Together we make the winter warmer

The Warm Winter project has been starting for many years at Nazarbayev University in anticipation of cold winter weather. Under this project, children from socially vulnerable sectors of the population are supplied with warm winter clothes. Any person can take part in the action, for this you only need to gather a group of people who will help to fully prepare one child for the winter (warm clothes, boots, etc.). Each such group is assisted by special student coordinators. Help can also be provided in the form of the purchase of products, necessary household appliances, the purchase of coal for the winter, etc.
Today our interviewee is a member of the Children’s Development Foundation Public Fund Sofya Imanbaeva, a 3rd-year student at the School Humanities and Social Sciences. She told us about the history of the project, how it is being implemented, how many children the project has already managed to help during its implementation.

– I’ll start with how this idea was born. Annually, since 2010 the university’s student fund organizes a mentoring program for children from socially vulnerable groups. In the early years, there were free lessons where NU students trained children for entrance exams at NIS, BIL, RSMPH and local universities. Now every weekend students organize and conduct courses where volunteers teach mathematics, English and logic for students in the 5th grade, as well as chemistry, biology and physics for students in the 10th grade. Last year alone, for example, 94 students of NU participated in this project on a voluntary basis as mentors.

At the same time, students noticed that children attending these classes massively missed lessons in the winter. As it turned out, the reason for this was that in the winter, children could not easily get to the place of study due to the lack of warm clothes. And in order to solve this problem, it was decided to organize this project. And in order to ensure the transparency of the spending of funds raised during the project, it was suggested that people collect the money themselves, buy the necessary things, and our student club will carry out general coordination of this process. Since then, for the sixth time (since 2014), the project has been successfully implemented. In order for us to help as many children as possible and provide them with winter clothes before the harshest winter weather the project starts in October and lasts until the beginning of December.

 If we talk about the results, then in 2014-2017, 337 children from 117 families were provided with warm clothes thanks to our project, in 2018, 140 children from 40 families received assistance in preparing for winter. The results of this year have not yet been summed up, but now we can say that about 200 children received the necessary support from the project participants, including, in addition to students, teachers, employees of the university and its subsidiaries.

I would like to add that not only the NU community but also many third-party organizations supported our project from the very beginning. So, it was important for us, first of all, to search for families who need winter clothes. Various public funds helped us in this, this year, for example, we worked with PF Zamandas.

The Bolt transport platform supported our project by providing 60 free taxi rides. On December 8, a concert will be held at Shoreditch with the participation of local groups in support of our project, the proceeds from which will be used to buy warm clothes to those children who have not yet received help. Thanks to Rotary Club Astana, this year 10 children received warm clothes. In addition, some graduates of our university who remain members of our foundation continue to support this initiative, expanding the geography of support for children from low-income groups of the population, and this year they and their colleagues provided clothes for about 10 of these children in Almaty.

In addition, our student club is the organizer of the Garage Sale – the sale of things that were donated by the university community to charity and are in good condition. At the fair, you can buy books, stationery, jewellery, watches, hats, scarves, electronic devices and much more. We periodically invite various stores to participate in the fair.

In the last academic year, we collected more than 830,000 tenge, which we then donated to treat people in need of medical services.