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Dec 26, 2019

Cleaning up

Arman & Angela with Salem's recent award
Arman & Angela with Salem's recent award

Salem Social Village was the very proud recipient of a significant and unusual award last month at the inaugural government-sponsored Ozgeris Ustasy awards (which means Creator of Change in Kazakh). Our many years of work to create change were recognised as we scooped a prize for developing social entrepreneurship in Kazakhstan.

The Ozgeris Ustasy awards were a new initiative from the Ministry of Information and Social Development, and were held at the grand Centre for the Support of Civil Initiatives in Almaty. Arman, our General Director, and his wife Angela, our Personnel Director (above), were able to attend and receive Salem's award.

Arman said, "From the stage I told them that social entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan feel lonely right now. Not many people understand or support our work. People see social ideas and projects as risky. We have to work hard against a lot of inertia and with many systems against us in order to make progress. Thanks to this awards ceremony, have received recognition and acknowledgment, not just from the government but from Civil Society."

And recognition on a national stage is also another great step forward on Salem's long-term journey to bringing change here, for which we all feel very proud and grateful.

Meanwhile, recently we held an EcoFest at Salem, because we care about the planet and want to encourage people to do their bit. As part of the event, we did some plogging! Dressed, equipped and ready, our intrepid volunteers headed off in this unusual combined pursuit of getting some exercise and cleaning up a bit as they went along.

And they were certainly successful on both fronts: a significant amount of rubbish was collected, and everyone was very inspired - which is something to celebrate in a culture where everyone assumes that social problems are the government's responsibility to solve.

Finally, may we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2020!

The awards event was full of the normal wow factor
The awards event was full of the normal wow factor
Arman speaking to acknowledge Salem's award
Arman speaking to acknowledge Salem's award
Ploggers heading off to begin their mission
Ploggers heading off to begin their mission
Sorting through the piles of litter collected
Sorting through the piles of litter collected
Celebrating a good morning's work!
Celebrating a good morning's work!

Links:

Sep 25, 2019

The value of learning, the learning of values

The Salem Youth Leadership Camp 2019
The Salem Youth Leadership Camp 2019

Presentations from various engaging speakers on some highly relevant topics; meeting like-minded people; making new friends; baursak (a very popular local fried snack) and plov (a well-known Central Asian dish of slow-cooked meat and rice); live music; dancing; team games; a unique cross-cultural interactive game called 'Baffa-Baffa'; competitions and prizes; a fun active time; reflection and discussion; unforgettable moments. So what's it got to be? Yes, that's right - the Youth Leadership Camp at Salem!

Now well established as an annual event, this year it was again hailed as 'best ever'! With 50 young people from 14 to 20 years old, we looked at the habits and skills of great leaders, and gave them a chance to explore their own personalities and characteristics in light of them.

We talked a lot about values - not just giving lectures about them, but actually exploring the realities of how we interact and make decisions ... by interacting and making decisions! After the team games were done, we reflected on the experiences from the various activities, considering our own reactions to the situations we were in and to the others in the team. It was a lot of fun, but it was also a lot more than just fun.

Young people here aspire to more. They're asking big questions about life, freedom, principles, leadership. Many have given up on their country and just want to escape to somewhere better. But at Salem Social Village, we take delight in inspiring them to look deeper and think for themselves - and many are discovering that good answers to their questions are much more accessible than they think!

Everyone had a chance to find their own voice
Everyone had a chance to find their own voice
Team games required a lot of ... well, teamwork!
Team games required a lot of ... well, teamwork!
Others required different ways of working together
Others required different ways of working together
And then they had to navigate complete blindness!
And then they had to navigate complete blindness!
Making new friends was just as important
Making new friends was just as important

Links:

Sep 25, 2019

The value of learning, the learning of values

The Salem Youth Leadership Camp 2019
The Salem Youth Leadership Camp 2019

Presentations from various engaging speakers on some highly relevant topics; meeting like-minded people; making new friends; baursak (a very popular local fried snack) and plov (a well-known Central Asian dish of slow-cooked meat and rice); live music; dancing; team games; a unique cross-cultural interactive game called 'Baffa-Baffa'; competitions and prizes; a fun active time; reflection and discussion; unforgettable moments. So what's it got to be? Yes, that's right - the Youth Leadership Camp at Salem!

Now well established as an annual event, this year it was again hailed as 'best ever'! With 50 young people from 14 to 20 years old, we looked at the habits and skills of great leaders, and gave them a chance to explore their own personalities and characteristics in light of them.

We talked a lot about values - not just giving lectures about them, but actually exploring the realities of how we interact and make decisions ... by interacting and making decisions! After the team games were done, we reflected on the experiences from the various activities, considering our own reactions to the situations we were in and to the others in the team. It was a lot of fun, but it was also a lot more than just fun.

Young people here aspire to more. They're asking big questions about life, freedom, principles, leadership. Many have given up on their country and just want to escape to somewhere better. But at Salem Social Village, we take delight in inspiring them to look deeper and think for themselves - and many are discovering that good answers to their questions are much more accessible than they think!

Everyone had a chance to find their own voice
Everyone had a chance to find their own voice
Team games required a lot of ... well, teamwork!
Team games required a lot of ... well, teamwork!
Others required different ways of working together
Others required different ways of working together
And then they had to navigate complete blindness!
And then they had to navigate complete blindness!
Making new friends was just as important
Making new friends was just as important

Links:

 
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