The Ark Village Bulletin September October 2016

Emanuela De Vecchi Tuesday 22 November, 2016 | Bulletin


Ark Village - New life for the tailor atelier

Mila’s departure to Italy left a void in the tailoring workshop. Now under Tanya’s supervision, our group of young tailors are carrying on what they learned during their months of apprenticeship with Mila. They are bringing renewed abilities and creativity to meet Ark Village needs like refreshing the furniture and linens. In fact, in the past few weeks we decided to renovate the dining room chairs that had become outrageously worn. No sooner was it said, than it was done! Under Anvar’s direction, a group of volunteers went from simply curious, to completely enthusiastic, and refurbished all the chairs.

Ark Village - Young artisan at work

Young artisan at work

It seems we may have celebrated our new gas heating system too soon. After several battles, seemingly unending paperwork, and always new administrative issues, finally all seemed completed.  All permits and work to attach the internal gas pipe system to the city gas line was done. Heating fuel has always been the heaviest of our costs and the biggest source of worries each winter. We were so excited that the entire heating system was adjusted to the new requirements, including new boilers, heating centers, and a security system and it was now ready to use. But, when the moment came, there was no gas and worst of all, nobody can tell us why or when they are going to do something about it.

Unfortunately, winter does not wait and it has already entered our homes.  We had to reach out to all our contacts to gather a supply of fuel to use the old heating system which, providentially, we decided to keep for emergencies. Now we just hope that emergencies will not become the norm.

Ark Village - Jellow gas piepes

The snow falls on the new yellow pipes but still no gas for the Ark Village

While we were coming to terms with the “fuel emergency” we had an unexpected arrival of six more children, some very young. While unexpected, it was certainly not surprising.  Our experience over the past few years has taught us that the beginning of the school year and the beginning of the winter season brings parents and families to ask for our help in caring for and raising their children.

Existing Ark Village residents and newcomers

Existing Ark Village residents and newcomers celebrate the arrival of fall together

Given that it’s unlikely that this trend will slow down anytime soon, we continue our effort to create those conditions so well expressed in the Happy Child foundation slogan: “Every child must live in a family”. In order to do that, our Center continues offering its support to troubled families, starting with those whose children live at the Ark Village, attempting to create and improve the conditions at home to allow a child to rejoin his/her parents or relatives.

Our commitment has been officially recognized by the local administrations and other associations, and they have now entrusted us to manage the training school for adoption and foster parents. In reality, this job was already done in our center but now it has acquired a more official mandate and function. The work and professionality of our team has become more legitimate and their hard work has certainly been recognized. This is further evidenced by the fact that our team was invited as experts to the yearly symposium held in Astana for foster parents and “mentors”.  This symposium serves as a preparatory step for those considering either to adopt or to foster a child.

Ark Village brings testimony to the Astana forum

The Ark Village brings its testimony to the Astana annual forum

We had to wait 16 years but it was worth it. Finally, beyond all the theories on inclusive education, many nice speeches, programs and conferences in which we listened to what should be done; after 16 years, we have been able to have Maxim enrolled in a public school.

Ark Village - Maxim at school

Congrats Maxim! Hope you are the first of many

We have nearly reached the final phase of an energy and cost saving project organized and supported by Caritas Almaty for Ark Village. The project was sponsored by a German organization called Renovabis and included the replacement of indoor and outdoor lights with LED lamps and bulbs and the installation of a photovoltaic system.

The first phase has already been completed and will significantly reduce the energy consumption while the second phase, to be completed shortly, should make the Ark Village almost self-sufficient in regards to electrical energy.  A special thank you obviously goes to our friends at Renovabis and to Mr. Leonardo Nozza, an engineer friend who designed the project and closely followed the choice of material and technical execution of the entire plan through each phase.

Clean energy at the Ark Village

Clean energy, now at the Ark Village, thanks to “Renovabis”

As per tradition, we had the fall show organized by our friends from Almaty animation group and birthday celebrations in which our Siemens company friends invited the clowns from the “good mood” association. It was great to see the enthusiasm and happiness in the children’s eyes, especially those newly arrived and participating in these celebrations for the first time.

Party time at the Ark Village

Party time at the Ark Village

Party time at the Ark Village

The Ark Village Bulletin – Seventeenth Year – n. 185 – September October 2016


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