Aug 3, 2018

Finishing a good year

It's the summer holidays! Every child looks forward to the end of school, and finishing a school year is in itself a great achievement.

Mary completed the school year at Salem School recently, finishing Fourth Class and receiving many commendations during her studies. Her Mum was very grateful for the sponsorship that allowed her to study at Salem!

However, significant changes mean that we are going to be unable to continue the sponsorship program through GlobalGiving for children at Salem School.

Firstly, Mary is not going to continue at the school in September due to some changes in her family's situation. This is a natural change and for various reasons it's actually going to be better for her to start at a new school. Since the sponsorship program for children at Salem School hasn't developed to include other children as we'd anticipated, there is a natural opportunity for closing the program at this time rather than trying to relaunch it.

Secondly, Salem School itself is changing, and the school board recently made the decision to release oversight of the school to the director and his wife. This will enable greater investment in the school and greater freedom for new developments in its vision to care for those in need, particularly those with learning difficulties.

However, this change also means that the school is no longer a legal entity within Salem Union, the organisation registered with GlobalGiving. Therefore, in the future any funds to support the school will not be able to be raised through GlobalGiving, which means this project needs to be closed.

Every season eventually comes to an end, but every new season brings new opportunities, and we're hopeful that despite us not being able to continue Educating Ten Future Leaders of Kazakhstan, that nonetheless Salem School will continue its fine work in educating leaders of the future in Shymkent.

So thanks for your support for Salem School, and particularly for Mary in her studies this year. And if you'd still like to support projects amongst the vulnerable and young people in Shymkent, please help us to Inspire the Growth of Kazakhstan's Global Citizens.

Thanks again,

Tim

Jul 13, 2018

Serious and fun

Why do these young people look so serious?!
Why do these young people look so serious?!

Recently the young people from our new club SalemYouth took part in Salem's AIDS Xperience simulation. This project develops empathy and compassion towards people suffering with HIV/AIDS, and enables a deeper understanding of the experience of someone at risk of contracting this virus.

The photo above was taken after the event, as they all took time to take in what they had just experienced. A tiem for some serious reflection rather than celebration.

Along with the young people from SalemYouth, a journalist from the newspaper 'South Kazakhstan', Oxana Sivtsova, took part in the AIDS Xperience, and her article about it was published in the paper.

You can read her full article on our website, but she was clearly very impacted by the AIDS Xperience, writing "...this is explosive. I felt like a bomb had gone off inside me, and it was clear that the other participants felt just the same, as we realised that no one is insured against such a disaster as this."

This is an important aspect of our goal to educate young people in global issues, but we're also pursuing new attitudes and understanding in lighter ways, like the day conference we hosted to give people the chance to discuss issues relating to career choices.

Added to that, the World Without Limit social club for people with disabilities continues to go from strength to strength, as this recent video shows. We know how to be serious, but we also know how to have fun!

Thanks again for all your support of Salem Social Village.

Having fun with the social club
Having fun with the social club
Discussing important issues around career choices
Discussing important issues around career choices

Links:

May 10, 2018

Into the home straight

Mary in her classroom hard at work
Mary in her classroom hard at work

We can all remember hating school at some point or another. But hopefully as you look back at your school experience, you can see the good, recognise how much you learnt and benefitted from, remember some good times, and appreciate the preparation for life that you received there.

In this culture, such things aren't always taken for granted. An education that genuinely provides a solid preparation for life, that attends to constructive character development as well as academic accomplishments, is not so often realised.

Mary is now into the last few weeks of her school year - the weather is already hot, the summer break is just around the corner, and it's hard to stick with it. We're into the home straight. But there's still a signficant recognition that her studies at Salem School can be seen as more than just ticking the boxes, plodding along. This is preparation for life, and for that she is very grateful.

Mary (second from left) with her classmates
Mary (second from left) with her classmates
 
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