The Past Creates The Present
Kazakhstan, became an independent country after the downfall of the Soviet Union and much like Russia, has been plagued by alcohol abuse and the subsequent societal problems ever since. While there are detoxification centres to treat the physical effects of alcoholism, on-going care is missing which means almost certain relapse for most people.
Hada Astana seeks to fill this gap in breaking addictions and keeping people sober by giving long-term attention to the psychological, social and emotional issues involved.
While Astana, which became the capital city in 1998, is rapidly developing into a modern governmental centre, the original inhabitants of the city find it difficult to cope. Much of the traditional industry has closed down and many of the new jobs available in government and associated activities are taken by skilled people arriving from other cities with “contacts.” Employment is growing, but only in selected, qualified industries and with it the cost of living rises too, with considerable suffering for families.
This valuable project has been making some small steps forward. On my trip to Almaty, I met with a group of people with whom we are now working to put together a booklet geared towards teaching young people about the dangers of alcohol, especially with the heavy consumption of it. Alcoholism is such a large problem here that some preventative measures are critically important.
Also, I have been in correspondence with a counsellor inquiring about resources as we begin to research more about what can be done for suicide prevention. With a couple different groups of expatriates, I was able to share about the large need for this. Hopefully, some of them will be willing to help in some ways or at least help connect me with resource people. Since Kazakhstan has really the highest rates of suicide in the world, this is such an important area of need.
We continue to offer the valueology project as an option whenever we receive inquiries of possible new workers joining us. We do hope that we will have someone become interested with this and help us with this project in the year ahead.