Building future for young generation


Zhuldyz Maldybaev lives in a small area of Pavlodar region , in her 23 she became a leader of local community and won a local election campaign chappionned by UNDP.

Zhuldyz always wanted to see her village as prosperous, and the youth in it purposeful and with the baggage of plans. To do this, she gathered activists, held meetings with villagers and organized cultural events. But it wasn’t enough for real mobilization of young people because she didn’t have the widescale initiative and support from stakeholders.

Highlights

  • During the project trainings were organized in 6 cities for the representatives of 10 regions of Kazakhstan
  • More than 500 rural young people have been trained during interactive workshops "I choose"
  • More than 4,000 voters took part in on-line elections in virtual Maslihat
  • The uniqueness of the project is in the usage of advanced information technologies in education of the electorate: interactive trainings, computer games, electronic voting, which, along with the legal knowledge help the participants develop communication and leadership skills and the ability to form a political position

And only with the starting of the project “Enhancement of Electoral Awareness and inclusive democratic development of the Kazakhstani society”, in which Zhuldyz found her true ally, she was able to forward her leadership potential for something to arouse the interest of young people to important issues such as the development of active citizenship and participation in the electoral processes.

It all started with a seminar on electoral matters where Zhuldyz was invited. The workshop brought together more than a hundred activists from the districts of Pavlodar region. It was evident that each participant represented some values and had big ambitions.

The seminar "I choose" was held in the form of game workshop where participants familiarized with the electoral laws of the country and learned about opportunities to realize their constitutional right "to be elected" and elect themselves through role playing, brainstorming sessions, presentations and spontaneous talk show. The main objective of the workshop was to arouse the interest of young people to the electoral topics.

Training participants were divided into two teams, each team was represented by one the candidate and his headquarters. The key roles were distributed by drawing lots, Zhuldyz got the main role - the chief of staff.

She saw in it a good start and took over command of the entire staff of advisors, agents, observers and experts.

"Maybe in our daily life we have no time to think about the elections. But this workshop in very lively and interesting manner told us about how you can build your campaign and participate in the election race. In one day, we rallied and lit up the idea of ​​elections."

According Zhuldyz, it was a real election race. Each stage of the race contained all of steps, which are undertaken in a real campaign. Thus, the participants developed and defended the candidate's election platform, invented ingenious ways to gain the attention of the audience and their votes, participated in a television talk show with questions from the audience, sometimes difficult and compromising. The culmination of the program was the elections themselves, which were attended by over 100 participants. Zhuldyz’s team won. The active position of Zhuldyz allocated her as a person with great leadership potential among peers.

A director of the School of Management of Pavlodar, Gulnara Isenova noticed it and invited later Zhuldyz to participate in election race in a virtual Youth Maslihat Pavlodar region. Zhuldyz agreed.

The idea of that elections was the fact that young candidates participate in a full-scale campaign in the virtual Youth Maslihat. They had one month on campaigning. During that time, they had to develop a pre-election program, place a biography and the election platform on a special website umitker.kz, conduct propaganda campaign in their villages, persuade young people to take part in the forthcoming elections and pay for candidates their votes.

For Zhuldyz these tasks were easy. Zhuldyz as chairman of the Youth Public Union "Kenzhekol zhastary" gathered young asset of their village and told them about the initiative. Young people liked the idea, especially because the elections should have taken place on the internet and that every voter would teach the procedure of on-line voting. At a time when access to the Internet in rural areas is not for everyone and not all of the people had their mailbox, that prospect seemed to them attractive.

Thus, together with like-minded persons Zhuldyz started active propaganda campaign: they pasted campaign posters, organized public gatherings, where Zhuldyz presented her electoral program. As the main points of the program she highlighted the employment of rural youth, housing and engaging young people to public events. During the meetings, young people approved her program, but skeptics often asked, "what will we get for this?" Zhuldyz answered that the project was aimed to help rural youth voice for their interests and proceed to action: "If we only criticize and do nothing, nothing will change. But if we start showing our potential, activity and interest then with the support of such projects we will be able to create gradually an effective tool for solving different problems." And it looks like her words were heard.

On the day of elections, more than 600 people voted for Zhuldyz. She didn’t It look after  number of votes given for her and instead she was running in the computer class of rural school helping voters properly go through all the procedures of on-line voting.

Looking back, Zhuldyz realizes that her victory is the result of a system of daily work throughout the month. Despite of the passivity of youth, lack of zeal for active citizenship, she managed to spark their interest in this initiative.

Zhuldyz recalls how her grandparents every time on election day get up at seven in the morning and go to the polls. For them, this is the golden rule. For today's youth elections is not the priority. Zhuldyz said that such youth initiatives had shown that our young people could be interested and involved. Importantly, it was offered for them exciting and innovative approaches, and that was done in the framework of the project: the youth was suggested an innovative system of electronic voting, funny workshops, developed interactive computer games, and training electoral technologies. All this has enabled the rural youth to soak in one breath, and active. As a result, we see that more than 10% of the population of the village Baydaev in 6000 people gave their votes for Zhuldyz.

While the numbers are small, however, for Zhuldyz it means much more than just calculation. Earlier it seemed that the elections – was complicated and unreal process, but today she has a clear view of the elective procedures, she knows where and how she can apply her constitutional rights, and has  already had experience in the nomination of candidates.

This experience gave her perception that she had the right to be elected to representative bodies, the right to represent and defend the interests of her village, and most importantly - the right to inspire and mobilize the interest of young people in the electoral process and raise the participation in the life of the country. Zhuldyz is not going to stop and knows that she has bright future with great prospects.

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