As an organization, we listen to the needs of the Almaty community and surrounding areas, respond by fully investigating the requests we receive, and afterwards distribute goods, funds, and other resources accordingly. The AIWC Charity Committee stays connected to the AIWC core charities, monitoring their progress and continuing needs.
Over the last several years the AIWC has supported key charity projects from shut-in elderly to women in prison to orphans who need homes. In recent years, the AIWC has zeroed its focus on supporting more and more charities with children, and the significant emphasis of these key projects is manifold – helping people in Kazakhstan get their children back, becoming foster parents, and, if possible even to adopt. So, we can also say that we have helped kids and parents find LOVE!
In a country where more than 75,000 children are in state-run institutions, Ark Village is helping a few to know what it is like to live in a loving home environment. Ark Village is a private orphanage located in Talgar, below the Tien Shan Mountains, and operated by Guido Trezzani (known as Father Guido). The orphanage covers an area of almost 6 hectares and was originally a summer camp for young “pioneers” during the USSR period before being abandoned in 1989. Ark Village opened their doors in June of 2000 and is today a stark contrast to the original camp.
Currently the orphanage consists of four homes, a cafeteria, a schoolhouse, medical facilities with pediatric care, speech therapist and dentist offices, and is home to 65 children of different ages and health status. The children participate in planting and harvesting their gardens, taking care of their farm animals, learning to sew and are encouraged to be artistic and creative. They also attend the local school.
The DARA Foundation mainly supports pediatric medical institutions, organizations for orphans and children with disabilities. These projects evolve around cases where children are beyond the help of their own families, state institutions, and other NGO’s. Projects are implemented in three main areas: development and education, quality medicine, cultural events.
In the last few years, it’s been a privilege for AWIC to have helped DARA build Montessori classrooms in their rehabilitation centers.
A charity organisation that offers support to shut-in elderly in Almaty. The staff at Hands of Mercy (HOM) devotedly serves 70 of these babushkas day in and day out. Each babushka’s situation can vary greatly. Some are nearly blind while others are ill or have severe physical limitations that make it very difficult, if not impossible, for them to get out. Others are simply terribly lonely without any close family member nearby to care for them. Each month, HOM brings food to the babushkas. They have a nurse on staff who purchases a month’s worth of medicine for all of the babushkas and painstakingly goes through her list, making sure each one is given exactly what she needs.
Staff members visit the babushkas according to their level of need. Some are visited just a couple of times a month, others several times a week. The staff always seek to help in whatever way they can; not only by just bringing food and medicine, but also cleaning apartments, helping with personal care, cooking a meal, washing them, giving haircuts and sometimes just providing companionship.
Adopt a Babushka is a specific program run by Hands of Mercy. Babushka translates to grandmother, but may also refer to any elderly woman. AIWC is committed to adopting/supporting at least 21 babushkas (and dedushkas – grandfathers) every year, the elderly of Almaty who don’t have family nearby and lack basic support. You can choose between adoption packages for 3, 6 and 12 months. The adoption packages ensure that those elderly are given nursing and social care, food deliveries and medication. Please note that when you ‘adopt’ a babushka, you are not expected to have the babushka live with you!
This public fund supports Central Asian women through difficult life circumstances. Their goal is to help them become strong, healthy and fully contributing members of their society. The organization helps women and children at risk with two main programs:
- Prison Outreach Program – includes a women’s prison near Almaty and the juvenile boy’s prison. They assist women and young people in each prison to build responsible and dignified lives.
- Halfway House – encourages women when released from prison to take the right steps towards building a new life by supporting them with food, clothing and temporary shelter.
Eldany Charitable Foundation
Established in 1996, Eldany focuses on the rehabilitation, psychological and adaptation help and material support for more than 700 children and youth living with conditions such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and breaches of the motor supportive apparatus.
Projects run by Eldany focus on providing alternative life activities for these children and youth. A central aim of these projects is to change the mentality of the youngsters towards themselves, and others, as well as to challenge society’s views on the problems and life activities of people living with disabilities. For example, in 2022 AIWC donated funds to the foundation to purchase a series of potters wheels so they could provide pottery workshops for the young people.