Central Asian students fundraise for Kazakhstan flood relief

Central Asian students fundraise for Kazakhstan flood relief

The Central Asian Student Association (CASA) raised around $2,000 while tabling at White Plaza last Thursday to fundraise aid for people affected by recent floods in Kazakhstan. 

Over 100,000 Kazakhs have been forced to evacuate their homes because of extreme flooding in the country since late March.

Last winter, regions in the north, east and west of Kazakhstan experienced unusually heavy snowfall. As summer approached, rapid rises in temperature caused the snow to melt quickly, contributing to flooding in combination with unusually heavy rainfall. The floods have submerged many cities and destroyed infrastructure. 

CASA is partnering with Kazakhs United, a nonprofit dedicated to humanitarian aid, disaster relief, community outreach and education for Kazakhstan, to create an extensive flood relief program. All donations will go to charity organizations in Kazakhstan that are directly helping families affected by the floods. 

“We’re working with companies in the Bay Area that do donation matching,” said CASA President Bex Abylkhani, a second-year Ph.D. student in energy science and engineering. “So this event is our fundraiser’s initiation; we are starting at Stanford but the campaign will continue until we reach our goals.”

CASA aims to reach $100,000 through their collaborative fundraising campaign. 

“We are also partnering with Central Asian groups from companies throughout the Bay Area to work toward relief efforts,” said Aivar Abrashuly, a third-year Ph.D. student in electrical engineering and vice president of CASA.

The effects of Kazakhstan’s floods have rippled throughout the Central Asian community at Stanford.

“Some students from Stanford have had relatives be impacted by the flooding,” Abylkhani said. “Our friends, even friends of our friends, have been impacted.” 

University spokesperson Luisa Rapport wrote in an email to The Daily that the Dean of Students Office generally reaches out to students who have home addresses in regions affected by natural disasters. Students in need of support can also connect with the Graduate Life Office, Residential Education’s student support operation or the Bechtel International Center. 

Stanford has not yet sent out any emails regarding the floods to affected students, according to Abylkhani, but CASA has reached out to the Bechtel International Center to help spread awareness about the crisis and to inform students about the fundraising event. 

The fundraiser is one of the first events CASA has organized. Two weeks ago, the association participated in Bechtel International Center’s event Fire on Fire, a celebration of food from different ethnic communities at Stanford. Students from CASA shared dishes such as Uzbek plov with over 200 members of the Stanford community. 

Along with sharing their culture with the wider Stanford community, CASA hopes to create a home away from home for international students from the region. 

“We want to spread our culture,” said Abylkhani. “Historically, there haven’t been many people from our region at Stanford, but we realized that there are now enough of us that we can organize events. We want to connect with more Central Asian students around the Bay Area.” 

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