Children who don’t have parents or other relatives to care for them miss out on more than just family life: they also need the help that parents would normally provide when it comes to finding direction in life, choosing a career path that fits their talents and releases their full potential. The closed and limited world of an orphanage here doesn’t even give the kind of understanding of the wider world that we take for granted.
Well, it wasn’t our idea, but we were delighted to be invited to join in a new initiative headed up by some of the bigger names in the city, including the city’s grandest hotel. The idea was simply to give kids from an orphanage a wider understanding of what the big wide world is like, and open up to them a new world of future possibilities, by giving them a day out with each partner to learn more about the organisation and its work – hence fun at a posh hotel!
And so, last month Salem Social Village staff welcomed a large group of young people from the Tolebi orphanage for a day with us. We gave them a taste of what their future could involve, through putting on a short leadership course and an introductory English lesson, and giving them a tour of our site and projects.
It was a great honour for us to be invited to join this initiative, headed by the Rixos Khadisha hotel, the local TV channel TVK, and the local dance company Seven Continents, to help children from the orphanage in Pervomayevka, a small town near Shymkent. There were many other local organisations also involved, making up a wonderful charitable partnership.
The young residents of the orphanage were also inspired after their visit to Salem Social Village, enthusiastically sharing their impressions and inviting us to visit their celebratory concert dedicated to the International Day of Child Protection. What a joy to help.