Month: December 2022

Bulat Utemuratov Allocated Over $80 Million for Social Infrastructure Projects in Kazakhstan in 2022

December 23, 2022 – The Bulat Utemuratov Foundation, established by the leading Kazakhstani businessman and philanthropist Bulat Utemuratov, allocated over $80 million for several social infrastructure projects in Kazakhstan’s highly populous regions or areas devastated by natural disasters.

The Foundation allocated more than $60 million to build a school, a community center, and a passenger terminal to help improve urban living conditions in underdeveloped areas and provide more services to residents.

  • Later this month the Foundation will open a stroke center at a hospital in the north of the country that will provide medical care and services for patients with cerebral vessel diseases.

  • A school near Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana will host 1,500 students and is expected to open by September 2023.

  • A new community center with facilities for sports, education, arts, entertainment, and co-working will open in the same town by March 2025.

  • A passenger terminal at an international airport in the south of Kazakhstan will start operations by September 2024.

Separately, Verny Capital, the investment group in whose projects Bulat Utemuratov is the key investor, is allocating about $24 million to build two schools in the Almaty region to help overcome overcrowding and aging buildings. Each school will host 900 students.

The Community Center in Kosshy town, Akmola region

Almaz Sharman, Chairman of the board at the Foundation, said:
“The Foundation and Verny Capital, both inspired by Mr Utemuratov, aim to contribute to Kazakhstan’s social infrastructure development with projects spanning from schools to housing to airports. Education and healthcare are among the causes of great importance to Bulat personally, and that’s why we are paying special attention to construction of new schools, renovation and equipping the stroke center. Next year we will continue to implement these projects, as well as consider new initiatives.”

The Foundation has a history of developing social infrastructure in Kazakhstan. In 2019 it initiated a project that allocated about $8.8 million to provide housing for multi-child families, families with disabled children and those whose houses were destroyed by natural disasters. A total of 390 families in 4 cities received accommodation. The reconstruction of the Almaty Botanical Garden was completed in 2020. As much as $15 million was allocated for the Garden’s restoration, which used modern materials and sustainable technologies, and introduced advanced irrigation, lighting, and video surveillance systems.


Bulat Utemuratov Foundation brought together international autism experts in the fourth annual “Autism. A World of Opportunities” Conference

Leading international experts in the field of autism research gathered in Almaty for the fourth Annual International Conference “Autism. World of Opportunities.”

The conference, jointly organized by Bulat Utemuratov Foundation and Narxoz University, attracted over 500 in-person and 8,000 online participants over the course of two days (November 29th-30th).

Among the speakers were leading researcher and UCLA professor, Dr. Connie Kasari, Adelphi University professor and author, Dr. Stephen Shore, renowned scientist and author, Dr. Temple Gradin, and many more experts from Kazakhstan and around the world. Participants included psychiatrists, psychologists, neuroscientists, teachers, and parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Dr. Stephen Shore commented that, “such conferences are a great example of how people with autism can be involved in social activities.” He added that various topics concerning autism were discussed, including education, and that the conference is an important step towards improving the lives of autistic people.

One of the major topics of discussion was the early identification of autism, which is key to the successful integration of autistic people in society. In one of the conversations, Dr. Almaz Sharman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, spoke with Dr. Joseph Buxbaum, Director of the Seaver Autism Center for Research, about new approaches for early diagnosis, such as the possibility of diagnosing autism by identifying genetic mutations in the family.

Dr. Stephen Shore, Adelphi University professor. Image rce: Bulat Utemuratov Foundation

There is no official state program for the early diagnosis of autism in Kazakhstan yet. The Foundation’s activities in this field, including the annual conference, aim to address this issue.  According to Dr. Almaz Sharman, “spreading awareness about the challenges that children and adults with autism face can lead to a more understanding society, and better integration and opportunities for autistic people in Kazakhstan.”

The program “Autism. One World for All,” though which the conference was organized, is Bulat Utemuratov Foundation’s flagship project. The program was created in 2014 to provide support for families and improve the lives of autistic children. As of today, 11 “Asyl Miras” autism centers have been established across Kazakhstan, employing over 200 specialists trained by international experts. More than 14,000 autistic children have participated in the program so far.


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