Active charity work done by Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation in the sector of children’s health care is long and well known in Kazakhstan. And today the name of Bulat Utemuratov, the founder of this organisation, is again a buzzword as Burabike, a charity bike ride, has just ended. All Burabike contributions will be used to procure medical equipment for the children’s units of rural and district hospitals in four oblasts of the country: in the Zhambyl, North Kazakhstan, Almaty and Karaganda Oblasts of Kazakhstan. This event has been held for the sixth time now and, judging by the fantastic atmosphere prevailing at this festivity of good deeds, the tradition will be continued.
Bulat Utemuratov is a dedicated adherent of family values, a husband, a father of two sons and a daughter, triple grandfather, and at the same time the richest entrepreneur in Kazakhstan. Such a status of Utemuratov, his life views, sense of his responsibility before the society, and almost unlimited opportunities led him to system well-thought decisions in the sectors of child welfare, culture, education, sports development and health of children.
A network of rehabilitation centres for children with autistic spectrum disorders has been successfully functioning, and the Association of Parents of ICP Children has been getting assistance for several years in Kazakhstan. These centres established by Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation allow for hundreds of children timely to get professional pedagogical support in line with best practices, communicative skills and an opportunity for socialisation. The programme also helps teachers and parents not to miss the time window for effective assistance to children and to open up a whole world to them.
British Haileybury Schools in Kazakhstan are yet another philanthropic project of Bulat Utemuratov and his partners created for children. A large-scale tennis programme for schoolchildren and preschoolers is aimed at strengthening the children’s health and popularisation of sports.
But the real mass support in the country is given to the annual fundraiser for children’s hospitals – the charity sports event Burabike. Bulat Utemuratov, the Burabike idea inspirer, has been supporting it for the sixth consecutive year and this festival of good deeds is in progress from year to year and gets a warm response in the hearts of Kazakhstanis.
Brief history of Burabike 2013–2017
Bulat Utemuratov’s charity bike ride was held for the first time in 2013, in a reserved lake area in the north of Kazakhstan, in the beautiful recreation zone Borovoye. Organisers of this event were the Rixos Borovoe Resort Hotel and Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation. First 130 participants of Burabike included businessmen, bankers of a whole range of Kazakhstani financial institutions, government structure officials and employees of foreign companies working in the country. The initiative was joined by sportsmen as well, in particular by Olympic champion Alexander Vinokurov, and later – by Tour-de-France winner Vincenzo Nibali. That year the total eleven and a half million tenge were raised to help newborns in the perinatal centre of Kokshetau. But this was just the beginning, five years later the number of racers grew almost 20 times and over 2,000 people.
In 2014 the financial outcome of the fundraiser was already reaching 90 mln tenge, in 2015 it rose beyond 100 mln, and it was for the first time that children took part in the race alongside the adults – the action started getting a family nature. Next year this result was repeated, and in 2017 this event of Bulat Utemuratov raised the record 168 mln tenge. In 2018 the proceeds overcame the threshold of 200 mln tenge. These funds comprise of individual contributions made by the bike ride participants, corporate donations of sponsor companies and receipts from the charity auction organized as part of the event.
Auction items – pieces of art, sports bicycles, travel tours, celebrity autographs and a lot more – are also provided by the participants, sponsors, other interested people and organisations. Funds raised during Burabike grow year by year, as well as the number of participants does. All the more rank-and-file Kazakhstanis understand the importance of such an event and join the charity initiative of Bulat Utemuratov – the popularity of the Burabike bike ride is growing sweepingly. In all, for the five years of this bicycle race, over 677 mln tenge have been raised for medical treatment and rehabilitation of children: for buying equipment and devices for children’s hospitals, rehabilitation centres for disabled children, perinatal centres, and for purchasing furniture, transport vehicles, equipping children’s playgrounds and spaces at orphanages across the country. The full list of children’s institutions receiving charity assistance from Bulat Utemuratov is available freely on his Foundation website.
Charity bike ride in 2018
Like in the previous years, the bike ride was held on 30 August on the picturesque shores of the Lake Shuchie, at the Rixos resort. And again people came in entire families – Bulat Utemuratov’s charity initiative attracted many caring people. The Burabike-2018 registration fee was 5,000 tenge per person and was free for children under 12. But this year the route scope did not allow for accepting all requests, and the registration was stopped when the number of e-requests went over 2,000. This is twice more in comparison with 2017.
All guests of the event were provided with comfortable Astana-Shuchinsk and return transfer services and two-time meals. Organisers did not forget about bicycles of the participants and arranged for special cargo vehicles. By the way, it was possible to rent a bike for taking part in the race right on the location.
In its sixth year, this fundraiser initiated by Bulat Utemuratov and his partners turned into a bright festival, and the family, sports and music celebration. Besides the bicycle race itself, all and everyone found something to do irrespectively of the age or interests. Kids and adults enthusiastically took part in games, various masterclasses, engaging competitions and the lottery arranged by the Rixos Hotel animators. Youngsters danced to the tracks of Kazakhstani groups КешYOU, Las Vegas, LampЫ Orchestra. Many people just walked, enjoyed outdoor recreation, relaxed on the grass drinking tea. And all who wished did manage to take pleasure of the exciting tricks of extreme sportsmen in the Wake-Park located in the resort territory and to buy a souvenir at the charity fair. A mass picnic was a bonus from the Hotel.
Items of the traditional auction this year were paintings and drawings by children with autistic spectrum disorders studying at the Assyl Miras profile autism centres of Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation.
Absolutely all attendees noted an incredible spirit of the good, a luminous aura of engagement in well-doing and unity prevailing at Burabike-2018. The final outcome of the action in monetary terms comprised the record 205 mln tenge. And the assistance recipients are already known. In 2018 these are:
1. Agadyr Rural Hospital;
2. Alakol District Hospital;
3. Central District Hospital of Timiryazevo;
4. Maternity Home in Panfilovo village;
5. Merke Central District Hospital.
All cyclists got commemorative medals, prizes and gifts. Average participants of the race, who had neither sports achievements nor serious training, spent over 3 hours to cover the distance. Weather-beaten professional racers came to the finish much faster. And some could make just a part of the route. But Olympic records are not important in Bulat Utemuratov’s Burabike, the winners here are unhealthy children who will get certain, vitally important targeted assistance, and every guest and participant of this large-scale action perceives himself as a winner right from the beginning and feels the need to continue with new good deeds.
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