Here’s our latest update from the “Open Doors Community Centre” in Astana, Kazakhstan – a place for young adults, couples and parents to gain employable skills and life skills.
English Conversation Club
The English Conversation Club is chugging along well. Lately, ever week we have been seeing between 6 and 10 people. We had a great turnout for our celebration of American Thanksgiving near the end of November. We went around the group and everyone shared what they have been thankful for in the past year. We will be holding our annual Christmas party next weekend, and are expecting a large turnout. Activities like that help provide some deeper cohesion with shared experiences, which is great in this city of so many newcomers without good social networks. The easier level club continues to attract new people, often with very low levels of English. That is a challenge for me, but the participants really value the time.
Mums and Toddlers Club
Many mothers and their young children keep coming to this club. The ladies enjoy the time with each other and the children love the crafts and toys. Tirzah had to limit the age of which children can attend because the older children play a bit rough and change the dynamics too much in the group. Thankfully, the mothers accepted the limits without taking offense. This past week, we decorated the room with Christmas/New Year’s decorations, and everyone is looking forward to the big New Year’s (like our Christmas) party which will come up at the end of this month.
Kazak Conversation Club
Our newest club started on October 9th! It has been a very slow start, but we think once the word gets out better that we will have a good turnout. The purpose of the club is to primarily help ethnic Kazaks practice and grow in their Kazak language in a safe environment. There are many Kazaks who are primarily Russian speakers and do not speak the Kazak language well. If they try speaking Kazak, they are normally ridiculed for not speaking well. This results in them not trying to speak and, consequently, never progressing in the language. This then affects many of them as Kazak language fluency has become a bigger requirement for work and social interactions. We are hoping the group will be well attended and that a healthy, nurturing environment can be fostered. Whenever I mention the club to people, they are very positive about it.
We also continue to provide many flyers on various health issues with helpful information for people and their families. Normally, we have some of these brochures posted in the public hallway for people to read and take as desired. We reinstalled our bulletin board despite the repairs in the corridor not being finished. Also people who attend our various clubs often take some flyers as needed.
There are many financial challenges, especially rent for the Centre where so much training happens. You can help by clicking on the Ezidebit button below.