District 5190 Newsletter Oct 2015

Open World Kazakhstan Delegation to Nevada City Rotary

September 25 – October 3, 2015

Five young, enterprising entrepreneurs from Kazakhstan spent a very full week September 25 - October 3, 2015 in Northern California hosted by Nevada City Rotary.  The delegates included small business owners, directors of private and public entrepreneur service agencies, a cultural facilitator and an interpreter.

The Kazakh delegation was sponsored by the Open World Leadership1 Center, an international cultural exchange program run by the US Congress for countries of the post-Soviet era.  Rotary and hundreds of other service organizations, colleges and civic groups act as host agencies.  The Nevada City delegation is the first Open World delegation from Kazakhstan to be hosted by Rotary.

Modern Kazakhstan, in the heart of Eurasia, is home to a rich and diverse culture representing 130 nationalities. Its ancient history was shaped by the Silk Road trade route and the military campaigns of legendary leaders such as Alexander the Great and Genghis Kahn.  Since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the country has embarked on an ambitious program to diversify its economy and modernize.  The Open World Program serves this end. The intention of the Nevada City delegation was to exchange ideas and information about success factors and public-private partnerships to support entrepreneurs and small businesses.

During their visit the delegation met with local businesses leaders, state and local government officials, and entrepreneur service providers.  Nevada County executive staff hosted a business roundtable with County Supervisors, department heads and business leaders exploring many facets of starting and operating successful businesses in Nevada County.  The delegation toured a variety of businesses from high tech television broadcast to emerging food services.  The group also visited Pride Industries to explore a special interest in employment opportunities for people with disabilities.  The group was delighted to be interviewed live on KVMR radio by Rotarian Michael Young.  

Side trips included sightseeing in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Lake Tahoe.  Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world so for most of the group seeing the Pacific was their first time ever in an ocean. Their open hearted, infectious enthusiasm captured the hearts of Rotarians and our community.  At our farewell dinner, the delegates referred to their Rotary hosts as “adopted parents.” 

Nevada City Rotarians Carolyn Feuille, pP Nancy Kemp and P Dave Bunje were project coordinators.  Read more about the Nevada City delegation and the Open World Leadership1 Program in Open World Kazakhstan Special Edition Rotario2. See video at https://animoto.com/play/pNVVdeUBebSHKdenrSZRdg

1 http://www.openworld.gov/


Submitted by

Robin Milam
Rotary Club of Nevada City