Inspire the Growth of Kazakhstan's Global Citizens

by Salem Union
Inspire the Growth of Kazakhstan's Global Citizens
Inspire the Growth of Kazakhstan's Global Citizens
Inspire the Growth of Kazakhstan's Global Citizens
Inspire the Growth of Kazakhstan's Global Citizens
Inspire the Growth of Kazakhstan's Global Citizens
Inspire the Growth of Kazakhstan's Global Citizens
Inspire the Growth of Kazakhstan's Global Citizens
Inspire the Growth of Kazakhstan's Global Citizens
Inspire the Growth of Kazakhstan's Global Citizens
Inspire the Growth of Kazakhstan's Global Citizens
Taking in one of the conference sessions
Taking in one of the conference sessions

Like with many parts of the world just now, things are still somewhat restricted in Kazakhstan at the moment due to Covid. However, unlike for some, there is enough freedom to hold events in small groups, so long as certain limits are not exceeded.

And so it was that we were able to avoid moving to an online event for Salem Social Village's annual conference for English Teachers in the city this year. As ever there was lots of interest, but we kept it small. Instead of the normal plenary sessions, we structured everything around multiple small seminars.

This meant that we were able to put on a viable event within the rules of what was allowed, and cover a greater variety of topics than ever before. The event had a very different feel to it, unsurprisingly, but feedback was again very positive, with many commenting on how helpful it was to focus in on the softer side of education, surrounding attitudes, identity, respect and so on.

There are lots of things we at Salem still can't do due to COVID restrictions, but it's rewarding to be able to get on with those things that we can do! Investing in those who are educating the city's next generation is always worthwhile.

The attendees all together - but only outside!
The attendees all together - but only outside!
Gathering inspiration
Gathering inspiration
Gaining new knowledge
Gaining new knowledge

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Marking International Day of Volunteering
Marking International Day of Volunteering

Much like many places around the world, life is yet to return to normal at Salem after the effects of the pandemic on normal life. Large gatherings and parties are still banned, and that has meant that most of our social projects have been put on hold. Salem Youth cannot meet; we cannot invite groups to go through the AIDS X-perience; and the cafe has only recently been able to re-open.

It's been great to welcome back the World Without Limits social club to Salem just recently, with regulations now meaning that they can meet in limited form - for which they are very grateful. But the normal annual season of New Year parties - for them, for various kids from disadvantaged families, and for our students - will certainly not be happening this year.

Meanwhile, a run of key dates have passed without the opportunity to hold any events to raise awareness of them. Instead, Salem staff put together various social media posts to ensure they were nonetheless noted in some way: 1st December which was the International Day of the Fight against HIV/AIDS; 3rd December which was the International Day for People with Disabilities; and 5th December which was the International Day of Volunteering.

We shall see what 2021 holds, but please be assured that Salem is continuing to engage with these social issues and to take action wherever possible - even if it is with a difference.

With thanks and best wishes from everyone at Salem Social Village

PS Thanks too for all those of you who got involved in Giving Tuesday to support Salem last week, what a great day of global fundraising!

International Day of People with Disabilities
International Day of People with Disabilities
Raising awareness of HIV/AIDS during the pandemic
Raising awareness of HIV/AIDS during the pandemic

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Some of our wonderful flexible English teachers
Some of our wonderful flexible English teachers

These are challenging times for all of us. Here at Salem, we continue to do what we can, though restrictions mean that all our English courses have to be online at present and our normal income is down by 30%. All our other social projects are on hold until things open up once more, and we're looking carefully at how else we can invest in people during the present uncertainty.

Our staff have been amazingly responsive, flexible and generous with their time as we've adapted our curriculum materials at short notice! Our clients have also been very understanding, but are as keen as us to get back to in-person activities on site. We know that you are also experiencing your own challenges and uncertainties at this time, however we'd love to make the most of the opportunity next week to make every small donation go a whole lot further.

All this week until Friday 18th, GlobalGiving is matching all online donations up to $50/£38 at 50% - all week, with no limit on matching funds.

We've all learned recently how important the little actions are - whether keeping your distance, washing your hands, or wearing a mask. We want to invite you to join us in celebrating the power of small acts of kindness, and helping Salem continue its great work even during these turbulent times.

PLEASE ACT NOW TO HELP SALEM!

Please note that this matching offer is only valid until the end of Friday, so please don't miss it! Full terms and conditions are available here.

Please also note that donations on the GlobalGiving site can be made in AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP or USD - choose your currency from the drop down menu on the donation details page.

Please help us continue to invest in the next generation of leaders here while the matching funding is available. Even small donations will make a bigger difference this week!

Thank you.

All that you need to know
All that you need to know

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The SalemHub cafe is a great place to spend time!
The SalemHub cafe is a great place to spend time!

Dear friends,

Greetings from Kazakhstan! We trust you and your loved ones are staying well in these challenging times.

Here at Salem Social Village, we're now in our second period of lockdown, and so our activities are heavily restricted. However, over the first half of this year we've still been busy!

Salem Youth continued up until lockdown hit in March, with all sorts of fun activities, including fruit art! We also held our annual Essential Teacher Skills conference for English teachers around the city. Once again this was very well attended, with seminars and discussion groups supplementing the various sessions. Unfortunately, we were only able to hold the first of the two days planned as lockdown prevented us continuing, but the feedback from attendees was very positive all the same.

We also just had the chance, before everything halted, to hold a popular local quiz night in the SalemHub cafe. 'Quiz Please!' has become very popular around here, and we ran the very first English version at Salem! Salem staff put together two teams, and everyone had a whole lot of fun.

Meanwhile, we carry on with the normal investment in staff, including our Business Breakfast training, and specific sessions with the teachers. All of our staff have been incredibly flexible as the lockdown regulations have constantly been adjusted, initially going on unpaid leave when we had to close, then running some online replacement courses, then starting a new semester under social distancing rules when lockdown ended, and now shifting to teaching entirely online as the city re-enters lockdown. And the feedback from students and parents continues to be incredibly positive, despite all the upheaval!

All our social projects, including the World Without Limits social club, are entirely on hold at present, and we're waiting to see what the future holds, both financially and in terms of what activities can re-start in due course - just like everyone else right now!

Thanks for your support for Salem!

Making art ... out of fruit! Lots of fun for all
Making art ... out of fruit! Lots of fun for all
The Teachers' Conference in full flow
The Teachers' Conference in full flow
Sharing feedback from break-out group discussions
Sharing feedback from break-out group discussions
Teachers busy planning for adjusted courses
Teachers busy planning for adjusted courses

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Dear friends,

Around the world this is a challenging and tense time for many. However, stepping back from the immediate global crisis, we wanted to share our progress during 2019 with you.

Looking back, we compiled quite a list of activities over the year, which forms something of an annual report. In 2019:

  • 2,000 people studied on our English courses
  • 75 of these from disavantaged communities studied with partial discounts or completely for free
  • There were 20 meetings of the World Without Limits social club for people with disabilities
  • There were 40 meetings of the Salem Youth club encouraging volunteering among young people
  • We held 40 'Business Breakfast' training sessions for staff and guests
  • We signed an agreement with the city's AIDS Centre to partner together in raising awareness of HIV/AIDS issues
  • 800 people took part in the AIDS Xperience simulation
  • Our Essential Teacher Skills conference was attended by 90 teachers from around the city
  • We distributed 130 baskets of groceries funded by a local charity to families in need
  • We hosted a presentation by the mobile phone company Beeline about employing people with disabilities
  • We celebrated Nauryz, the Kazakh New Year, with about 400 guests
  • The Shymkent Run Club held 2 presentations in our cafe
  • We held 6 meetings with the local environmental activist Damir Karimov
  • The local charity Wings of Freedom held a conference in our cafe with 50 participants on the theme of 'Let's talk about equality'
  • The Russian photographer Yegor Voinov held a masterclass at Salem
  • The Association of Family Businesses held a conference in our cafe with 50 participants on the theme of 'Family Business'
  • 20 adults and 20 children took part in acting classes held by Sylvia Alloway from California, including their final performance in the cafe at the end of the course
  • 50 young people attended our Youth Leadership Camp for young leaders
  • Mohammed Said from the US, who was disabled by a bomb as a child in Afghanistan and now raises awareness of disability issues around the world, visited Salem
  • We sent furniture and wheelchairs to the Shardara Disabled Association in a town outside the city
  • We distributed a further 60 wheelchairs to people with disabilities around the city
  • The VegaLife group ran a masterclass in vegan cooking in our cafe
  • The Community Plus charity held two workships at Salem
  • The EcoFest and plogging event was attended by 23 people
  • Other events at Salem in 2019 included an artistic masterclass for beginners, a seminar with Bill Einreinhoffer from the New York Film Academy, and the city theatre's programme at the New Year party for the World Without Limits social club
  • And finally, Salem was very proud to receive a significant recognition at the inaugural Ozgeris Ustasy (creator of change) awards

This year is already proving to be quite different in lots of ways, and internet restrictions at present mean we can't send you any pictures this time around, but be assured that we continue to work to see Global Citizens grow wherever possible!

Thanks for reading, on behalf of everyone at Salem Social Village.

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Organization Information

Salem Union

Location: Shymkent, South Kazakhstan - Kazakhstan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ssvshymkent
Project Leader:
Tim Munday
Shymkent, South Kazakhstan Kazakhstan
$48,996 raised of $75,000 goal
 
258 donations
$26,004 to go
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