Almaty (Agenzia Fides) - Collaborative relationships between the municipal administration of Almaty, one of the main cities of Kazakhstan, and national Caritas, are intensifying, for the realization of projects dedicated to offering support to families with children suffering from Down syndrome. The director of Caritas Kazakhstan, Fr. Guido Trezzani tells Agenzia Fides: "Negotiations are underway with the Municipality of Almaty, which has promised us larger spaces, at least five hundred square meters, to completely transfer the activity with the children with trisomy 21. In fact, we want to transform what was born as a local project into a real national center dedicated to Down syndrome. We will do this by intensifying relations with specialists who follow us from Italy; by starting a database activity to be made available to the whole country for scientific work; finally, by creating a training center for young adults affected by the syndrome, with the aim of guiding them to work". This is a very important step, which marks the start of a concrete partnership between a civil institution and an entity linked to the Catholic Church. This aspect is considered particularly precious and harbinger of a wider and fruitful collaboration between the community and civil institutions and a religious community like the Catholic one, which is a minority in the country, with a large Islamic majority, with the prospect of contributing together to the common good of society and nation.
Furthermore, Almaty will represent the first step of the "One million trees" project, which Caritas wants to launch with the aim of contributing to the reforestation of the country: "This is an initiative that is not limited only to the issue of ecology, because we want to link it to the project with disabled children. The municipal administration of Almaty, in fact, will entrust us with a piece of land in a park: our children will have to take care not only of planting trees, but also of taking care of paths, benches, lights and playgrounds", explains Fr. Trezzani. Caritas has already identified potential partners among international companies based in Kazakhstan. "We hope, therefore, to be able to start with the operational phase in spring. It would be a really nice sign for Lent and for Easter", he concludes. (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 24/2/2020)