Recent protests in Kazakhstan have created unrest and unsafe conditions for the population:
“The demonstrations were ignited in the oil-rich western Mangystau region when the government lifted price controls on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) at the start of the year, Reuters reported. Many Kazakhs have converted their cars to run on fuel because of its low cost.
The lifting of the price caps was a means by the government to ease those deficits and ensure supplies went to the domestic market. However, the plan backfired and LPG prices more than doubled following the lifting of caps — protests then spread quickly around the country.
There are also long-standing issues driving the protests, including anger over endemic corruption in government, income inequality and economic hardship, which have all been exacerbated during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Human Rights Watch.
Authorities declared a nationwide state of emergency with a curfew and movement restrictions until January 19, local media reported. Internet cuts have been reported nationwide and President Tokayev said military personnel had been deployed.
Prime Minister Askar Mamin and the Kazakh government resigned and Tokayev took control of the country’s Security Council, replacing former President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Those concessions, however, failed to stop the protests.”
(All information from CNN)
Sources of Goodness
Food For Life affiliate, “Sources of Goodness” has been responding to this unrest in Kazakhstan. The organization started its activity in 2014. Vegan food, food packs, clothes, medical drugs have been actively distributed on a daily basis since March 2020.
They have volunteer groups working with them in 12 cities of Kazakhstan: Aktau, Atyrau, Aktobe, Pavlodar, Almaty, Taraz, Petropavlovsk, Kostanay, Lisakovsk, Karaganda, Ust Kamenogorsk, Nur-Sultan
They are planning to open 3 more branches in the near future.
As of today, about 200 volunteers participate in their activities. All of them are actively involved in the service of preparing and distributing vegan meals.
In 2021, the organization started in a new direction of service. After learning that they help the elderly, large family centers for adaptation and treatment of people who have various kinds of addictions (narcotic drugs, smoking, alcohol, etc.), they were asked to conduct seminars and lectures on healthy lifestyle to their contingent. Sources of Goodness gives these lectures in a very simple and effective format, understandable by ordinary people. At the end of the seminars, every participant receives a vegan meal.
There were also many cases when the regular distribution of vegan meals helped the elderly, large families, children, and homeless people to survive and saved their lives.
After two months many old people who had high sugar levels reported that their sugar levels began to decline without medication and their well-being became significantly better. Both the elderly and the social workers noticed such changes, being surprised by the effect of the hot meals on their health.
There is another case of their services when a woman with 4 children got into a difficult life situation and was thrown out onto the street. Sources of Goodness helped her with accommodation, arranged her stay at the place of the project’s friends. She regularly came to pick up vegan meals from them, for herself and her children. After two months she was able to recover psychologically, the organization helped her find work and now, when possible, she helps us as a volunteer. During this time she was able to receive the grace of a hot vegan meal and her life had improved.
Many elderly and disabled people face constant shortages of food. Sources of Goodness is also in contact with an old lady who had not been able to leave her apartment for about 7 years due to health issues. She is also very happy to get hot meals.
A lot of old people and large families with many children live below the poverty line and unfortunately do not have enough food and have to eat junk and fast food on a daily basis which negatively affects their health.
The organization’s plan for this year is to distribute twice as many vegan meals in Kazakhstan as in 2021.
So far, they have done a tremendous job. Below is a quote from one of the many people the organization has helped:
“From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for doing miracles for all the people of our multinational country. I can honestly say that you are exactly those people who create and make our world sweeter and make our children happy. May you always have good health, I wish you great warmth and love. Be happy always and may all that you do for our children, joy and happiness come back to you multiplied three times! All the best to you! Good luck to you!”
Preparing and serving meals in Almaty
Sources of Goodness members feeding 150 children in Taraz