ASTANA – The annual Diplomatic Christmas Charity Bazaar, sponsored by the Ambassadors’ Spouses Association, offered capital residents a chance to purchase souvenirs, gifts and special items from throughout the world. The Dec. 4 event raised 36.7 million tenge (US$110,000) to fund local charities.
Nearly 35.4 million tenge (US$106,270) was distributed among 52 charitable projects and one million tenge (US$3,000) returned to charity organisations that participated in the event, the organisers announced at the Dec 14 ceremony held at the Radisson Hotel. The funds, collected through entrance fees, raffle tickets and sales, were sufficiently more than in the previous years.
“I am sure that this type of activity of the Ambassadors’ Spouses Association greatly encourages families with ill children and us as well. We feel their attention and their concern. It is extremely important for such families. I can say that this attitude and care is much more important than financial support. I consider that there are still different stereotypes in our society and parents of ill children still feel them and are uncomfortable. But when they know that such people as representatives of the ASA club take part in their life, easing raising ill children and assisting them, they understand that they aren’t alone and they become more confident,” said Zhasyl Zhailau Children Centre head Gulbanu Nugmanova.
The organisation, which operates in the city, assists families of children with autism and other diseases and disorders. The funds will be used to purchase equipment.
“Our centre mainly supports families with kids having autism, but we also help children with cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. Our children live in their own apartments and come to us in the morning and are taught for three-five hours. First of all, we teach parents, not children. This is our method, which is used individually and in groups. After that, the parents continue teaching their children at home,” she added.
This was the first year the centre participated in the bazaar and will be involved in 2017.
“Our project has already been approved. We are very glad and I want to express gratitude to all the organisers of the event. Such events are extremely important for our children, because the treatment process takes one-three years and we strive to improve the living conditions of our children thanks to the financial support,” said Aliya Saplanova of the children’s oncology department of the National Research Centre for Maternal and Child Health.
“Every child has to get through painful treatment on an everyday basis and I want to highlight that the treatment takes one-three years. Chemotherapy, bandages, punctures. We want to organise a mini movie hall, where they could watch movies and cartoons. Also, we plan to establish a small workshop in the hospital, where moms and children can be taught to handicraft and learn a trade. It will be a great possibility to divert attention from illness,” she added.
Overall, assistance from ASA will be rendered for basic needs, including food, children’s winter clothing and footwear, diapers and milk formulas to the tune of 5.9 million tenge (US$17,700), furniture and equipment – 12.5 million tenge (US$37,500), medical needs – 10.5 million tenge (US$31,500), children’s vacation recreation – 2.6 million tenge (US$7,800) and education – 3.9 million tenge (US$11,700).
The projects selected were among 59 requests, some of which could not be selected due to either the large amount sought or the high-risk nature in implementing the efforts.