A two-day event will discuss challenges faced by children in urban areas; they will include a Hackathon and roundtables on innovation.

Girl in a Turkish language class in a refugee camp in southern Turkey
Girl in a Turkish language class in a refugee camp in southern Turkey

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Kazakhstan will host a two-day event on Innovation and Technology for Children at Astana EXPO 2017. On the 18th and 19th of August, international and local experts in technology, innovators and entrepreneurs will join thought leaders and members of the academia, along with public sector officials to discuss the challenges faced by children growing up in cities.

On the 18th of August, young programmers from Astana, Almaty and other Kazakhstan cities will compete in a hackathon entitled “Innovating for children in an Urban World”. Participants will offer prototype solutions to children’s challenges in urban areas that range from tackling air pollution and improving safety to providing accessible transportation and safer streets for children.

Adolescent girls use cellphones and tablets in the Za’atari camp for Syrian refugees
Adolescent girls use cellphones and tablets in the Za’atari camp for Syrian refugees

The 19th of August will organize talks on “Advancing the Rights of Children through Innovation” and will gather international speakers from UNICEF, Google.org (Google’s charitable arm), Project Connect (global mapping project on schools’ internet connectivity), the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and Youth Policy Labs (a global think-tank on youth) to share their expertise on expanding opportunities for children and youth through innovation.

UNICEF Talks will also feature promising change-makers, start-ups, corporate and public sector pioneers from Kazakhstan who will discuss challenges and opportunities in the country’s emergent innovation ecosystem.

UNICEF innovation for children at Astana Expo

Time: 09:30-18:00

Date: 18 – 19 August 2017

Place: Creative Energy Pavillion, Expo

Speakers: International speakers from UNICEF, Google.org (Google’s charitable arm), Project Connect (global mapping project on schools’ internet connectivity), The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and Youth Policy Labs (a global think-tank on youth).

The Horyou’s 4th Edition of SIGEF will take place during EXPO 2017 Astana, in Kazakhstan. The Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum will discuss Future Energy, Smart Cities, SDGs, and lead official delegation to EXPO 2017 Astana. More information on www.sigef2017.com and consult agenda or register your attendance.

One of the youngest and fastest-growing capitals in the world, Astana, in Kazakhstan, impresses by its landscapes, as well as its warmhearted people and state of the art architecture.

Astana is one of the fastest-growing capitals in the world
Astana is one of the fastest-growing capitals in the world

A major oil, coal, uranium and gas producer, Kazakhstan faces a good challenge in showing the world how to promote alternative energies in a global warming scenario as until September, Expo 2017 will attract around 95 countries and up to 5 million visitors. The event structure includes 80,000 personnel and a 173 hectares for the pavilions. Participants will have the chance to be presented with a wide variety of projects from companies and countries on the subjects of renewable sources of power, conscious consumption and technology.

It is in that context that the host city for Expo 2017 will be welcoming tourists, government officials, entrepreneurs and scientists to the biggest gathering on energy in the world this year. One of its most important side events will be SIGEF 2017, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum by Horyou. It will contemplate Future Energy, Smart Cities and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Astana has been preparing for the event for years, not only by building infrastructure but also by committing to provide its visitors with an overall good experience that minimizes the impact on the environment. One good example is the agreement signed a year ago with the International Labor Organization, regarding sustainable tourism, whereby the country commits to promote green energy solutions in hotels and to organize a conference on tourism and future energy.

Since it is the first time that an exhibition of this kind is taking place in a former Soviet Union country and Middle Asia Region, the organizers are eager to show more than expected from a world class fossil fuel producer. “We already use these technologies in the construction of buildings for the exhibition: embedded photovoltaic panels, installed wind turbines and geothermal systems,” said Aydar Marat, representative of the Astana EXPO-2017 committee.

The Horyou’s 4th Edition of SIGEF will take place during EXPO 2017 Astana, in Kazakhstan. The Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum will discuss Future Energy, Smart Cities, SDGs, and lead official delegation to EXPO 2017 Astana. More information on www.sigef2017.com and consult agenda or register your attendance.

The United Nations Development Program, in partnership with “MEGA Silk Way”, Künde, “Public association of disabled people “Bakyt” and the Medical Center of Mental Health, have organized a crowdfunding campaign to open a coffee shop in Astana that promotes the integration of people with special needs. The coffee shop is Künde Café, an inclusive socially responsible café in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Students of Nazarbayev University promote events to raise funds and awareness to the project
Students of Nazarbayev University promote events to raise funds and awareness to the project

Künde Café is an innovative social entrepreneurship projects that offers work opportunities to people with mental or special development needs, in order to better integrate them in society.

The project started one year ago in collaboration with the Astana Medical Center of Mental Health, providing opportunities to people with special needs who are part of the Medical Industrial Workshops. One of the partners is Künde, a network comprised of 102 workshop personnel, their parents and friends, as well as psychologists and psychiatrists, along with students of Nazarbayev University and catering professionals.

Besides raising funds for the project, the campaign aims to increase awareness of the issues that people with mental and development needs face everyday. A concert was held within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whose core message is to ‘Leave No One Behind’ and thus help provide good health and well-being, decent work and economic growth, and reduce inequalities, wherever they are needed.

Promotion piece about the café
Promotion piece about the café

“When given an opportunity, people with special needs can become fully included into the society, and bring in transformative ideas, great knowledge and a wealth of experience. UNDP has been working to create and promote such opportunities for people with special needs for a long time and in over 170 countries around the world“, stated UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Norimasa Shimomura.

“My aim is to work in the social café, get on my feet, make money, and improve my quality of life. I want to achieve all of that by myself. I would like to create a family. My goal is to achieve all of that and not give up,” declared Kuanysh Nogaibayev, one of the future workers at Künde Café.

To date, approximately 600,000 people with special mental needs live in Kazakhstan. Less than 3% of those people have jobs. When launched, Künde Café will give them an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families, to socialize, and to successfully integrate into society.

If you would like to support this campaign, become a part of Künde’s success story, and be a donor, go to this link.

News from Astana is a content project by Horyou, the social network for social good and host of SIGEF 2017, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum. The 4th edition of SIGEF will take place in Astana, Kazakhstan, from 5-7 September.

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A two-day event will discuss challenges faced by children in urban areas; they will include a Hackathon and roundtables on innovation. The United Nations Children’s...