The theme for International Women's Day 2023 centers on DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. In Kazakhstan, the digital solutions supported by UN Volunteers, Dilyara Begalykyzy and Gulzada Jekebayeva bring gender, mental health and technology in the spotlight. Both Kazakh nationals, driven by their innate volunteer spirit, serve in projects ranging from digital labs to social protection.
Dilyara Begalykyzy is a student at Nazarbayev University in Political Science and International Relations. She serves as a UN Youth Volunteer Event Planning Assistant at the UNDP Accelerator Lab.
One of the most meaningful innovations for our society is the family social card. It allows the Government of Kazakhstan to define a family's social category and arrange the relevant social payments. A great example of how innovation can provide digital solutions for social problems," says Dilyara.
Dilyara coordinated events during the national knowledge week. The outcomes of the week included knowledge-based solutions aimed at improving the country's economy and the overall betterment of society.
Dilyara Begalykyzy, UN Youth Volunteer Event Planning Assistant (second from right) with colleagues at the UNDP Accelerator Lab. @ UNDP, 2023.
Gulzada Jekebayeva, a national UN Volunteer Expert with UNDP possesses more than 20 years of experience in social protection. She coordinates a team of three UN Volunteers at the Center for Vocational Rehabilitation for Persons with Disabilities in Nur-Sultan. UN Volunteers organize job fairs for persons with disabilities, conduct psychological and vocational training, and vocational rehabilitation.
Among the applicants at the Center, more than 50 per cent are person with Group I and II disabilities, including mental disabilities. So far 70 per cent of the applicants were able to find jobs or become entrepreneurs. And out of 256 persons with disabilities who applied, 102 are now employed, 74 got vocational training and 18 started their own businesses.
Gulzada Jekebayeva (third from right) along with the team from the Center for Vocational Rehabilitation for Persons with Disabilities and the team from United Nations Volunteers programme at the Central Asian Volunteers Forum in Kazakhstan. @ UNV, 2022.
The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention. A volunteer's way is always a road of kindness!" says Gulzada on what volunteerism means to her and her team members.
In 2022, UN Volunteers serving with UNDP received UNV country awards for their outstanding support for UN country operations in Kazakhstan.
Dilyara Begalykyzy UN Youth Volunteer Event Planning Assistant (left) receives UN country award from Arthur Van Diesen, UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan. @ UNV, 2022.