almaty | kazakhstan
MASP, based in Almaty, Kazakhstan, is a local organization of committed young Kazakhs who are working for a better society through education, rehabilitation and employment services for the most vulnerable.
In 2002, a group of young Kazakhs and Italians started offering computer and secretarial courses for marginalized young people in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city. A year later, they founded MASP (Mezhdunarodnaja Associacija Socialnykh Proektov – The International Association for Social Projects).
Today, MASP implements projects in the following sectors: development and rehabilitation services for disabled children, occupational training for young adults with disabilities, and educational services and social integration of refugees.
Kazakhstan is a vast country where many of the poorest people live in areas far from vital health and education services. Children and youth with disabilities face particular challenges as a result of social stigma and lack of resources. Mothers are regularly marginalized when children are diagnosed with a disability, often leaving little choice but to consign children to orphanages where they can at least be fed.
In addition, refugees and asylum-seekers from Central Asia flow daily into the border cities, creating additional strain on an already distressed population.
MASP began collaborating with AVSI in 2005, initiating a Distance Sponsorship program which matches overseas donors to children in need. Today, the program annually supports some 400 families in Almaty and surrounding areas.
Qualified professionals monitor and provide direct assistance to children and families facing situations of extreme hardship and neglect. Since its inception, MASP has implemented 30 projects on behalf of vulnerable populations in Almaty, including women and children in distressed situations, disabled children and youth, unemployed young people, juvenile detainees, refugees and, most recently, young adults with disabilities.
AVSI-USA initiated a partnership with MASP in 2015 to strengthen core services and expand outreach for greater sustainability.
- 180 adolescents received training in professional sewing, felting, woodworking and baking
- 440 parents participated in inclusion awareness workshops
- 150 community leaders (government, business and social sector influencers) attended conferences on social integration of young people with disabilities
- Initiated a partnership with the Almaty College of Arts and Crafts to operate non-degree courses for students with disabilities in Ceramics and Painting.