Apply to Join
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
Apr 17, 2018

Empowering kindness

Ulya with a token of our thanks for all her help
Ulya with a token of our thanks for all her help

Greetings from Shymkent, Kazakhstan!

As current or former supporters of Salem Social Village through GlobalGiving, we want to regularly report to you on all that's happening out here. And there's always lots to talk about!

Since January, we've been doing further staff development training, started a new club for young peoplecelebrated Nauryz with all of our local stakeholders, and held a one day training conference for English teachers in the city. Not only that, but we've been seeing an exciting trend of normal people - not Salem employees - being empowered by Salem to help others. And since we exist to be a place where Global Citizens grow through learning and serving together - in other words, for people to catch hold of this 'helping others' thing, and start doing it themselves - this is news worth sharing!

Ulya, for example, has been volunteering with us to help World Without Limits, our social club for people with disabilities, in any way she can. “This is a really unusual place!" she says. "Here many people with all sorts of needs are accepted, and I want to help Salem Social Village because Salem helps so many people.”

Meanwhile Ulianna, one of our volunteers who has definitely 'got the bug', heard about an opportunity to help a local shelter for young mothers with nowhere else to go. She recruited some friends and organised a shipment of 11 boxes of children's clothing, blankets, cots and toys. This was all humanitarian aid provided by Crossroads in Hong Kong, which we were very pleased to be able to pass on to a good home.

Another recent event at Salem was in celebration of International Women's Day last month. Two of our former team members, Beate and Dina, who are hard at work in the social sphere with another organisation, took over our cafe for the day to host a special lunch for mothers with families experiencing significant hardships. Everyone had a lot of fun!

If you already read our Village Leaf emails every month or two, you'll be aware of all this and more, but if not please sign up for those too to hear more about how your support genuinely is making a difference. Thank you once again for inspiring more Global Citizens to grow.

On behalf of everyone at Salem,

Tim 

Celebrating International Women
Celebrating International Women's Day in style
Ulianna presenting much needed supplies for kids
Ulianna presenting much needed supplies for kids
Having fun at Nauryz, the Kazakh New Year in March
Having fun at Nauryz, the Kazakh New Year in March
Attendees at the recent event for English teachers
Attendees at the recent event for English teachers
The World Without Limits club enjoying Nauryz
The World Without Limits club enjoying Nauryz
Feb 14, 2018

Progressing through the year

Mary in her classroom ready to study
Mary in her classroom ready to study

The school year here is built around the seasons, and the key national holidays. Summer is very long and hot, and so schools in Kazakhstan only run from 1st September to the end of May. New Year is a natural break (and a very big festival!) which splits the academic year into two halves, whilst the Kazakh New Year at the equinox in late March splits the second half into its two quarters.

All that means that there is no half-term break here like some countries have, and so we're currently in the long quarter through the cold of winter from early January until mid-March. But when that's done, the warmth of Spring will already be in the air, and only a couple of months will remain before the long summer break arrives once more. 

For now, Mary and her friends in 4th class are doing a great job of studying together. Mary has had some struggles in the last few months with her teacher's style and the draining drudgery of winter here, but she's still doing well and appreciating her opportunity to study at Salem, as well as making a new friend with a recent arrival to their class. 'I love studying at this school,' she says. And you can see that she means it.

Thanks to all our sponsors for making this a possiblity for Mary, your generosity is really appreciated by her and her family.

Mary (second from left) with her classmates
Mary (second from left) with her classmates
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.