The Salem Social Cafe is a unique place that brings together all kinds of people in a warm welcoming atmosphere and challenges them to make a difference. English conversation clubs, a social club for disabled people, the Salem Volunteering club, concerts, social nights, celebrations, training events - all this, as well as great coffee, can be found in the heart of the Salem Social Village. But the cafe urgently needs a new roof!
The cafe's roof is made of asbestos which, when it gets old, begins to crack. During heavy rain, we now have a number of leaks within the cafe which is unsafe and threatens the building's integrity. There are also real concerns that sheets of asbestos could fly off in strong winds, which would be very dangerous. It's a brittle material that cannot be fixed without incurring more damage, and so we have had to face the reality that the only way to keep the cafe open is with a completely new roof.
The new roof will be of galvanised sheet steel, a common and robust modern material widely used here. The majority of the structural timber that holds the current asbestos is still sound, and so it's a straightforward process to remove the old roof and fix the new metal sheets to form a new one. This will give us the opportunity to continue the work of the cafe, hosting clubs, events and social space for the people of Shymkent in a warm welcoming atmosphere.
The new roof will address the current safety concerns and remove the risk of further damage being sustained. It will provide a safe and stable location for the heart of the Social Village to keep on beating. We believe that Kazakhstan's future is in the hands of its young people. Our cafe gives these future leaders a place to grow together.