Issue 001, May 2013: News from the new organisation, including a report on the AIDS-Xperience opening
The founders of Crossroads Central Asia hand over to the '"next generation."

Up and Running...or Growing 

Greetings from the Salem Social Village in Shymkent, Kazakhstan and welcome to the first edition of Village Leaf! If you’ve never heard of us, don’t worry – we’ve only been using our new name for a couple of months, but we’re building on a long history of projects here. Previously, we were Crossroads Central Asia, but when CCA closed in April the leadership was passed from one family to another, and the Social Village was born – or maybe that should be planted.

So what’s a Social Village? Well, our vision is to be a place where Global Citizens grow through learning and serving together. We will explain more about what we mean by ‘Global Citizens’ next time, but essentially we want to help deal with the problems facing Central Asia through long-term investment in the next generation of leaders, teaching them how they can live to give rather than get, serving rather than side-lining those in need.

We have lots to tell you about all that we’re doing here – and we’ll introduce you to some of our projects and people over the next few months. 

We have five main departments:

  • Education – equipping students to discover their role in the world through teaching high quality English courses, including Leadership classes.

  • Life Xperience – raising empathy and understanding of global need through simulations and experiential learning.

  • Community Care – caring for the needy and helping those ignored by society, whilst teaching others to care about them too.

  • Shipping – distributing quality donated goods, which we continue to receive from Crossroads in Hong Kong, to organisations across Central Asia.
  • Café â€“ the social hub of the village, where compassionate community is built, assisted by delicious coffees and cakes.

Look out for the next Village Leaf
to read more about some of our
exciting new developments!

Each month we tell you something about our work using a number; this month, our featured number is:
Find out why below in Village by Numbers.

Village People
Each month we highlight a member of our team to help you to get to know us better. This month...

Name: Tim

From: UK

Time on the team: 1 year exactly 

Job role: Vice-President or Strategy Director, depending on the situation. He’s the one in charge!

Interesting fact: He worked for 11 years trying to sort out traffic problems in the UK before moving here – an indication of a job completed, or maybe more like give up and try something else?!

Village by Numbers
The number of years since Salem Union, the organisation which runs Salem Social Village, was founded. It has been operated by various foreign organisations in that time, but now for the first time we’re a purely local operation.

“To understand a man, you must walk a mile in his shoes.”  -African Proverb

In our Life Xperience department we strive to make this proverb a reality. 

“Welcome to the restricted zone, where anybody can experience the life of a person infected with the HIV/AIDS virus.” This is a phrase that Natasha, the head of our Life Xperience department, has repeated more times than she can count since the AIDS Xperience opened to the public this month.

We have big hopes for this little project, in which you walk through the story of a person who may have contracted HIV. You finish in a waiting room with the results of your HIV test. 

The goal of the AIDS-X is “to reach people’s hearts. We are not experts in HIV/AIDS. We could give people lots of information, but we don’t do that. Our goal is to get them to stop and understand the value of their own life and that of the person beside them,” Natasha says.

“We believe that if we can change one heart through this experience, we can change certain mindsets in this society.” 

Over 200 people have already walked through the AIDS Xperience since it opened and we hope for hundreds more this summer and over the years ahead. 
The Salem Social Village in Shymkent, Kazakhstan is run by Salem Union, a local non-profit non-religious charity organisation which works to care for the needy and influence a generation of future leaders

Copyright © *|2013|* *|Salem Social Village|*, All rights reserved.