The Ark project is the result of the cooperation of:

  • UchrezhdeniJe Kovcheg, the Ark institution based in Almaty, Kazakhstan, which manages and coordinates the Ark Village.
  • Associazione Arca Italia Onlus, the Ark association based in Milan, Italy, working in fund raising activities.

The Ark

The Ark institution, a non-governmental, non-profit, was established in 1997 and when we started
our volunteer activities in some orphanages in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Sometime later, a Foundation
was registered and a house in Almaty was purchased to welcome and host the first children. Finally, the recording of the present legal status, Uchrezhdenije Kovcheg, by the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan was done in 2000, and then the opening of the Ark Village, in Talgar.

Il Villaggio dell'Arca

We already had, from the very beginning, the idea of a village, since we started our commitment towards the children coming from the state orphanages. There was such a gap between their needs and what we could offer as “help”, that any pretension of changing the world could be destroyed.  We have to give ourselves limits, I said, when a group of people, who already worked in the education system and already knew the reality of the orphans, asked me for help. Step by step, after having joined forces, during the following years we realized what was the substance of these children’s life, the conditions in which they were living, what prospects they had for the future. We started with a group of fifteen children or less, housing them just during the weekend and later full time. From here, the inseparable idea of the family was a starting point, then “big family“, and later, “village“.

The ideal of the village is always with us, because we believe that a lonely hero is not enough,
but there is the need of an environment, of people who meet because they already have something in common, or someone  who feels involved, attracted by something that he likes, as we did at the beginning. If I like the idea, then I will take part in it.

Why this new website for the Ark ?

Thanks to the “live presentation” of the Village and to the several options that the new website provides, you don’t have to enter into certain categories to share, to participate, but you can choose and this allows you to get to the heart of a project. You, as an individual or as a group, or as a company. The important thing is that everyone recognizes himself in a larger reality, an entity made up of people with a common ideal, where everyone, each one as far as he can, can and feels himself involved. All this then, to help others to be and to be recognized as persons.

Il Villaggio dell'Arca

Is there something similar to the Ark operating in Kazakhstan ?

During the last years private companies have started to support disabled children living at home,
with temporary daytime rehabilitative and recreational activities, 3/5 hours a day. There are not so many residential organizations, like us, where we completely take care of the children.

Il Villaggio dell'Arca

Is there any chance for the Village to predict a change with more certainty for the children and therefore, for those who run it ?

The Ark Village was established and up today keeps going on donations from individuals, companies and a network of friends that, in the beginning were only made of Italians. Then, on the way, friends from other countries and more and more local friends have met at different times and in different ways and have joined us. This is a phenomenon that makes us immensely pleased for several reasons. First of all because we are realizing that in Kazakhstan, mostly among the younger generations – it is growing more and more the consciousness of a common jointly responsibility within the so-called “social problems”. Moreover, the enthusiasm with which our Kazak friends are involved in some projects and in the large project that is the village itself, make us hopeful that we will increasingly be able to rely on the financial support coming from local benefactors.

It remains extremely important and irreplaceable the Italian and other European countries participation in the permanent presence of professionals specialized in the medical, educational
and social rehabilitation.

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