A Kazakh footprint

 By Gabriella Galloro

Working in a foreign country isn’t just about doing your job well. Once you have turned off your computer and left the office behind, you face a different challenge: the day-to-day life…

A job abroad is above all, a personal fact,  it involves discoveries, new friends, new cultures and a new land in your life.
When you enter these new realities, when you feel that even though you are in a country which is not your own but, despite that, it grows fast the feeling that you’re at home, you are ready to leave in that country your own mark. This is the spirit shared by everyone at Eni’s workplace: it’s something that struck me as soon as I began my adventure in this company and that has never faded away… today as well as it was at the time of the first exploration pioneers. So, in all the places where Eni operates, besides work, there is a commitment across a range of social issues.
Let’s then carry on telling our stories about the countries where the Six-Legged Dog has left its unmistakable footprint… welcome to Kazakhstan!
We have written extensively and used images to take you in lands so far away, where past and present merge together, where Eni’s men and women have not only brought their talents along but also their traditions, getting mixed up with those of local inhabitants. Among all of the initiatives going on, there are some particular ones, which really impressed me and that I want to tell you, are those dedicated to kids, whose only task should be that of living with lightheartedness and that instead, have to face the hardships of life in an orphanage.

Sandyktau Orphanage in Akmola Region, Kazakhstan

If we think about some of Italians’ most common traits, those which immediately dawn on our mind are warmth, seaside, and passion for football: these could also be envisioned as the key factors of this story.
Let’s start with warmth. What better way to soften the harshness of this time climate than bringing a bit of typical Italian warmth and festivity mood to the Sandyktau orphanage in Akmola, Kazakhstan. For the third year in a row, the staff has been spending several hours with the children here, organizing a New Year Best Poetry competition for them. Sweets, toys and new books have also overloaded the orphanage’s library and special prizes were assigned to the best performances in the afternoon.

Children of the Sandyktau Orphanage receive the gifts donated by Eni employees

After Christmas’ days, every child’s favorite time of the year is the summer holidays: seaside, sunshine and lots of fun bring along new friendships, that are most likely due to carry on even when summer’s over, in the winter… who, looking into his memory box, doesn’t have one or more letters treasured from a friend met during holidays? Probably the idea of welcoming Kazakh children in Eni’s summer camp set on the Italian coastal town of Cesenatico since 1999, stems from these thoughts.
Over the years, more than 3,200 Kazakh children have attended the summer camp including 160 in 2018 alone – all coming from the regions of Mangystau, Atyrau and East/West Kazakhstan.

Children ready for Eni's summer camp in Cesenatico

The year 2018 saw the debut of football: together with AC Milan, Eni organized the “AC Milan Junior Football Camp” for children of Akmola Oblast orphanages, who enjoyed a week of training sessions held by experienced Italian Youth soccer coaches. At the end of the camp, each child received a certificate of attendance at AC Milan Academy.
Working abroad mainly translates into personal growth, a growth made of new discoveries: new friends, new cultures and new land.

READ MORE: A dream in Kazakhstan by Eniday staff


about the author
Gabriella Galloro