ASIA/KAZAKHSTAN - Caritas' commitment to respond to the Covid-19 emergency

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Almaty (Agenzia Fides) - "In Kazakhstan, the state of emergency for Covid-19 has been extended until May 1st. The situation does not seem very tragic in terms of number of infections but, on a subjective level, daily life suffers: we can move around very little and many families begin to be in economic difficulty. Due to the restrictions, Caritas has a very limited range of action, but we still try to do everything possible. There are many people who, from all over the country, are asking us for help, especially through the social channels of Caritas. These are mainly old age pensioners and families in distress who have livelihood difficulties". This is what Fr. Guido Trezzani, Director of Caritas Kazakhstan tells Agenzia Fides.
The Central Asian country has exceeded a thousand infections, while 15 have died due to the coronavirus. Consequently, the containment measures, initially limited to the cities of Almaty, Nursultan and Šymkent, have been extended to the whole country. Don Trezzani further explains: "movement is really complicated, therefore, we are trying to give support to all those who are in the area of Almaty, home to the national Caritas and, at the same time, we try to put in contact those who write to us from further away with the dioceses of their area". In the city of Almaty, the missionary reports, volunteers are also operating in the pediatric wards of surgery and oncology: "In the hospital they need everything: from diapers to face masks and medicines. We are trying to collect this material and obtain permits to move around the city and deliver aid".
The director of Caritas explains that he has invited all the operators to fully live the moment: "It is a difficult period, but it can represent a great opportunity that is given to us, the Catholic community, to 'get out' of the enclosure of churches where we live and start responding to real needs. And after the critical phase, we will be able to carry on the work started, continuing to help those who need it. In the meantime, both in Talgar and in Almaty, we continue to work on the two greenhouses which, in the context of agricultural cultivation work, will allow us to employ many young people".
Training for the development of professional skills and to be included into the world of work represent, in fact, the tools most used by Caritas Kazakhstan which, in recent years, has activated, among other projects, a series of online English language courses and an initiative to bring people with Down syndrome and former drug addicts into the world of work. (LF-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 16/4/2020)