ASIA/KAZAKHSTAN - Caritas extends project for children with Down syndrome to people with other disabilities

Thursday, 12 November 2020 caritas   civil society   disabled   human promotion  

Almaty (Agenzia Fides) - The Caritas project to promote the social and professional reintegration of children with Down syndrome in Kazakhstan will be expanded to include people with other disabilities. Fr. Guido Trezzani, a missionary in Kazakhstan and National Director of Caritas Kazakhstan, emphasized this. "We are looking for a new location with a space big enough to carry out activities for all forms of disability, while also housing a center for Down syndrome research that we have been thinking about for some time. We intend to create a vocational training school for young people with disabilities, also by promoting greater involvement of entrepreneurs in spreading a culture that could offer jobs to these young people. An investment that will undoubtedly have a positive impact on our society", Fr. Trezzani explains to Fides.
In addition to the training of children, one of Caritas' priorities is the training of their educators. Fr. Trezzani says in this regard: "We could soon reach an agreement with the Ministry of Education to launch a training course dedicated to aspiring 'tutors' and support teachers. Furthermore, we are planning to have online lessons, complete courses, masters and short courses on specific topics, to be carried out through an e-learning platform". "We work every day, with a look to the future of our children and young people and wonder what we need to prepare them for, so that tomorrow they can live a life as dignified and independent as possible", concludes the missionary.
The project with children with trisomy 21, launched in 2018 on the initiative of Caritas in Almaty, has already been extended to the rest of the country: with the support of Italian specialists, seminars, lectures and specialist medical visits are periodically organized in various cities in Kazakhstan, so that parents get basic knowledge and the children's progress is monitored.
Caritas represents the operational arm of the Kazakh Church and tries with its activities to contribute to the promotion of the community and to strive for profitable cooperation with civil institutions. Catholics are a small minority in the country and constitute about 150 thousand believers, less than 1% of the 67.8% Muslim population. Overall, Christians of all denominations make up 26.5% of the population in Kazakhstan. To date there are 4 Catholic dioceses in the Central Asian country, with a total of 70 parishes and about 91 priests, including diocesans (61) and religious (30). (Agenzia Fides, 12/11/2020)