The Present – Fruit of the Past
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.
The old Soviet system encouraged total reliance on the state whose aim was to care for (and control) its citizens from cradle to coffin. Such dependence on the state’s making decisions meant an abdication of personal responsibility. In the aftermath of the Soviet collapse, the same attitude prevails but without a system in place to support it.
The local authorities are mainly concerned with the economic growth of the city and concentrate on investments in infrastructure, leaving social care to aid organisations.
The Cost of a Drinking Culture
The country is renowned for its drinking culture and these new social pressures contribute to many falling into alcoholism to “drown” their problems. Naturally, the flow-on effect on household income, marital breakdown, child neglect and domestic abuse is horrific.
The medical sector can only deal with the physical aspects of alcohol abuse, and with doctors recognizing the need to treat the whole person – which is beyond their scope – they are eager to refer patients to our programme. The government also is happy for work to be done to help alcoholics and other addicts. The only other real help is the government-run narcology hospital. Usually, addicts are admitted for 1-3 months and then they are back home without any ongoing support. The hospital has been happy for our alcoholic support group members to visit the current hospital patients and encourage them with the recovery principles. The hospital understands that the patients are more likely to have long-term success in recovery if they are involved in regular support groups.
Hada Astana’s passion is a community of people who enjoy good physical and emotional health, are fit to work, have a stable income and who care for each other; and largely due to minimizing the direct and indirect effects of alcohol abuse.
To achieve this we have four programmes:
Alcoholic support group for addicts based on the 12 step principles of AA, as well as a support network for families and children of addicts. Donate here.
- ‘Open Doors’ community centre, which offers a place to gain employable skills and life skills for young adults, couples and parents. We offer an English Conversation Club, a ‘Mums & Toddler’ group and health education among other things.
- Valuology teaching, fostering emotional maturation and personal accountability, to help people to cope with the pressures they face and to give them optimism and purpose.
- Source Of Hope is our pregnancy support centre offering information, assistance and counselling to women experiencing a crisis or unwanted pregnancy.
Our present vision is to:
- see the current alcoholics support group multiply to another location within 2 years and hopefully more locations within 5 years.
- see an alcoholic support group started in the Kazak language within 2 years.
- see the co-dependency group develop critical mass within 1 year.
- see the co-dependency group multiply to a second meeting or group within 3 years.
- explore starting a completely separate support group, likely in connection with another community organization within 3 years.
- develop educational and training materials for the co-dependents within 2 years.
It is only through treating the whole person that we will be able to see a real and lasting change in the whole community. The need is there, the people are willing but we depend on your financial support to continue this important outreach for both this and the coming generation. If you wish to assist in rescuing addicts from a life of hell, please donate using one of the Donation buttons on this page.