JOURNEY WITH ACN is our weekly newsletter regularly posted to our website and designed to acquaint you with the needs of the Catholic Church around the world and introducing you to various projects we have helped to bring into being together with our partners and ACN benefactors.
This week: Kazakhstan
Aid for the repair of a roof on a home for children
The town of Kapshagay has a population of around 57,000 people. To situate you, it is a few hours drive away from the capital of Almaty. In 2001, an Italian priest established a sort of Catholic centre in Kapshagay. He built a church on the edge of the town and purchased a group of houses. A congregation of Sisters who then settled in the area, began taking in children in need who were living difficult family conditions. Gradually, a Catholic community grew around the centre, and today the number of people from the town attending Mass on Sundays has also continued to grow.
For the very first time in their lives, these children are experiencing what it is to be loved, secure and life in a more structured way. They can play, study, pray together, and sometimes enjoy beautiful excursions. Since the centre is close to a lake, they can also enjoy the beauty of nature right outside their door. This is a precious experience for these children, who until now have often known nothing but misery and chaos.
This is a precious experience for these children, who until now have often known nothing but misery and chaos.
The 60 or so children who are being cared for by the Sisters have been through some pretty tough times. For example, before finding a safe haven with the Sisters, seven-year-old Ola was raped by older boys in her neighbourhood. Her father knew, but had ordered her to tell no one. Twins Rima and Ina, also seven years old, told the Sisters, “Daddy chased mummy with an axe.” Little Ania lived on the streets before she came into the Sisters safe harbour. In some cases, these children have lost their mothers, for others, the father may work miles away, or drink excessively, perhaps one or both parents have simply abandoned them completely. In many of these sad cases, the children’s parents also live on the streets, and some are drug addicts.
Many of the Sister’s former proteges have already grown up and founded families of their own. They are still in contact with the centre and with the parish community, often helping out whenever and however they can.
One of the six houses in which the children live with the Sisters is in urgent need of a new roof.
ACN is providing $ 29,700 for this end. Would you like to help with this or similar projects?