2015 Community Investment Projects

Kazakhstan Association of Family Physicians

For the past six years, TCO has been working in partnership with the Kazakhstan Association of Family Physicians (KAFP) to implement a project aimed at increasing Atyrau Oblast communities’ and medical personnel’s awareness of arterial hypertension (AH) and cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and improving the professional knowledge and skills of doctors and nurses for early diagnosis and effective treatment of these diseases that are the leading causes of death in Kazakhstan.

According to these goals and the developed action plan, KAFP conducted the following activities in the reporting period. 

In 2015, KAFP trained 62 Atyrau Oblast doctors in 4-day clinical training sessions on diseases associated with CVDs such as angina, dislipidemy and diabetes. In average, the knowledge level increased by ~40-45%, according to pre- and post-training tests. Training participants provided positive feedback and shared that the training met the practicing doctors’ educational needs. 

In addition, KAFP continued to support participants post-training. KAFP employees made 81 visits to pilot and control organizations and consulted 150 polyclinic and ambulatory employees on a continuous basis. Within these visits KAFP also gathered data to monitor and assess external indicators – ambulance calls from AH patients and AH patient hospitalizations. 

KAFP uses a 3-level approach: training medical personnel, increasing awareness of communities, and working with patients. KAFP conducted a number of effective actions including direct and online clinical training sessions built on evidence-based medicine principles for more than 600 practicing doctors and medical assistants in the city and villages; mentoring visits to city polyclinics and rural ambulatories; and monitoring and assessment of patient behavior. KAFP increases communities’ awareness through mass media (TV broadcasts  about arterial hypertension), text messaging patients, distribution of printed materials and campaigns in shopping centers and other public places to measure blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol and triglycerids in blood (8,000 people were tested and some of them were directed to attending doctors for further diagnosis). The last but not least important component is working with AH patients. In cooperation with polyclinics and Kutty Bilim NGO, founded with support from KAFP, the Association established a support group to teach patients how to manage their disease and about advantages of proper nutrition and physical exercise. KAFP influenced more than 200 patients to normalize their blood pressure, give up smoking and make other positive lifestyle changes. 

KAFP activities with communities are divided into two parts. The first part is organization of AH schools jointly with Kutty Bilim. Three schools were opened in 2015; 62 patients visited these schools. Besides providing theoretical lectures to patients, KAFP employees took their measurements: blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar, triglycerids and body mass index. Patients were presented with tonometers to maintain target metrics of blood pressure.  

The other part of community activities is organization of community campaigns about high blood pressure risk. KAFP carried out 61 campaigns in Tamasha Shopping Center and polyclinic #7 where Atyrau Medical College employees and volunteers checked the blood pressure of 3,847 people; 1,124 people turned out to have high blood pressure, 353 of them had not been aware of this. KAFP also provided selective express analyses of cholesterol, sugar and triglycerids. KAFP consulted everyone with revealed health issues and instructed them to consult doctors at the places of their residence for futher examination and treatment.  

Much information about patients and their health is gathered through KAFP activities, which is necessary for defining further actions, methods and approaches. KAFP regularly maintains, updates and analyzes a database with 13,374 registered individuals. 

British Council

In 2015, with financial support from TCO, British Council set out to implement a program fostering the trainer potential of active and trained English teachers for further cascade training and provision of methodical aid to teachers in rural areas in Zhylyoi District of Atyrau Oblast. In parallel with the qualification improvement training for Zhylyoi teachers, British Council assessed the language skills and methodical level of teachers and arranged a contest for the best English lesson in which, along with presenting lesson plans, teachers demonstrated their interactive education skills. An advanced group was selected based on participation in workshops, presentation skills, etc. As a result, 10 instructors were trained and the first few of them provided cascade training to 31 English teachers at the Orleu National Center for Qualification Improvement in Atyrau. Cooperation was established between Orleu and the newly trained instructors; plans are in place to jointly train English teachers in other districts of Atyrau Oblast.

Apart from creating trainer potential, the program equipped participatns with distance learning skills which will allow them to independently improve their professional levels post-training through online resources, webinars, online teacher networks and through integrating online resources into the education process. 

To increase students’ interest in learning English and provide access to its free digital resources, British Council with support from the most active teachers organized the ‘English is Great’ festival attended by more than 300 teachers, students and parents. At the festival, students participated in a poster competition in which native English speakers assessed both the design of posters and participants’ presentation skills. Writing skills were evaluated by Warwick University (Great Britain) instructors in an essay competition among primary and secondary school students. In addition, students participated in interactive online games, battles, and an online contest on Great Britain’s culture. 

The Program set the primary goal of ensuring project sustainability so that teachers would continue their professional development post-training and increase their students’ language proficiency level and motivation to master English.

Kabdolov Private Fund Activities in Atyrau

In 2015, Kabdolov Private Fund implemented the Kazakh Language Usage Expansion Project with support from Tengizchevroil. The following activities were implemented in 2015:

  • Writing texts and Kazakh translations for 3 e-books: ‘Wheel of Old Man’, ‘Anyrakai Legend’ and ‘Knight Poems of Kazakhs’.
  • Writing 6 scenarios for video podcasts, including 2 musical clips, podcasts about theatre and the 70th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, and 2 clips to promote Kazakh language. 
  • Casting non-native Kazakh speaking actors for the clips.
  • 6 podcasts published to the Kabdolov Fund website, Facebook, Youtube and Kiwi.

A new section containing jokes was created on the project website. Jokes are translated into Kazakh and Russian and later published as separate issues. 8 issues have been published. 

Translation of proverbs into Kazakh is complete. 100 proverbs were translated and published to the website in 2015.  

Another new website section, ‘Poems and Songs’, was launched; it contains Russian translations of musical compositions (songs, anthems), poetical apocrypha and poems of prominent Kazakh poets. As of today poems of Abay Kunanbaev, Magzhan Zhumabaev, Fariza Ongarsynova, Mukhit Meralyuly, extracts from eposes ‘Er Targyn’, ‘Kyz Zhybek’, Polish song ‘Beautiful Girl’, National Anthem of RoK have been translated. 

Fund employees monthly monitor website visits, views, and video podcast and e-book downloads. Quantative analysis and monitoring synthesis determined that more than 65,000 individuals were beneficiaries of the ‘Speak Fluent Kazakh’ project for the reporting period.

Independent Generation of Kazakhstan

In 2015, Independent Generation of Kazakhstan (IGK) and Tengizchevroil jointly launched the new My Professional Choice project consisting of three tracks: training for children, work with educational institution specialists, and engagements with parents.

Project aim: to develop a culture of professional self-determination in students through professional orientational support in choosing an education focus and future occupation.  

The target audience is teenagers from socially vulnerable groups. Participants are 15-18 year old students from secondary schools and orphanages. The Project engaged 268 children who were tested and consulted on choosing a major. 

In accordance with its aims and action plan, IGK implemented the following events: 

  • At the project start, IGK held a round table to present the Project to directors of educational institutions, teachers, psychologists, and media representatives. 
  • Under a jointly-signed memorandum, the Atyrau Oblast Education Department, Atyrau City Education Department and IGK are cooperating to train students from schools #3, #16, #19, #30 in Atyrau and K. Satpaev School in Geolog village. 
  • First-ever professional orientation booths were prepared and placed in seven educational institutions to inform students about in-demand professions and those with an excess of specialists. Information about Atyrau’s educational institutions is also provided. It allows students to consciously approach their choice of a profession and obtain information about required skills.
  • Psychologists of 5 pilot schools were trained to use the Profile computer application developed by Saint-Petersburg-based company Imaton. Students are tested through the following tests: ‘I Am Different, Career-Business’, ‘Work Motivation Hierarchy’ methodology, professional preferences questionnaire, ‘Map of Interests’ test, Claire Gordon test for identifying abilities, ‘What is my will like?’ methodology, ‘Me and the World of Professions’ test. 
  • Jointly with the Atyrau branch of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, professional orientation tours to Atyrau’s major enterprises and meetings with recognized experts were arranged. 309 students from schools #3, #16, #19, #30, K. Satpaev School (Geolog village), Kazybaev Orphanage and Shanyrak family-type orphanage village and their teachers visited a range of major enterprises in Atyrau, including KazTurboRemont Service Center LLP, Batys Alliance Stroi LLP, YKK Training Center LLP, APEC Interregional Center for Training Oil and Gas Specialists, Atyrauneftemash LLP, Atyrau Agroservice LLP and the Chevron Munaigas Inc. Polyethylene Pipe Plant. 

As of today, consulation rooms at the S. Kazybaev Orphanage for orphans and children without parental care and Geolog family-type orphaanage are operating. The trainings in orphanages are focused on three areas: beginner painter courses; beginner cooking courses; and courses for sewing, household item refurbishing, woodworking and handcraft design.  

PYXERA Global Activities in Atyrau in 2015

In March 2012, Tengizchevroil and PYXERA GLOBAL partnered to implement a community development program called Yntymak. This program aims to address the needs of the local community in Atyrau and Kulsary through volunteer efforts by increasing the social capital of the local community for sustainable economic prosperity.

There is a shortage of communication between the public and private sectors in Atyrau Oblast. Non-profit organizations, universities, business associations and public schools needed additional professional and organizational resources. Through the Yntymak program, TCO representatives established closer links with the local community and had the opportunity to improve their professional and leadership skills. 

The implementation of the program takes place in two areas: educational projects and volunteer marathons.

Educational projects include English discussion clubs for students and teachers, robot science master classes for students, chess club for kids with limited hearing ability, business basics training for Kulsary youth and women.  

Volunteer marathons consist of monthly one-time charity events. These include a charitable paint splatter marathon; painting walls at a boarding school to support kids with limited hearing ability; fundraising for low-income families  and families with disabled children in Kulsary; meetings with Youth House students  and children from the Teenager Adaptation Center; knitting warm socks for pre-mature babies; open air movie showings for children and youth in Kulsary; contest of business ideas and other events. In 2015, program volunteers raised a record amount of 5,184,200 tenge for charity purposes.

According to the assessments conducted by PYXERA GLOBAL, as a result of Yntymak program activities, participants from TCO acquired extensive knowledge and developed professionally. TCO volunteers reported the improvement of their teambuilding, communication, problem solving and public speaking skills, as well as increased awareness of the culture and traditions of other nations.

Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia Activities in Zhylyoi District

In 2014-2015, Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia (EFCA) implemented a two-year project called ‘Orleu’. The aim of the project is to promote active participation of the local population in addressing issues of multifamily apartment houses (MFAH) and places of public entertainment, and assistance in finding or developing a MFAH management system.The project had two focus areas: residents’ ecological awareness and engagement in park maintenance; and increasing residents’ involvement in improving the condition of their apartment buildings.   

Within the first focus area, in 2015, EFCA conducted 6 trainings through which 195 participants acquired project management, public speaking, and teambuilding skills and mastered the newly-introduced interactive method of environmental education called ‘Green Package for the Caspian Region’. Teachers from 20 schools and members of a local high school ecoclub were trained. As per results of a questionnaire, more than 80% of participants started applying obtained knowledge in their work, thus distributing environmental education among the youth. Also, a training tour to Almaty was organized during which participants visited the botanical garden, biological and ecological museums, agribusiness center and parks of Almaty; participants also listened to lectures on ecology and received professional advice for their projects.  

Ecoclub members received funding for two projects: reconstruction of a greenhouse and school building facade improvement.

The greenhouse next to the school had never been in operation and was rundown. School administration and students decided to create a site on the basis of this greenhouse for botanics lessons and to teach children to work with land. This is the only existing greenhouse in the Atyrau Oblast; it is located at Satybaldiyev School #18 in Kulsary. The school administration is expected to support the project and use it to provide practical lessons as well as consider the possibility of assisting in the landscaping of other schools and kindergartens in the district. Teachers and students have already beautified the territory in front of the school and installed sliding gates. 

To support parks, EFCA organized clean up campaigns and environmental master classes on using secondary raw materials for beautification. With TCO support, pallets and sawdust were used for yards (benches and fence) and parks (mulch for trees). The parks hosted holidays and educational science shows for children from low-income families. These events featured flashmobs and short lectures about the necessity to maintain planted trees and other plants. Residents were informed that ‘Dostyk’ and ‘Zhansaya’ parks constructed by TCO were transferred to Kulsary and the maintenance depended not only on city management but on residents too. This project allows residents to make and install signs with behavior rules and speed limit signs at the entrance to enforce safety.  

In the second focus area, EFCA continued to work to involve residents in managing social issues. Kulsary has no Apartment Owner Cooperatives (AOC) or any other system for managing multifamily apartment houses, and the condition of apartment buildings deteriorates without due maintenance. Residents participated in grant competitions and obtained funding from the project with the condition that the residents would co-finance and participate in repairs. 36 meetings and a questionnaire with 100 individuals were conducted to define residents’ preferences in repairing the buildings. Residents of two microdistricts repaired 4 buildings, built 2 sports areas, and planted 15 trees and 4 flower beds. One of the project participants created a new AOC.

In 2015, the project held 18 public events (clean up days, master classes, training tours and holiday celebrations) involving 1,965 Kulsary residents. It supported 6 socially significant grant projects for microdistrict residents and students totalling nearly 5,000,000 tenge. 52 volunteers – active apartment residents and school #18 ecoclub members – were engaged.  

IREX Activities in Atyrau

Society of Information Technologies Age (SITA) aims to improve the quality of education in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT) for the population of Atyrau city and Zhylyoi district. It pursues three objectives:

  • Promote the use of ICT in schools, NGOs and other organizations with a social mission;
  • Provide professional development opportunities for teachers, NGO staff, medical workers and other public organizations and improve their skills;
  • Train disadvantaged individuals lacking funds to acquire technical skills on their own and increase their chances of employment in the future.

The SITA project provided training to 441 adults, including 391 women, 11 Shanyrak Orphanage students, and 33 medical institute employees. Project participants received different levels of training. Each trainee was tested prior to training to identify their ICT skills. The training covered:

  • Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word)
  • Audacity, Gimp, Presi com, Premier Pro Programmes
  • Google tools
  • Creating online tests and quizzes
  • Creating blogs
  • Creating personal websites.

The courses were 2-4 weeks long and took place in computer labs of organizations which the project technical coordinator checked and prepared prior to the training sessions. SITA also has its own computer lab with the latest equipment and high-speed internet access which is available to project participants at all times.