In Ust Kamenogorsk, the administrative centre of East Kazakhstan region, officials estimate that about 11,000 young people are unemployed. More and more jobs require IT (information technology) skills, but young people struggle to afford training. Another challenge many young Kazakhs face is that they cannot speak local languages and have limited understanding of local tradition and culture, because they are children of exiles who returned home from neighbouring countries after Kazakhstan became independent in 1991. Concerned about these issues, librarians developed the Youth IT-Yurt project.
The innovative project
The library’s project combines learning about Kazakh language, traditions and culture with information technology and job-seeking skills. A yurt - a traditional round tent used by Kazakh nomads - seemed like an ideal space for such training. In 2011, with support from the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP), the library erected a yurt in the library, equipped it with computers and wi-fi internet, and designed a training programme.
Working with the Labour and Employment Centre of Ust-Kamenogorsk, which provided information about job opportunities, and non-governmental organizations supporting youth and returnee communities, the library launched its training programme in the Youth IT-Yurt.
EIFL-PLIP project timeline
November 2011 - October 2012.
achievements and impact
In less than a year (2011/2012), the Youth IT-Yurt project helped 55 young people into employment, to develop small businesses or improve their positions at work.
The project encouraged 10 young people to enter colleges of further education.
Inspired by the project, two local authorities have set up new e-learning centres in their areas.
The project won recognition from the East Kazakhstan administration, which selected the library to manage a major grant in 2012 to create free internet access in 17 village libraries.
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