – 6 teams.
And what about the other junior teams?
Initially, the qualification tournaments for 14- and 16-year-olds in the Asia and Oceania zone were divided between India and Sri Lanka. However, in March civil disturbances began in this island state, which continues to this day – and New Delhi hosted junior competitions one after another throughout April.
From 4 to 9 April, participants of the Junior Billie Jean King Cup 16 & under fought here. The team led by captain Yaroslava Shvedova and made up of three girls from Almaty – Aya Nupbay, Asylzhan Arystanbekova and Karina Dzhumazhanova – took 5th place. And three lucky tickets to the final part of the World Cup went to the teams of Australia (we lost to it in the quarterfinals), Thailand and Japan.
Girls gave place to guys – in the Junior Davis Cup 16 & under. The national team of Kazakhstan included a resident of Taraz Danir Kaldybekov and two players from Karaganda – Amir Omarkhanov and Vitaliy Zatsepin. Wards of captain Zhansultan Chembotayev were close to getting a ticket to the final tournament, but lost in the match for 3rd place to the Australian team. And the first place was fought for by the teams of India and Japan, the hosts won.
And, finally, in the tournament among girls under 14 years old (ITF World Junior – Tennis Girls 14 & Under), Ariana Gogulina from Nur-Sultan, Satima Toregen from Almaty and Eva Korysheva from Aktobe (team captain – Mukam Ermatov) took 6th place, and three tickets to the same Prostejov were won by the teams of Japan, Australia and South Korea.
The Team Kazakhstan Academy was established back in 2008, a year after the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation (KTF) was headed by well-known businessman Bulat Utemuratov. It received a particularly powerful impetus in its development in September 2020, when Briton Dave Miley, who has worked in senior positions at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for more than 25 years, joined the KTF team as an executive director.
At the end of the same year, 36-year-old Timur Akkaziyev became the director of the Academy. His background includes training in tennis at the world-famous Nick Bollettieri Academy, studies at the International Business School at Cumberland University (USA) combined with performances in student tournaments under the NCAA auspices, coaching work with such masters as Romanian Horia Tecau, former world No. 2 in doubles, and Frenchman Fabrice Martin.
It was with their arrival that training camps began to be practiced in an expanded composition – for leading juniors and coaches from all over the country, and not just the Team Kazakhstan Academy. Purposeful preparation for the main team tournaments in junior tennis is backed by a tough internal selection and training camps held immediately before the competition. And what the 14-year-old guys managed to do shows that the KTF is on the right track.
Each affected family received an average of 600,000 tenge. Targeted aid was provided by Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation jointly with the Red Crescent of Kazakhstan and ForteBank.
Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation, jointly with the Red Crescent of Kazakhstan and ForteBank, provided targeted aid to families affected by severe rain floods in the Turkestan region. 111 million tenge were allocated, each family received an average of 600 thousand tenge.
180 houses, in which 1,115 thousand people lived, were flooded in the Saryagash and Kazygurt districts of the Turkestan region. In particular, the villages of Kakpak, Sarapkhana, Kyzylkiya, Shanak, Karabau, and Bagyz were affected. Residents were evacuated and accommodated in safe places.
“When the courtyard and the barn was flooded, I was at home alone with 4 children, it was very scary. At first, we did not think that water would come into the house, we began to bring in things from the outside. Closer to the night, our corridor was flooded, then I began to collect documents and belongings. Within several hours the whole house was full of water, there was nothing left dry, not even bed linen. We are now waiting for the house to dry out to assess the damage. It is already clear that the floors need to be re-done completely. I think we will spend the received funds on this,” says one of the victims, a resident of the village of Kyzylkiya, Asiyagul Utayeva.
Oraz Altynbekov, a resident of another flooded village Kakpak, told about the chronology of events.
“We have a big family, 11 people. Our houses are all on the same land lot next to each other. First, the daughter’s house was flooded, she came to us with her small children. At night I went to the kitchen and saw that there was water all around. In the morning we sent the children to the city to our relatives, while we ourselves stayed to wait. For several days it was impossible to go out into the courtyard, there was water and mud all around. Then the rescuers pumped out the water, and we were able to look around. Our barn collapsed, the walls in the house began to fall. The first thing to do for us will be removing the floor, drying out underneath it,” concludes Oraz Altynbekov.
To date, rescuers have almost completely pumped out water from the streets and courtyards. Local residents are starting to return to their homes and plan to begin restoration work on the destroyed houses and buildings.
From 24 April, heavy rains in the Turkestan region flooded 4 residential places in the Kazygurt district, and 53 courtyards, 18 houses, 16 household outbuildings and a toykhana (party hall) were underflooded in the Saryagash district.
Fifty people were evacuated from flooded areas. They were accommodated in the homes of their relatives. As of the morning of 25 April, most residents returned to their homes, the Turkestan region Akimat reported. The floods killed about 200 heads of livestock.