The academic Shakhmardan Yessenov science and education foundation has summed up its activities in 2017. During the year, this charity organization has financed 28 projects in foundation’s program portfolio. More than 7,000 people is the number of beneficiaries of non-profit organization who received assistance in one or another form.
What lies beneath these figures? We requested clarification from the Executive Director of the Foundation Aiganym Malisheva (pictured). That's what she told us:
— 10 talented students from Kazakhstan universities – the winners of our Research Internships program have completed internship in the best laboratories of the world. Students of al-Farabi Kazakh National State University and Suleyman Demirel University, Semey State Medical University and Nazarbayev University, Kazakh-British Technical University and other educational institutions have been doing their summer researches in the universities of Toronto and Geneva, Surrey and Bath, Lausanne and Seattle, other cities in the U.S. and the world. The first five Kazakhstan young specialists visited The Open University. They are the winners of the program "Research Internships in Laboratories in the UK". Each of them has worked 3 months in the laboratories of one of the best research universities in the United Kingdom. In July, the last winner of Internships in IT startups in the USA returned to Kazakhstan from the United States. The three of the winners still work with these startups remotely while one of the winners continued her work in America.
The Yessenov Foundation stands behind the implementation of the national program "Chess in School". Since September, 1,500 second-graders in Almaty, Kyzylorda and Pavlodar regions are involved in the pilot version of the program. Chess is being taught as a separate subject. At the end of the academic year psychologists are going to conduct studies on the academic results of children who were engaged in chess lessons and those who did not attend chess lessons. Based on the results of the pilot project the program will expand to all secondary schools in Kazakhstan.
18 children and six low-income families in Almaty region have received presents and food baskets within our New Year's special "New Year Wish Tree" which fulfilled wishes of children diagnosed with oncological diseases in 2017. We also selected the winners of nFactorial Challenge, a competition organized by Arman Suleimenov, Zero To One Labs in Almaty, Karaganda and Astana. According to the results of the competition, we have sent three winners to spend 8 weeks of study at the US incubator for apps developers Make School. During 4 more weeks of the last summer the children have studied in Astana in the framework of nFactorial Incubator.
The 90th anniversary of academician Shakhmardan Yessenov was widely celebrated this year. Rapid chess tournament “Yessenov Memorial” at Satbayev University , solemn gatherings and events in Shiyeli, Kyzylorda and scientist’s native village Tartogai, the installation of his bust, the equipment of Yesenov' study room in the Tartogai’s secondary school, the publishing of the academician's bibliography and books and articles on the former Kazakh SSR Geology Minister and President of the Academy of Sciences is only a part of the projects that the Foundation has implemented in 2017 regarding Yessenov’s anniversary. Additionally, this year the short documentary on scientist’s life and activities was shot and such national TV channels as Qazaqstan, Kazakh TV, Khabar and Almaty broadcasted it. The film was also posted on Foundation’s YouTube channel.
The summer camp for schoolchildren "Chess Planet" was sponsored by the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation as well. 50 children from all over the country interested in chess rested, worked and studied there. The Foundation is also a sponsor of the largest Kazakhstan chess tournaments and Kazakh Chess Federation. Only this year we have held 23 events, more than 3000 participants of which became our beneficiaries. Foundation’s team of volunteers called Komanda SOS has supported a summer sports camp called Special Olympics 2017. It was attended by 50 children with intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy or Down syndrome. Completing the topic of sports and healthy lifestyle, popularization of mass sports in the country, I can add that this year we have become a founder of the largest running event in Central Asia called Almaty Marathon. During 6 years of the marathon it has been attended by about 70 thousand people.
This year we have completed the program of travel grants by sponsoring participation of eight young Kazakhstan scientists in international conferences, exhibitions and seminars. We have announced a contest for the best idea for a new educational program. Unfortunately, we have not implemented the winning idea yet (the organizing of IT courses for orphans). At the moment we are studying it from the marketing point of view in terms of feasibility and demand, however in 2018 we will modernize existing programs and from the first days of the new year we are going to start a brand-new program on educational grants for obtaining master degree abroad. Last year we five-fold increased the number of Yessenov scholarships: instead of traditional five scholarships we have twenty of them. In response, we have received a record number of applications from all corners of the republic: 395.
One of the most memorable days of the year was surely the 18th of March, when we gathered 37 of our beneficiaries — scholarship holders, winners and interns. Teambuilding and follow-up meeting with the founders of the Foundation were energetic, in a youth spirit, even a bit mischievous, but at the same time very productive and informative.
Traditionally we have held a variety of guest „Yessenov Lectures”. Among the speakers were PhD student Alma Zhanaidarova and IT engineer Abai Nusipbekov, alpinist Maksut Zhumayev and the Russian biologist Peter Vlasov, sales manager Madeleine Celander and American businessmen Jeremy Ames and Sean Combs, power engineer Ruslan Raqymbai and banker Magzhan Auezov. Lectures took place in Al-Farabi Kazakh National University and AlmaU, Nazarbayev University and Asfendiyarov KazNMU universities. Video lectures are available on our YouTube channel. The English language program being held for 3 years in Kazakh State University of Technology and Engineering has now been launched in Korkyt-Ata Kyzylorda State University. 127 students and lecturers have started their studies with native speakers since the beginning of the academic year. Their goal is to significantly increase the level of proficiency in English in their professional fields of study during two years of the program.
For the first time this year, the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation has become a sponsor of Kazakh national team of schoolchildren at the Schools International Earth Science Olympiad 2017 (IESO) in France. The boys and girls won two silver and one bronze medals.
Summarizing the outcomes of 2017 let’s take a look at the beginning of 2018, that will take its place in a couple of days. We have already named the winners of the second competition "Internships in IT Startups in the USA." And in the spring of 2018, the five winners (there were altogether 43 pretenders) will depart for six months internship in the Silicon Valley. We have also identified finalists of the competition "Research Internships in the World Laboratories" as well. The last stage of it will be held in January. Once again, we intend to send abroad 10 most promising future scientists, young Kazakh intellectuals. In December we launched the seventh "New Year Wish Tree" charity special. This year 51 children from Talgar family orphanage "Nur" are the participants. Together with Tengrinews.kz, Almaty marathon and World Class Almaty we have collected presents for children and are planning to fulfill their wishes with the help of concerned Kazakhstanis by the middle of January. In the end, I would like to wish you all a happy New Year and interesting challenges that you, surely, will overcome with honor, as our beneficiaries do that helping us to implement our mission — to develop the intellectual potential of Kazakhstan.