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Mar 13, 2015

A place to rest

Spring comes to the Social Village
Spring comes to the Social Village

Curtis, our Director of Education, explains how our English Centre project is demonstrating the power of social entrepreneurship...

The English Centre at Salem Social Village is something we're very proud of, with an excellent team of teachers delivering high quality courses with great care and professionalism. We seek to earn the trust of our students and many consider us to have the best courses in the city. They are an important part of operations at the Social Village, bringing in significant revenue to support other projects.

One of those studying with us is Daniar, 10, who we've been able to support with a 100% scholarship for his English course. His father left when he was very young, and his mother has serious disabilities from suffering carbon monoxide poisoning. His brother ran away from home as a result of the trauma of his mother's problems and Daniar is cared for by distant relatives. It's a tragic story of how young lives can be caught up in tragedy, and far more than any 10 year old should be expected to experience.

We can't solve everyone's problems, but it's a joy to play a part in this little guy's development. Daniar himself believes one thing for certain - time at the Social Village for him is a genuine support, and English will give him excellent opportunities for the future. He loves visiting here so much that he comes an hour early for his lessons. "I can rest here," he says. And his excellent grades show he could yet go far.

Putting our new Welcome sign up
Putting our new Welcome sign up
The new Welcome sign proudly in place
The new Welcome sign proudly in place
A local musician on International Guitarists' day
A local musician on International Guitarists' day
Our staff's concert to support new English courses
Our staff's concert to support new English courses
More staff performers, and local TV crew
More staff performers, and local TV crew

Links:

Dec 15, 2014

More Celebrations of Generosity

All our volunteers at the Volunteers' Celebration
All our volunteers at the Volunteers' Celebration

Hello to all our supporters from Shymkent, Kazakhstan! We want to thank you for all your donations to support our work in the last year, and acknowledge your generosity in helping us be effective in so many ways.

Here at Salem Social Village, December is definitely all about generosity! Just last week, in recognition of International Volunteer Day, we held a special event for all our volunteers to celebrate the generous use of their time over the last year. Volunteering isn't a common idea here, so it was great to be able to recognise and award their achievements, hear from some of those they've helped, and have a good time fun together.

We also brought #GivingTuesday to Kazakhstan for the first time ever, by inviting people here in Shymkent - friends, students, local companies, staff - to be generous and sponsor a Christmas gift for a child from a disadvantaged background, who may otherwise not receive any presents over the festive period. We were very excited when #GivingTuesday featured us with an article about what we are doing.

Throughout December we've also set ourselves the target of finding 20 new monthly donors to help us become even more effective, and we're very grateful to all those who have already made donations. However, we're still looking for more people to help us, and it's not too late to get involved, so if you can consider a donation of any size please visit our UK donation page or our US donation page (where an anonymous donor is currently matching all new recurring donations!!!).

Meanwhile, thanks again for all your support during 2014, and on behalf of everyone at Salem Social Village, I'd like to wish you and your family a joyful and peace-filled Christmas season.

Tim

PS If you don't already receive our monthly Village Leaf email, please sign up on our website to keep up with all our latest news!

Our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Dastan, at the event
Our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Dastan, at the event
Attendees listen studiously to the speeches
Attendees listen studiously to the speeches
One of those helped by the volunteers says thanks
One of those helped by the volunteers says thanks
A happy volunteer receiving his certificate
A happy volunteer receiving his certificate
More volunteers show off their rewards
More volunteers show off their rewards

Links:

Sep 15, 2014

Introducing the Salem Social Cafe

Pasha with the old and new cafe signs
Pasha with the old and new cafe signs

In June this year, we hired a new manager for our cafe. Here, he explains our vision for the cafe that resulted in the name change.

Hello, I'm Pasha, and I came here as a volunteer for about 6 years before I finally started to work here. When the cafe opened 3 years ago, I wanted to help and they asked me to roast the coffee. It was hard to learn to do it right but I can make great coffee now - my love for coffee grew and I've never looked back!

When it opened, it was the English Cup, for people to come who were learning English who wanted to meet foreigners and practice their English. But now that we're Salem Social Village, learning English is only one of the things we do. The cafe is where English Conversation Clubs happen, the Corner of Hope social club for people with disabilities, the volunteering club, our Friday evening social events, and much more!

Our new name is the Salem Social Cafe, because this is the heart of the community at the Social Village. We work hard to create a great atmosphere, welcoming everyone and making them feel special - we try and give unusually friendly service compared to what they're used to. We're also the only social cafe in the city (and maybe the country!), all our profits go towards other projects to help those in need, but we are still very proud of our good quality food and drinks - especially the coffee!

Unique, welcoming and quality - that's how we want people to know us. I love working with a team of great people who are part of something that's making a difference in Shymkent. Thanks for your support in making this possible!

The new sign: 'Salem Social Cafe' in Kazakh
The new sign: 'Salem Social Cafe' in Kazakh
The social club having fun in the cafe
The social club having fun in the cafe
Students having fun in the cafe
Students having fun in the cafe
Pasha hard at work making coffee
Pasha hard at work making coffee
The cafe team (spot the old English Cup sign!)
The cafe team (spot the old English Cup sign!)

Links:

 
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