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Dec 29, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy new year from everyone at Salem!
Happy new year from everyone at Salem!

As Salem closes for its festive break over New Year, we want to wish all our donors and supporters a very Happy New Year! 

2018 has been a busy one for us, and just recently we had possibly our most famous visitor yet, when Wheelchair Man - or at least his creator - came to see around Salem.

Mohammad Sayed was abandoned by his family in Afghanistan after his house was bombed and he was left paralysed. Now he has become a US citizen, and designed a comic book superhero - Wheelchair Man - based on his own life story.

His desire is to bring a message of hope and empowerment to children with disabilities around the world, and he focuses his creative talents on developing adaptive tools for people in wheelchairs, as well as creating comic book characters such as Wheelchair Man to inspire others facing physical challenges. His goal is not only to help rebuild hope and confidence among people with disabilities but also to raise the consciousness of people everywhere to the abilities of those in wheelchairs.

Not only was he delighted to see the work that we do with people with disabilities, but we surprised him with a mural of his very own Wheelchair Man on the wall at Salem! He has various other ideas for further comic book characters, and mentioned that maybe one of them should come from Kazakhstan! Now that would be special.

We trust that you have a peaceful and prosperous 2019, and that along with everyone at Salem, and Mohammed himself, your desire to inspire others and raise awareness of the bigger issues continues to grow.

With many thanks,

Tim, on behalf of the Social Village team

Mohammed and friends by his brand new mural
Mohammed and friends by his brand new mural
Mohammed in the Salem cafe hearing about our work
Mohammed in the Salem cafe hearing about our work
Oct 10, 2018

Summer of fun

Team building with pallets and planks, Salem-style
Team building with pallets and planks, Salem-style

It gets hot here in the summer, and young people need to find constructive ways to chill out, have some fun and survive the heat. 

This summer, Salem Social Village put on a Youth Leadership Camp over two days to provide not only a lot of fun, but also a significant purpose by training young people in leadership-related topics. And when we say training, that's activity-based learning with a whole lot of time for reflection and discussion, not the 'lecture and take lots of notes' approach.

Team-building activities and seminars were supplemented, Salem Social Village style, with some experiential learning initiatives focussed on raising awareness of social issues. This included 'Living on wheels' simulation, with the young people sent out into the city with a wheelchair to get a first hand experience of just how hard it is being disabled. They also went through our AIDS Xperience to understand the lives of those at risk of HIV/AIDS infection, and how normal people can be put at risk.

This was the highlight of the summer at Salem, but there was so much else going on too, including a rock concert attended by over 700 people - but that will have to wait until next time.

Thanks again from everyone at Salem for your support in helping us to continue challenging discrimination, training future leaders, and bringing change to society here. It can be a lot of fun, but it's always purposeful.

Signing up for the event of the summer
Signing up for the event of the summer
Paying close attention to all that was being said
Paying close attention to all that was being said
Discovering what life is like in a wheelchair
Discovering what life is like in a wheelchair
Just getting over the road can be a big challenge
Just getting over the road can be a big challenge
And how on earth do you get on a bus like that?!
And how on earth do you get on a bus like that?!
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

 
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