Success in Kazakhstan, not only on the pitch

AS the first team recently progressed to the groups stages of the UEFA Champions League in Kazakhstan, Celtic FC Foundation visited two charities in the southern city of Almaty.

Both of those organisations deliver projects aligned with our own charitable origins: the Meirim Centre and The Almaty City House of Veterans.

Thanks to an incredibly generous donation from a Celtic FC Foundation donor based in London, £10K was donated to the Meirim Centre, a rehabilitation centre for children and adolescents with disabilities, which is currently being re-built.

The centre supports many families in Kazakhstan by giving them information and support to help them to understand these conditions.

Ludmila Drozdova, Executive director of the Meirim Centre, pictured above, said: “Meirim is one of the first private charitable foundations in Kazakhstan.

“Our centre has one of the most important tasks – socialisation and development of self-service skills of children with special needs. After the reconstruction of the centre, our children will have the opportunity to develop and achieve their physical and psychological potential in modern conditions, created by highest international standards.”

Meanwhile, the Almaty City House of Veterans was where some further New Balance kit was distributed to the residents.

The House, a homeless shelter, offers social protection for single elderly people in need of support and was opened in 2001. There is provision of 350 beds and each tenant has a separate room with comfortable conditions for living.

In addition to the bedrooms, the residents have access to dining areas and a medical centre. They also have access to recreation facilities such as a cinema and gym as well as a hairdresser, library, a winter garden and various prayer rooms.

Celtic FC Foundation Chief Executive, Tony Hamilton, said: “A visit to the Meirim Centre really resonated with me, particularly in relation to our Ability Counts project which has a focus on children and young adults with Down’s Syndrome and our new Autism strand.

“There is no doubt that the support they provide to the children and their families is crucial, a real lifeline and an inspiration to see.

“The work of The Almaty City House of Veterans is equally inspiring.

“The facility provides a much needed safe-haven for those who are vulnerable and in need help. Homelessness exists in every country and for the people in Almaty who need support, this centre is equipped to help alleviate some of those pressures. I am very grateful to our supporter in London and New Balance for making all of this possible.”