Almaty (Agenzia Fides) - "We inhabitants of Ark Village could consider ourselves almost privileged, because we live in a six-hectare territory and we do not feel the weight of the restrictions imposed for Covid-19. Due to the fact that we have had a lot of free time in these weeks of confinement, we are dedicating ourselves to other projects, carried out in collaboration with the national Caritas. One of these concerns the construction and care of a greenhouse. It is an initiative that excites us greatly, because it could become a source of self-financing. Gradually, children are understanding its importance: before we only had a simple vegetable garden, now it is becoming a bigger commitment, to be managed with seriousness and professionalism". This is what Fr. Guido Trezzani, director of Caritas Kazakhstan and missionary in the community of the "Ark Village" in Talgar, near Almaty, tells Agenzia Fides, while in Kazakhstan the first re-openings are taking place, after the total lockdown phase, which started in early April, to contain the spread of Covid-19.
A second project, reports the missionary, involves the guests of the community in tailoring activities: "Inside the Village there is a tailor shop to which Caritas has commissioned the packaging of face masks, which we then donated to the children's surgery and oncology wards at the hospital in Almaty", says Fr. Trezzani.
On the life of the children hosted, the Director highlights: "For the inhabitants of 'Ark Village', a community that welcomes disabled children, orphans or those with family difficulties, school represents the most critical aspect in the lockdown phase. If, with the closure of schools, parents from all over the world have experienced the hard work of distance learning, these complications have multiplied for us because of the large number of school-aged children. Technological tools must be provided to all of them, but computers and the internet traffic are never enough. We follow waiting lists to give priority to those who have to do lessons and homework. It is a challenge that will continue for a few weeks. At the beginning, the children lived the obligation not to go to school with sympathy, but now they feel tired and do not always manage to obtain good results. Often, then, we have to deal with teachers who are not equipped and technically competent enough. There are many challenges, but the spirit of sharing, hospitality and solidarity in the Village continues".
Founded on June 1, 2000, the Village is home to about 70 children, orphans or families at risk, and about thirty have physical and mental handicaps. Since 2007, a medical center has been set up in the structure which has a dental, radiological and physiotherapy clinic. The first steps were taken in 1997, with the reception of the children of a state orphanage which was closing. Today, children from families destroyed by violence or alcoholism are also welcomed. (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 19/5/2020)