Issue 026, December 2015: More great events, and a special video for you
Bringing It All Together
Adjusting the wheelchair for its new owner 

It's always a great pleasure to be a place where two completely different groups of wonderful people can come together. On the 4th of this month, Salem Social Village hosted one event to mark two days: the International Day of People with Disabilities, and the International Day of Volunteering.
One of our volunteers from this year being thanked by Max 
This was a chance to say thank you, with all the Social Village team congratulating our volunteers on all their efforts this year. As you may be aware, the culture here places a lot of emphasis on presentations, speeches, certificates, big events and having fun together, all of which were included! The celebration atmosphere was complete with games, songs, dancing - and, of course, drinking tea.
Those with disabilities and their parents also congratulated and thanked the volunteers, with many warm and touching words. "We love life, and don't see disability as a sentence," one of them said. "We love spending our free time with our friends. We want to be seen as equal members of society. A massive thank you to the Social Village and the volunteers, whose work is priceless. Their sincere friendship gives us confidence in ourselves."

Another very happy owner takes a test drive
One of the highlights of the day was presenting a number of wheelchairs to children with varying degrees of disability. This was a hugely important event for each of these kids, whose lives will now be much less restricted.

Village by Numbers

This month, our featured number is:


Find out why below in Village by Numbers!

Village People

Name: Max
(He's had a haircut since the other photo was taken!)

From: Shymkent 

Time working here: 6 months

Role: Volunteer Co-ordinator and the IT guy

Interesting fact: For a while as a child, Max lived in Yakutsk, which is in the depths of Siberia and is known as the coldest city on earth. He mostly got around on a sleigh!

Village by Numbers

The number of high quality imported wheelchairs we were able to give this month to children, aged from 1 to 8, who have a variety of disabilities. We really hope that these gifts will significantly expand their world!

New Year Fun for Everyone

It's become a tradition for us in December to organise a big party for kids from deprived backgrounds and those with disabilities. For the second year running, the Regional Russian Drama Theatre, a local charity, have helped by coming to provide a great show that everyone loves. The kids were transported to a wonderful world, dancing and having fun with some of their favorite fairytale characters.

None of the guests were in any way bored, and every child and parent was there with their own particular story. One family experienced a house fire the day before the event, with four children literally saved from a burning building. We were able to help them in the aftermath of this experience, and put a smile back on their faces for a little while at least. It's always a joy to be able to help somehow.


A New Year Message from the Salem Team

We recorded this message to all our local friends and supporters, but wanted to send it to you too! Please click on the pic above to watch the video - it's in Russian (the English translation is below), but you really need to watch it to fully get the message!

"Dear friends, students, partners, volunteers, supporters,

We want to wish you a Happy New Year! Thank you for being with us this year.

We wish you and your families peace, success in your work, well-being for your country, and also happiness and health to each of you.

With love,
Salem Social Village"

And finally... wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone on the team at Salem Social Village. We trust that you have a great time, however you're celebrating at this time of year, and we'll be in touch again in January.

Salem Social Village is able to generate a large proportion of its needed funds from its own activities. However, we still need the generous support of many to help cover the significant costs of running our projects and maintaining our site. To make a donation to support our work, please visit us on GlobalGiving, either our UK site or our US site. Thanks.

The Salem Social Village in Shymkent, Kazakhstan is run by Salem Union, a local non-profit non-religious non-political charity organisation which works to care for the needy and influence a generation of future leaders.

Copyright © 2015 Salem Social Village, All rights reserved.

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