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11/14/2003
Sacmi supports the children of Kazakhstan

This donation, obtained from funds usually destined for Christmas hampers, will finance a multi-purpose assistance centre for young orphans and the disabled.

Sacmi has decided to celebrate this coming Christmas by providing humanitarian aid with the money usually spent on hampers. The beneficiaries of this donation will be the orphaned and handicapped children living in and around Talgar, a town in Kazakhstan. The sum offered by Sacmi will, in fact, be used to part-finance renovation of an old summer camp building from the Soviet era: it will be converted into a multi-purpose assistance centre for young orphans and handicapped children, housing a rehabilitation-orthopaedic clinic and some school classrooms. This renovation is part of the ongoing “Villaggio dell’Arca” project run in Talgar by Father Guido Trezzani and the non-government Arca organisation. In Kazakhstan, providing orphans and handicapped children with care and assistance is a serious problem. High levels of unemployment and adverse social conditions have led to widespread abandonment of the newborn. “The situation is worse when children are disabled”, says Father Guido, “and it makes no difference whether the handicap is physical or mental. The fact is that the social programs of the post-Soviet state have rarely taken the disabled into account. The approach is largely one of providing straightforward assistance without evaluating the patient as a person, the aim being to satisfy some minimal basic need”. So one of the main aims of the Villaggio dell’Arca is to provide a warm reception and opportunities for work, education and the physical rehabilitation of abandoned and disabled children. The new assistance centre will also offer training courses for medical staff, teachers already working with the disabled or those interested in learning about and gaining experience in this field. The school and clinic will be opening its doors not only to the children in the village, but those in the entire surrounding area too, especially those from poor backgrounds. To find out more about Sacmi’s humanitarian efforts, see the “Social activities” section on the Events page of the website.
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