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Jul 14, 2020

Trying to carry on

The SalemHub cafe is a great place to spend time!
The SalemHub cafe is a great place to spend time!

Dear friends,

Greetings from Kazakhstan! We trust you and your loved ones are staying well in these challenging times.

Here at Salem Social Village, we're now in our second period of lockdown, and so our activities are heavily restricted. However, over the first half of this year we've still been busy!

Salem Youth continued up until lockdown hit in March, with all sorts of fun activities, including fruit art! We also held our annual Essential Teacher Skills conference for English teachers around the city. Once again this was very well attended, with seminars and discussion groups supplementing the various sessions. Unfortunately, we were only able to hold the first of the two days planned as lockdown prevented us continuing, but the feedback from attendees was very positive all the same.

We also just had the chance, before everything halted, to hold a popular local quiz night in the SalemHub cafe. 'Quiz Please!' has become very popular around here, and we ran the very first English version at Salem! Salem staff put together two teams, and everyone had a whole lot of fun.

Meanwhile, we carry on with the normal investment in staff, including our Business Breakfast training, and specific sessions with the teachers. All of our staff have been incredibly flexible as the lockdown regulations have constantly been adjusted, initially going on unpaid leave when we had to close, then running some online replacement courses, then starting a new semester under social distancing rules when lockdown ended, and now shifting to teaching entirely online as the city re-enters lockdown. And the feedback from students and parents continues to be incredibly positive, despite all the upheaval!

All our social projects, including the World Without Limits social club, are entirely on hold at present, and we're waiting to see what the future holds, both financially and in terms of what activities can re-start in due course - just like everyone else right now!

Thanks for your support for Salem!

PS Although this project (Be a changemaker for the forgotten of Central Asia) is now fully funded, we have another project (Inspire the growth of Kazakhstan's Global Citizens) which is still looking for additional funding - please see the link below, and help us make a difference!

The Teachers' Conference in full flow
The Teachers' Conference in full flow
Sharing feedback from break-out group discussions
Sharing feedback from break-out group discussions
Making art ... out of fruit! Lots of fun for all
Making art ... out of fruit! Lots of fun for all
Teachers busy planning for adjusted courses
Teachers busy planning for adjusted courses

Links:

Jul 14, 2020

Trying to carry on

The SalemHub cafe is a great place to spend time!
The SalemHub cafe is a great place to spend time!

Dear friends,

Greetings from Kazakhstan! We trust you and your loved ones are staying well in these challenging times.

Here at Salem Social Village, we're now in our second period of lockdown, and so our activities are heavily restricted. However, over the first half of this year we've still been busy!

Salem Youth continued up until lockdown hit in March, with all sorts of fun activities, including fruit art! We also held our annual Essential Teacher Skills conference for English teachers around the city. Once again this was very well attended, with seminars and discussion groups supplementing the various sessions. Unfortunately, we were only able to hold the first of the two days planned as lockdown prevented us continuing, but the feedback from attendees was very positive all the same.

We also just had the chance, before everything halted, to hold a popular local quiz night in the SalemHub cafe. 'Quiz Please!' has become very popular around here, and we ran the very first English version at Salem! Salem staff put together two teams, and everyone had a whole lot of fun.

Meanwhile, we carry on with the normal investment in staff, including our Business Breakfast training, and specific sessions with the teachers. All of our staff have been incredibly flexible as the lockdown regulations have constantly been adjusted, initially going on unpaid leave when we had to close, then running some online replacement courses, then starting a new semester under social distancing rules when lockdown ended, and now shifting to teaching entirely online as the city re-enters lockdown. And the feedback from students and parents continues to be incredibly positive, despite all the upheaval!

All our social projects, including the World Without Limits social club, are entirely on hold at present, and we're waiting to see what the future holds, both financially and in terms of what activities can re-start in due course - just like everyone else right now!

Thanks for your support for Salem!

Making art ... out of fruit! Lots of fun for all
Making art ... out of fruit! Lots of fun for all
The Teachers' Conference in full flow
The Teachers' Conference in full flow
Sharing feedback from break-out group discussions
Sharing feedback from break-out group discussions
Teachers busy planning for adjusted courses
Teachers busy planning for adjusted courses

Links:

Mar 19, 2020

Annual Report

Dear friends,

Around the world this is a challenging and tense time for many. However, stepping back from the immediate global crisis, we wanted to share our progress during 2019 with you.

Looking back, we compiled quite a list of activities over the year, which forms something of an annual report. In 2019:

  • 2,000 people studied on our English courses
  • 75 of these from disavantaged communities studied with partial discounts or completely for free
  • There were 20 meetings of the World Without Limits social club for people with disabilities
  • There were 40 meetings of the Salem Youth club encouraging volunteering among young people
  • We held 40 'Business Breakfast' training sessions for staff and guests
  • We signed an agreement with the city's AIDS Centre to partner together in raising awareness of HIV/AIDS issues
  • 800 people took part in the AIDS Xperience simulation
  • Our Essential Teacher Skills conference was attended by 90 teachers from around the city
  • We distributed 130 baskets of groceries funded by a local charity to families in need
  • We hosted a presentation by the mobile phone company Beeline about employing people with disabilities
  • We celebrated Nauryz, the Kazakh New Year, with about 400 guests
  • The Shymkent Run Club held 2 presentations in our cafe
  • We held 6 meetings with the local environmental activist Damir Karimov
  • The local charity Wings of Freedom held a conference in our cafe with 50 participants on the theme of 'Let's talk about equality'
  • The Russian photographer Yegor Voinov held a masterclass at Salem
  • The Association of Family Businesses held a conference in our cafe with 50 participants on the theme of 'Family Business'
  • 20 adults and 20 children took part in acting classes held by Sylvia Alloway from California, including their final performance in the cafe at the end of the course
  • 50 young people attended our Youth Leadership Camp for young leaders
  • Mohammed Said from the US, who was disabled by a bomb as a child in Afghanistan and now raises awareness of disability issues around the world, visited Salem
  • We sent furniture and wheelchairs to the Shardara Disabled Association in a town outside the city
  • We distributed a further 60 wheelchairs to people with disabilities around the city
  • The VegaLife group ran a masterclass in vegan cooking in our cafe
  • The Community Plus charity held two workships at Salem
  • The EcoFest and plogging event was attended by 23 people
  • Other events at Salem in 2019 included an artistic masterclass for beginners, a seminar with Bill Einreinhoffer from the New York Film Academy, and the city theatre's programme at the New Year party for the World Without Limits social club
  • And finally, Salem was very proud to receive a significant recognition at the inaugural Ozgeris Ustasy (creator of change) awards

This year is already proving to be quite different in lots of ways, and internet restrictions at present mean we can't send you any pictures this time around, but be assured that we continue to work to see Global Citizens grow wherever possible!

Thanks for reading, on behalf of everyone at Salem Social Village.

 
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