In 2007, Rotarian Muriel Collison, traveled to Kazakhstan with her husband Jerry to adopt their daughter Sophia. After they returned with their daughter they could not forget the children left behind in the orphanage. Muriel went to her Rotary club and started to work on a matching grant with the Rotary Club of Almaty to provide much-needed supplies to one of the poorest orphanages in Kazakhstan - Karakastek Baby House.
With the matching efforts of the Rotary International, The Northbrook Rotary Club, Deerfield Rotary Club and Almaty Rotary Club it took 18 months to raise almost $13,000 for the orphans in Karakastek, Kazakhstan.
This project meant a lot to Muriel. The lives of those children were improved - thanks to Rotary network.
The Rotary Club of Almaty picked up the baton and started to work on collecting necessary items for the Orphanage. The list of 14 most necessary items was created, which included not only toys, clothes, books, diapers, beds furnishing and mattresses but those, which influence the quality of their life indirectly – water pumps, freezers, irons and vacuum cleaners.
The Rotary Club of Almaty received the donation in August 2010. The committee consisting of 4 members as the leaders of the Karakastek Project was defined. All club members were involved in the important activity – to find the necessary items at the best possible price. Using their personal links Rotarians managed to find sponsors who donated some items free of charge – freezers, water pump and fax/copy/scanner machine. The committee applied to various commercial companies being asked to provide lowest possible prices. And the result was impressive - we have received from the suppliers almost 60% discount from their regular prices and thus have increased the overall effectiveness of the project.
The project was finalized in February 2011, celebrating
the Rotary Club's of Almaty 15th anniversary.