SOS Children's Village Livingstone is special in so many ways. Not only is it the newest SOS Children's Village in Zambia - it is blessed with no less than five sets of twins! As you walk down the Village path you might just be tempted to rub your eyes in disbelief, or think that you’re seeing double. Both identical and fraternal, girls and boys, from babies to school goers, there seem to be twins every where. No one has an explanation for the curious phenomena, but everyone loves the ten 'special' children. Here is their story:
Little Emma and Esther are four years old; although to look at them you might think that they were younger. When they first came to the Children’s Village, they were underdeveloped for their age due to their difficult start in life. However, since arriving in the Village, they have thrived - reached all their milestones and have put on weight. Emma is more temperamental than her easy-going sister, but they have formed an extremely strong bond. Their SOS mum just loves having them as part of the family.
Julian and Juliet are eleven years old. Luckily for their mum, they both enjoy helping with household chores, so she has double the help! They enjoy active sports such as volleyball and netball. Juliet is quieter than Julian, who often seems to do the talking for both of them. Their SOS brothers and sisters are glad to have them as a part of their family.
Killian and Justine are very like Julian and Juliet. They are also eleven and enjoy helping their mother around the house. Both Killian and Justine enjoy playing football and are very bright academically, although Justine can be a bit naughty in class! Killian is more serious, but still enjoys playing a joke on his SOS siblings. The brothers are very sociable and are always around and about in the Village.
Charity and Harriet (left) are the babies of the group - in fact, they are the babies of the Village! At just seven months old the girls are quite a handful for their mum who is glad of the help she gets from the older children in the family. Charity and Harriet are very active for their age and have huge appetites! They are the darlings of the whole Village - not just their family.
Finally, Beatrice and Norah are a bundle of laughs and giggles. At just a year old they are into everything and are full of mischief! Beatrice is more adventurous and curious than Norah. Both girls are learning how to walk and once they are more mobile will be even more of a handful for their SOS mum!
In the district of Livingstone, about 66% of the population lives below and many are affected by HIV/Aids. Given the poverty situation and the increase in the number of orphans, the decision was made to build an SOS Children's Village in Livingstone in 2008. SOS Children's Village Livingstone comprises fifteen family houses which provide a new home for up to 150 children. Every family house has a small plot of land for laying out vegetable gardens and raising chickens. Up to 90 children receive early childhood education in the SOS Nursery. It is open to children from the SOS Children's Village and children from the surrounding community. The SOS Primary School operates on the same premises. Two community based programmes - a Family Strengthening Programme and an HIV/Aids programme - complete the services offered.
World Orphan Week – help us build a new Children’s Village in the Zambia!
Chipata, in Zambia’s Eastern Prvince, is home to 32,000 people. With an HIV prevalence rate of 26 per cent, 70 per cent of households are caring for orphans, on an average daily income of just 70 pence. To support Chipata’s most vulnerable children, we have decided to open an SOS Children’s Village, Nursery School, Medical Centre and Social Centre in the town. Construction will begin in Spring 2010 and should be complete by early 2011. 150 orphaned children will be given a new home and mum at the Children’s Village. The SOS Nursery School will support 90 children from both the Children’s Village and the local community, and over 2,000 people will benefit each year from the Medical Centre. And over 1,000 children in the community – most of whom will be affected by AIDS – will be provided with education, food and counselling. Their care-givers will be provided with training in income-generation and business skills.
Somewhere in the world a child loses a parent every 2.2 seconds. There are 143 million orphaned children living in the world today and as many as 100 million more children abandoned on the streets world wide, living in substandard and dangerous conditions. Generations of children have been left to raise themselves. What future awaits them? What future can be predicted for their countries? World Orphan Week is the time to respond to the World Orphan Crisis. Click here to find out how you can make the difference.