Volunteering is free because it is priceless

Inspiring stories of caring

Zarina Nurmukhambetova
Aman Keleshek
UNICEF/Muldasheva

03 February 2020

UNICEF in Kazakhstan has launched two volunteer programs for passionate youth who want to work with schoolchildren to reduce the use of plastic and prevent violence in schools.

UNICEF stresses the importance of creating opportunities for young people to learn new skills, realize their ideas and help others. Below we gathered the stories of colleagues from various UN agencies in Kazakhstan who participate in and support volunteer initiatives and projects in various fields, and we hope this will inspire others to volunteer and spread kindness.

Alen Kuspanov, UNDP / UN Volunteer

I have been volunteering since school, and it has become my habit, my hobby. I regularly donate blood. I help dog shelters, physically, financially and informationally. Since 2013, I have been a member of the volunteer organization Y-PEER, which disseminates information on sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, etc. I take part in tree planting and plogging campaigns. Currently, I am also a professional volunteer – UN Volunteer.

 

Alen Kuspanov
From personal archive of Alen Kuspanov

I like helping people, animals, nature, I get spiritual satisfaction from this. I think everyone can find some time to volunteer.

Alen Kuspanov, UNDP / UN Volunteer

Arina Myasoed, UNESCO

I started my volunteer work 10 years ago. I participated in the opening of the first children's hospice in Kazakhstan, organized various events to attract funding for its construction and maintenance.

Then I began spending more time with children who had cancer. Conducted art therapy sessions, with friends fulfilled their most cherished wishes, arranged children's parties, gave lots of hugs and made friends.

Due to the tight schedule now, it is not possible to see them so often, and I am more involved in the trustee support of the children's hospice, because they have no direct funding.

Arina Myasoed
From personal archive of Arina Myasoed

I try to help them on my own so that our children's hospice can operate as long as possible. Children come here to live, not to die!

Arina Myasoed, UNESCO

Gaukhar Nursha, ESCAP

I devote a lot of time to volunteering. With the philosophy of “serving society,” I hope to raise my son in the same spirit. I enjoy providing mentorship support to young people, in particular, girls. I think that it is more difficult for girls in our society to achieve leadership positions compared to guys. Therefore, every woman with professional experience should consider helping other women in strengthening their skills.

For example, I was a mentor to a student who was just starting to develop her book exchange project to raise funds for children with cancer. I shared with her the basics of managing social projects, budgeting and PR, as well as how to build a career in the public sphere. At the same time, I tried not to act as an expert in all matters, not to impose my opinion and listen to her. This experience reinforced my mentoring skills.

Gaukhar Nursha
From personal archive of Gaukhar Nursha

I believe in ripple effect and hope that my mentee will also help other girls become professionals in their field.

Gaukhar Nursha, ESCAP

Marat Alissov, UNICEF

Once my friends and I supported the “Give a gift of warmth” campaign. We bought 200-300 bags of coal, loaded them onto KAMAZ and then unloaded them in the village of Manshuk, Akmola region (near the capital city). We were distributing fuel to needy villagers.

As the recipients of help were rejoicing at each bag of coal I began to understand that your work and contribution can make such a big difference.

 

Marat Alisov
From personal archive of Marat Alisov

Volunteering is self-socializing, because you feel a part of society, of something big, breaking out of your usual micro-environment, and receive so much positive energy in return.

Marat Alissov, UNICEF