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2020, April 20 NU now

Initiatives of the Nazarbayev University Social Development Fund during the pandemic

2020, April 20

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The Nazarbayev University Social Development Fund has implemented a number of initiatives aimed at supporting the volunteer movement in the country, as well as helping socially vulnerable groups.

Like the entire Nazarbayev University community, the Social Development Fund supports measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Since March, 52 students of Astana Medical University have been providing volunteer assistance to medical workers in the fight against the СOVID-19 pandemic in the multi-profile city Hospital No. 3, the airport and the TB clinic of Nur-Sultan. These future doctors provide assistance by taking temperatures and blood pressure readings, monitoring patient well-being, providing meals to the patients, helping in the management of everyday medical documentation, and help with other tasks where possible.

Although, involved in the anti-epidemic measures because of their volunteer status these students of the Medical University are not among the health workers who are entitled to financial payments from the state.  The Social Development Fund, at the request of the Rector of Astana Medical University, Dainius Pavalkis, decided to provide assistance to these volunteer students involved in the fight against coronavirus infection. Even though they are volunteers, they are taking on the risks and doing work most analogous to the workers of “medium risk” group.  Now, these students will receive payments from the Social Development Fund in the time and amount established by the State Commission for ensuring the state of emergency under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the medium risk group. 

“The guys, on their own initiative, work day and night, seven days a week, to maintain the health of citizens, and we are very grateful to the Social Development Fund for encouraging our students,” said Dinara Kozhakhmetova, head of the press center of NAO Astana Medical University.

Along with assistance to student-volunteers of Astana Medical University, the NU Social Development Fund, in partnership with the National Volunteer Network, assisted medical workers in the regions of Kazakhstan whose children were not able to do distance learning due to lack of computers.

Families for assistance were selected on the basis of data provided by the health departments and local maslikhats, based on the availability of computers in the family, as well as the general situation of the family. Most of those who received assistance from the Fund were families of nurses, nurses' aides, orderlies, and paramedics, as well as those from large families. In total, the computers were received by the children of 100 medical workers from Almaty, Aktobe, Kyzylorda regions, and Pavlodar, Kokshetau,  Shymkent, Temirtau cities.

In addition, the Fund is currently purchasing protective and diagnostic equipment for medical staff.

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The Social Development Fund, together with the NU Alumni Public Union, supported the nationwide BizBirgemiz campaign, which aims to support our compatriots who find themselves in a difficult life situation in a pandemic and quarantine. NU graduates were able to get behind this initiative because social support is one of the main missions of the Alumni Association. With the support of the Fund, and also thanks to contributions from hundreds of graduates of Nazarbayev University, 757,749 tenge were collected to purchase food packages, each in the amount of 10,000 tenge. At the moment, 75 families from socially vulnerable groups in the cities of Nur-Sultan and Almaty have already been assisted. Volunteers of the Republican Front Office also joined this initiative, delivering packages of essential goods to the addressees.

The Fund expresses unlimited gratitude to all medical workers who make a huge contribution to the fight against the spread of coronavirus infection, as well as to all concerned people who support our compatriots who need help in such a difficult period.

For other measures, including those aimed at containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, undertaken by Nazarbayev University, you can learn from our next publications.

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