At the Centre people gather for the English Club, the Mothers-and-Toddler’s Club (MTC) and occasionally, the Chinese Club.
We had a very good Easter party with the English Club. It’s always a fun time with dyeing eggs, playing games, having games for the children, watching a video, and eating good food. Everyone had a very pleasant time.
Tirzah, who runs the MTC, has struggled a little to communicate with the Russian- speaking mothers when there are no Russian/Kazakh interpreters present. But even so we had a really fun party for the Mothers and Toddlers’ Club before it went into recess for summer break. The mothers expressed how valuable the club has been for them and that they would miss it over the summer, even though most of them will not be around during that time.
During August however, even though the MTC is on hold, many of the participants will meet up with one another for “A Picnic in the Park.”
Alcoholics Support Group
It’s great to see some thirty people coming to the group, and how much it’s helping them; and indirectly their family members, friends and employers. Support groups meet three times a week, on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons at our Community Centre and on Sunday mornings in a different location. The co-dependency support group meets occasionally in our Community Centre on Sunday afternoons.
We continue distributing literature to help alcoholics and those who care for them, but for the time being we are looking into what needs to be produced in order to run groups in the Kazakh language.
It is sad when some of the alcoholics (there have been a couple recently) cannot get out of the alcohol dependency cycle. Usually they do not really apply the steps of the program to their lives and then wonder why they do not change. So, maybe we need to do a little more thinking about how to help them break free.
Valueology – Assisting Schools by with materials and teaching values to teenagers
We are helping to write and edit a booklet on alcohol and smoking. Currently, this involves seeking feedback from local young people, and brainstorming how to rewrite a shorter, more impactful booklet. Occasionally this means researching the suicide situation in Kazakhstan and what can be done to strengthen prevention. According to the World Health Organization, the suicide rate in Kazakhstan is 15 per 100,000 people and at present it is ranked 10th among the world’s most suicidal countries. (In 2014)
More foreign staff members who could help with writing and formatting new lessons and teach them directly in schools would certainly help the project enter a more active and effective phase. Greater access to people with resources in the area of suicide prevention would also be a huge help, especially someone with practical experience in suicide prevention.
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