The World Without Limits gang at a recent birthday
Greetings from Shymkent, where Salem Social Village continues to flourish and develop. The Spring has been a busy period for us - we've got stories about the value of talking, the importance of sitting, the rewards of enabling, the fun of celebrating, and the necessity of fire-fighting!
But the story we wanted to share today is about our favorite regulars at Salem Social Cafe, the young people from the World Without Limits social club. We are really proud of the achievements of our dear friends, who we have had the honor of serving and getting to know over more than three years now. We have watched how these young people with disabilities, together with their parents, have moved forward, learned many things, and fought for their dream to become independent and equal members of society.
Today the people from the social club genuinely feel like they are on a more equal footing with their able-bodied peers: they are now able to study on English courses, go to the cinema, a museum or the park, organize for themselves creative fun at Salem, celebrate special occasions and birthdays, and create new friendships and connections through social media.
To a Western onlooker it might not seem like much, but when you consider the average life of a person with disabilities during the time of the Soviet Union, much of which has continued on since then through people’s long-held assumptions and attitudes, these small steps forward are actually enormous mindset-busting cultural innovations. These wonderful people have indeed been able to begin fully realizing their dreams!
Thanks for your part in making that possible.
Training in how to select the correct wheelchair
The trainer, Gerdine, in action
How much plov?! Celebrating Nauryz in Shymkent
Traditional dress and songs for Kazakh New Year
Conclusion of the fire-fighting demonstration