Posted by: kipchak | July 26, 2011

The guilty

United Nations Human Rights Council logo.

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I hope that those responsible for human rights protection will hear about situation in Kazakhstan. The world media cries about human rights in different countries, even neighboring Uzbekistan is under the pressure of world organizations. Only Kazakhstan is quiet as a steppe around Astana. I don`t blame world NGOs or the government, the society is guilty for severe human rights abuse in Kazakhstan. I`m a part of this culture and I know where the roots lie.

At the shelter for victims of human trafficking (mentioned in a prev. post) there is a girl who was sold for slavery by her mother. This case shows the vicious circle of ignorance and indifference in which Kazakh society will be drawn.

Natasha used to live with her mother, alcohol addicted, who constantly brought strange men to their home. Those men bit poor girl and then slept with her. Natasha did not attend school as she is mentally slow. The girl has some psychological disease. One day mother sold her to some men for some bottles of vodka. Thee men kept Natasha for 8 months and forced for prostitution, then let her go or just threw away. Natasha was caught by other businessmen, but this time she was rescued. By chance there was another girl kept in the same flat, she refused to work for masters and started to cry from a window when bosses went away.

As the psychologist explained, Natasha due to her illness and constant abuse at home lost protective instinct. People like this keep obeying and got used to be forced.

Now there is a question who is to blame for the ruined life of a young woman? Her mother? Poor living conditions? In my opinion, people who witnessed mother`s attitude toward her daughter and did nothing: neighbors, teachers at school an local authorities are responsible for Natasha`s life. There`s no law to charge them, but there is a social rule of humanity which is now forgot.

Posted by: kipchak | June 6, 2011

UNICEF, human trafficking and English teachers

Trafficking In Persons Report Map 2010

Image via Wikipedia

What do you feel facing injustice? What do you do when your rights are abused? What troubles you know?

I was fired from my work, got into conflict with the manager. Or, may be the reason is that I inquired too much on the conditions of a contract with the employer? First, I was disappointed as the manager used to be a person highly respected and even adored by me. Then came anger and frustration, and scare of future. I`m jobless, what should I do next?

In a week, I found another job. My parents and sweet heart sighed with relief as I would not sign a long-term contract with the employer. Just one case which may happen to everyone in our country, unless one does not ask questions and defend his rights.

This week Marinka, a UNICEF activist and international journalist, invited me to visit a shelter for victims of human trafficking. Have you ever heard about human trafficking? That is a crime of abusing human rights, exploiting people physically and sexually. Mostly victims are from remote villages and neighboring countries: Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. One Ukrainian woman worked on a farm as a slave for 15 years. A girl cannot read or write, has mental deviation, she was forced into prostitution. One of her “clients” noticed there was something wrong and called the police. He is a witness in court now.

Anna, who runs the shelter in Astana knows many stories, for her it is not just a statistics it is her life. I have planned the trip to a shelter for a few months, and finally I was permitted to visit the place (thanks to Marinka!). There were also two British teachers, David and Paul. I met Paul before, at the stadium. The unpleasant impression left as h was shouting for Astana team and teased me for my team was losing. And now, I meet quite a different person. The same Paul, but serious and sincere as he was asking shelter workers about their work. It turned out; he was running an NGO, worked in Middle East. Both, David and Paul offered their help.

Amazing! Those who devoted their lives to help people in need: victims of human trafficking and disabled people, refugees and orphans, etc. are noble people.

Posted by: kipchak | May 26, 2011

Primary values?

What`s more important: family or career?

This question is actual for me now as I got stuck trying to chose the most important one. If I sign a long-term contract with the employer it will promise a promotion in career. If i refuse to sign the paper i will lose the job, but i will be free to move after my sweetheart at any time.

I cannot ask him to stay, as his job means everything for him. how can I ask him to make a choice?!

A year ago only job matter was essential and vital. When I moved from my town to a capital the Boss said no way back, your place is here now. It was a year ago. Life makes its correlations in our plans: our fell in love, and have problems with the Boss. From this my road diverges into two different ways and I need to chose only one.

What a nice party I had yesterday night! Jazz band from New Orleans made an official visit to Astana and other cities of Kazakhstan. Know for sure that they were in Almaty and Uskemen. The entrance was free but tickets were available only few days in the box office of Concord Palace and US Embassy. I took away tickets ten days before, but some of my friends couldn`t get them. American culture and Embassy events as well, are very popular in Astana, but only a privileged group of people attend them. My sister is lucky to have an Americanized and Facebook addicted sibling like me, as she is aware of all the cultural events in Astana.

Same people attend the same events. I met lots of acquaintances from embassy, American corner and my colleagues and students of course. My boss and some colleagues were sitting behind me at the concert. I was like a student running in the Math teacher in the bus. As the performance went on and reached the peak of emotions the front men commanded to stand up to the audience and the party began. The Underdawgs mix jazz and jive, pop, rock. Such a fizzy cocktail of music combined with Shamarr Allen`s charisma made an explosion in cold Astana`s atmosphere! I forgot that boss`s sitting in the back row, I wanted to dance and sing. The music made me crazy; I put off my shoes and let emotions swing.

Such a wonderful night, I wanted it last forever. But working week hasn`t finished yet, so back to work again.

Coming home I checked my e-mail in hope that there`d be good news. Imagine my excitement when I read a letter from a student of mine. I`ve posted his poem recently and now this guy`s created his own blog. Not on wordpress, but it doesn`t matter. He`s writing rap style poems, most are of a lyrical kind. You need to see it, his thoughts and language are fascinating. I feel proud and happy to be introduced and entrusted of his inner world and feelings. I appreciate it! It`s a precious reward for a teacher to see the results of the work done.

Visit it

Posted by: kipchak | April 12, 2011

what`s happiness?

Today is my birthday. So I`m a new born baby who`s just opening one`s eyes and discovering this world. What do I feel? What do I want? What is in store for me?

Ok, I`m bullshitting. I am a grownup and I know this world somehow and of course it`s clear for me what I want but my future`s hidden under a mystery. Past is past, future is future, present is a gift, that`s why it`s called a present. Life`s given a wonderful gift – my life, the opportunity to live, feel and love. I just worry whether I could embrace the whole world, my mother and father, a sister and a lovely boy.

Today a man asked me if I`m happy. And thanks God I could easily answer yes. My heart sings when I think about my family, when I read messages from my friends and former students. I want to fly when I think about a man who`s in love with me. I`ve learned it yesterday, his eyes told me this.

What do I want? I want to live and act not for one self. There are people who are less fortunate than me, so I`m ashamed to dwell on happiness when a man has nothing to eat and nowhere to live. I need to do a little step…


Posted by: kipchak | April 7, 2011

new challenge or blessed by burden

Am I bare romantic or blessed by burden?

Too ambitious you`d say….

Ok, I teach very primary kids to understand English and may be learn English. Right now I`m busy with managing their behavior, it`s a usual thing that children become ungovernable in the middle of the week. Monkey Day I call it when boys and girls can run back and force on the lesson, shout and fight for very little things. Such lovely kids, they are only seven and just have started to learn but they can easily talk about underwater habitats, space and science. I enjoy working with small children; I love their desire to learn everything. They have so many why questions and sincerely express their feelings. But, on special days my angels turn into devils… unconsciously, they hurt each other and ruin my lesson. Today I`ve turned to arts. We are drawing sea animals and plants. Kids` fantasy is unlimited. Lucas and Cameron might become green with envy if they hear or look at my pupils` pictures. If any fantasy writers are run out of ideas they may come to my lesson, sit backwards and make notes as quick as possible.

I can easily use some elements of critical thinking on my lessons, though it`s common to think that small primary school children are not knowledgeable enough for this. I break them into pairs and encourage working in teams, give individual tasks to find information from the text. I`m proud of my primary kids and can`t keep myself from loving these little monsters)))

Posted by: kipchak | April 2, 2011

Challenges and opportunities: not so optimistic

The glory and splendor of the graduation ceremony passed away, the new day`s dawn. What`s in store for us?

My teacher from PDP program made me to change my look toward my job, live and now I don`t know what to do with new challenge- I see too much now…

I wish I do not see it at all: ignorance, corruption, indifference, cold eyes and cold hearts of those who are in charge for our country.

K used to say that we are change agents now. I`m not sure. May be, I don`t realize what I can do, but I`m sure and firm that I plant the seeds of future changes in my students` hearts and brains. I can find a way to my students` hearts, as they are sensitive to the others` problems.

In the previous post I`ve started the theme of challenges and opportunities of young Kazakhstanians. Here are some reflections of my students; they permitted to publish their writings.


Posted by: kipchak | April 2, 2011

My graduation ceremony

what`s the most exciting thing about studies? – the graduation ceremony. I graduated from the University three years ago. I don`t remember those ceremony, I don`t even participate to it. The PDP short-term course at Nazarbayev University gave me professional grows, and personal too..

Posted by: kipchak | April 1, 2011

Everything is Comparable…

yesterday was a football match Lokomotiv Astana vs Aktobe FC. I shout for Aktobe as I am native of Aktobe and since childhood like this club. My former students from Aktobe now study at Nazarbaev Uni, they also came to the match. Naturally, living in another city means changing your mind and preferences towards the place you live now. It might be true in some case, but when it comes to a football club, the devoted fan cannot change his attitude. On the stadium there were some friends of mine, foreign teachers, they took places in the Loko fans sector and invited me to join them. One guy was wearing a t-shirt with Loko emblem. Imagine my reaction! However I tried to keep calm. May be this man was umaware that I belong to the other club. I sat with my friends during the first time, I had my Aktobe scarf on. Now imagine the reaction of Astana fans when I entered their sector. It was a kind of provocation!

Anyway, I enjoyed the game though it finished with my team`s loss. I spent a nice time with my students and our friends from Aktobe. We all stood up and cheered the team for the whole match.The funny thing happened at the end of a game, the policemen locked us in the sector untill everyone leaves. Usually, when the policemen capture the football fans it ends badly. Ones my friends were badly bittten by the guards and police at the stadium. I felt frightened, there was an opportunity to go away as they let girls leave, but I refused. I was anxious about my students and remained till the end. Hopefully, it ends well. The fans were free in half an hour.

Somepeople call me crazy, they teacher a teacher shouldn`t behave like these, go to the statium, stick with football fans. I don`t care! I`m not doing anything illegal, it`s my personal life and it`s very exciting!

I want to share a poem my student has written in half an hour. It`s a continuation of a theme from the previous blog.

All is comparable”, I wanna say

People have challenges and it`s a key,

Key for my happiness, key for my life.

Fear, pain, death, sobbing … it is not my day.

Life has some bad things, life has some good.

People work hard, work as ruled dolls.

I`m so lucky, I can relax,

Swim, jump, run, walk and play with a ball.

And relaxation is very cool.

But I`ve an opportunity to study at school.

How many people don`t have education?

I know I`ll have it, I’ve started in fall.

Is education important for me?

Yes, but not as to live and to be,

See, hear, love or just to feel

My dear parents, dear family,

Feelings to a lovely, beautiful girl,

Who may be compared to an oceanic pearl.

I`m so lucky every day,

“All is comparable”, I wanna say.

Zhumanov Temirlan

Posted by: kipchak | March 15, 2011

Challenges and opportunities…

This is a Computer Fundamentals class taking a...

Image via Wikipedia

I asked my IELTS people about UNICEF. One said it is an organization, which emblem is on the uniform of Barcelona football club. Also, it is concerned with a child`s rights. I asked them about child`s rights in Kazakhstan. What they answered: children have rights to keep silence, it`s from basis of law may be. Then I presented them Hanaa Singer`s presentation on human rights issue in Kazakhstan, and asked about challenges in our country. First they named school as the most hard and suppressing challenge in kid`s life. We talked about the other issues and people mentioned that women could not get the job as employers are afraid of long vacations because of pregnancy and child`s birth. It is paid from an employer`s budget and lasts for three years. Also there is a bad medical service, no place and medicine in the maternal houses, as a result high rate of infant and maternal deaths in our country. I`ve showed the UNICEF statistics on infant and maternal mortality, anemia cases differentiated in regions of Kazakhstan. They studied the graph with big interest. The last but not the least was a slide about suicide rate among teens in the year 2010. People were astonished of the fact that Kazakhstan is on the first place. Some of them were unaware before, they were shocked. I inquired the reasons that force young men to commit suicide. At first they were unwilling to talk, but then started to share facts from their lives. Last year, they were 13-14, a classmate of one from a former school cut her veins after a boyfriend broke up with her. Fortunately, a mother came in time and saved the girl. I`ve shared a story of mine…

When I was a school girl, father worked at a big construction company where all the staff was like one family. We, children were in good relations and usually met at parties. However, people competed and outburst of their kids` destinations in education. The son of one man finished school with golden medal and won scholarship from Kazakh-British University, next year was my turn. I made my best got excellent results on the exams. Though I did not prove my golden medal, parents were satisfied, as I got scholarship. A year after, the other kid finished school as an honor-roll student. Some people could not resist it. It`s common to our culture.

So, they suppressed their son to do his best and get the same points on the exam. He got only 60 out of 120, but if to consider he`s not a bright student and never paid attention to studies it was a good result. However, his parents need something to match the existing level. You may say, that parents always want their children to be the best. Indeed, this parental love made a 17-year-old boy to hang on in the bathroom. Several cases like this happened in our country since 2004, when new format of testing was introduced.

I became a teacher. Last year my students were graduating from school. English was one of the five subjects in the exams. The day before the exam, kids came to school, they had psychological training. The whole day I stayed with them, w e had long talks as we did during the whole year. They results must be announced; children phoned and asked whether I was coming. They trusted me and needed my presence. We were together on the square in front of the university building, were the commission of the examination situated, our voices trembled and hearts leapt away. Thanks, God! All the kids got outstanding, excellent marks. Those who were supposed to get gold medal, proved it. What an exciting night we got that day! We cried, laughed and hug each other.

They are now at the top universities of our country, KBTU, KazSU, IT, and of course Nazarbayev University. I`m still in good relations with my kids, they phone me on occasions and chat in the net, say hello in the library or when we meet in the streets of Astana. I think, the main reason is because I’ve never kept teacher-student distance. I was open and sincere, more like a peer than a teacher. Now, looking at my high elementary students, I’m glad to teach these people, so bright, strong and brave.

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