ADRA is working in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, neighboring countries in Central Asia that celebrated their independence from the Soviet Union 20 years ago. Kazakhstan, the world's largest landlocked country, has enjoyed economic growth since independence. This economic growth has led to skyrocketing prices for basic goods. In contrast, Kyrgyzstan is the poorest country in Central Asia, and continuing ethnic clashes have left a large portion of the population displaced from their cultural homes. In both countries, ADRA is working with orphaned, abandoned, and disabled children and the elderly.
At 11 years old, Katia is a shy girl with a winning smile. School is very hard for her, and when she is done working on homework with her housemother, she spends her time singing and coloring. Life has been hard for this little girl who was abandoned on the street by her alcoholic mother three years ago. No one knows who her father is.
Katia is just one of 18 abandoned children currently living in a safe house in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Throughout this large city, ADRA is focusing on caring for abandoned and disabled children by providing clothing, shoes, food, and access to medical treatment.
In more than 120 countries, ADRA sees the dire consequences of global poverty in the faces of the people we serve. That's why we share stories like these with you-to put a face to our work and let you learn more about the people your gifts touch.
"I worked as a teacher all my life," says 82-year-old Valentina. "My life savings equaled the cost of buying a home. Then the Soviet system collapsed, and suddenly my savings were worth $80. What do you do when you still have to buy food, medicines, and heat in the winter? My pension is $100 a month, and prices keep rising.
"I have buried two sons and my husband," Valentina shares. "Now I have one son left who is disabled, and I am caring for him. ADRA provides the supplies for me to knit sweaters and booties to sell. ADRA has provided us with two small storefronts so we can sell our items. In an average month, this means an extra $30 of income for me. I like being part of this group. We are very grateful to the people who make these ADRA programs possible."
ADRA's reason for existence is to be a voice for, a servant to, and a partner with those in need. While it can be overwhelming to think about all of the people, especially children, who need our help around the world, we are making a difference with your help. Thanks to ADRA's generous supporters like you, individuals, entire families, and whole communities can lead healthier, more prosperous lives. But our work cannot happen without you.