Good to know

In 2018 a new guide to NGOs and volunteering in Kazakhstan was published. This guide is the third edition of the “Working with Volunteers in Kazakhstan Guidebook”. The main objective of the new edition is to help the Kazakhstan NGOs to enhance their approach in working with volunteers and put them on to use new ideas and methods. Time tests every tool out there and while some prove to be outdated, others stand the test. That is why only the NGO managers, who deal with a great number of issues and tasks of their internal and external clients on every day basis, can decide on the most productive and effective tools.
The idea of volunteering in Kazakhstan comes around in 1993 with the arrival of the UN Volunteers program. Kazakhstan’s NGOs are generally active in areas as environment, children and youth, women’s issues, health, culture, art, science, education, legal rights, social rights, strengthening of NGOs, right of adults and children with disability. Nevertheless, the scale of volunteering is growing and there are already many independent volunteering groups.

Volunteering and Government.
On July 25, 2006 the President of Kazakhstan signed “The concept of development of civil society in Kazakhstan 2006-2011” (“Concept”). The Concept supports the organization and formation of civil society through establishing different types of non-profit organizations, including NGOs which work assumes involvement of the population in voluntary social vigorous activity. On December 30, 2016 the President signed the Law on volunteer activities, regulating thus the legal basis for volunteering. In addition the Government has begun to attract volunteers to carry out large-scale events of national value, for example, the Summit of the OSCE member countries, the Islamic Conference, the VII Winter Asian Games, international EXPO-2017, etc. that positively influences promotion of volunteering in Kazakhstan.

Volunteering and organizations.
As mentioned above, the NGOs were one of the first who began attracting and working with volunteers. Nevertheless, with the expansion of volunteering, it gradually spread over public institutions as well. There are successful examples of a cooperation of orphanages or libraries with volunteers. Moreover, if the public institutions were out of the picture before, there are good signs that they are well ready to be in now.

Even though there are many NGOs working with volunteers, only the few organizations have the experience of a professional approach to volunteers. By professional, we mean appointing a volunteer coordinator, planning activities for volunteers, determining the necessary number of volunteers for the organization, benevolent approach to volunteers, their encouragement and motivation and aspiration to hold volunteers, despite availability of the financed projects in the organization, etc. Annually the world and Kazakhstan celebrates the International Volunteers Day on December 5. Volunteers of Kazakhstan consider this date as a unique opportunity to emphasize and estimate a volunteer contribution to development of society, to hold charitable and volunteer events.

Volunteering and Business.
A trend of the past years – the cooperation of NGOs or volunteer groups with business structures is picking up in popularity with more and various events held on mutually advantageous conditions. Volunteers are becoming more flexible. The cooperation of volunteering and business is taking a new shape too. One such example is the corporate volunteering that is just starting to take off. It is a type of volunteering when employees of a company have the assistance of their management. Business becomes closer to the public through volunteers, and volunteers receive resources and support for implementing their ideas and projects.