At the university, I was met by well-trained university staff and students. It is difficult even to tell what kind of enthusiasm and motivation they have presented to me about their projects and their future plans. Perhaps the most surprising is how the university promotes student entrepreneurship and student ideas. The student organization ,,Enactus‘‘ has been running for several years at the University of E.A. Buketov. Students gathered in the organisation to present their entrepreneurial ideas and try to realise them with the help of the university. I was lucky that by the time of my stay, university held an event, where I had the opportunity to hear ,,Start up‘‘ presentations which I personally consider to be the best I have ever heard. Though, besides all the national projects and student activities university was working on, I was delighted to know, that the most important one of all for the University was Social Entrepreneurship Heroes.
Kazakh, as well as Lithuanian farmers, face the same problem when the buyer often chooses a cheaper product, regardless of where it was raised or produced. This fact forced students at Karaganda E.A Buketov University to unite for a social act, as Kazakh farmers were unable to compete with farmers from Uzbekistan, Kirkizia, and Poland, who fully supplies the Kazakh market with cheaper apples. To get a better understanding on the realities of the situation, students contacted farmers in the Almaty region living in southern Kazakhstan, listened to their expectations and started organizing innitiatives. Students organized various campaigns in the city of Karaganda, promoting local fruits and encouraging the local to choose national Kazakh products. The project is yet not over and students are actively looking for investors to continue their innitiative.
Besides this project students are actively working on, Kazakhstan have a problem of emigration and ,,Enactus‘‘ team students have come up with a gift box, “Greetings from Kazakhstan”. The contents of this box, which according to the number of emigrants, misses out to go to another country. Intensive negotiations are ongoing between the ,,Enactus‘‘ and Duty free stores for further product marketing. The active members of ,,Enactus‘‘team introduced the “Learn Kazakhstan” board game for teenagers and adults, which contains questions from Kazakhtan’s history, geography, and country’s tax system. and other topics. Currently, ,,Enactus‘‘ team members are actively looking for investors who would trust the success of the project and agree to invest. The Enactus team members are definitely not in the foreground, there are still a few more projects in the pipeline and I believe that they will be successful in the future.
Later on at E.A Buketov University, I was invited to take part in presentations of students diploma works, to get acquainted with the topicalities of the country from the economic and social side, to share Lithuania’s experience. I will admit that during my internship in Kazakhstan, I had two feelings: I was fascinated by student motivation, willingness to develop, learn and share. There were also moments when I thought that I was not motivated enough, I lack the determination to take useful action, to contribute to the welfare of the mother country. The project motivated me to deepen the country’s social problems and not be indifferent to them. In addition to the positive things mentioned above, I also encountered the parts I would like to improve in the middle of the project.
One of them is the incomplete organization of activities. During the project, I wanted to see how much more diverse activities I felt it was not expedient to spend in the final theses of students of the Faculty of Economics for the whole week, perhaps to become more familiar with the country’s social problems, their solutions, opportunities for social entrepreneurship and prospects in the regions. I think that the whole week of the Faculty of Economics graduation presentations, half of which went to the unknown Kazakh language did not give me additional knowledge about the social topic.
I am very glad for E.A. Buketov University staff, students who have made every effort to familiarize themselves with the city of Karaganda. As soon as any question was raised, it was always possible to contact them. I am very grateful for the invaluable experience of assocation ,,Active Youth‘‘ for being able to participate in the project and to meet my lifes priorities.