Dear Child Sponsors and Village Sponsors,
It’s that time of the year once again! The festive mood is steadily growing not only around us but within us. We hope you are feeling the same way too! So much has happened this year and as usual, we are happy to share it all with you.
As the children continue to grow into youth and eventually move from the family house to the youth house, space is created for new children to come into the children’s village. This year, two new children were admitted. One lovely girl called Lucy came all the way across Lake Victoria from the islands. Her father, a fisherman, died while going about his usual business out in the lake. Lucy was left under the care of her father’s good friend but because he too already had a large family of his own, providing for Lucy was not easy. When one staff member from the SOS Children’s Village visited the island, she was told Lucy’s story and was greatly saddened. Knowing something had to be done; she immediately shared this with the admissions committee at the children’s village who unanimously agreed that Lucy genuinely needed a new home and family - hence her admission to the children’s village. Lucy’s stories of life on the island seem to capture many children’s attention and maybe this is why she has fitted in well? She is now very happy with life in her new home, with her new friends and above all being able to attend school. Whenever a child’s life is turned around just like Lucy’s life was, we feel delighted! Another three children have already been identified and will be joining the village soon. Their new families are looking forward to their arrival.
This year saw SOS Children’s Village Kakiri getting a ‘granddaughter’. One of the former SOS youths, George, and his wife who got married last year, were blessed with a lovely baby girl. The baby was named Deborah by George’s SOS mother. It was incredible to see that George is now a father and realizing how much responsibility rests on his shoulders. It gave us all immense joy to realize that anybody and everybody can achieve anything if they set their minds to it. Mother Immaculate stressed to the young parents that they had now become a complete family and should enjoy the joys of parenting by bringing up their baby, and others yet to come, very well.
Three youth joined university this year. Fred joined Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi and is studying a for a BA degree in Ethics and Development. Julius and Annet on the other hand joined Uganda Christian University to study for a BA degree in Development Studies and in Industrial Art and Design respectively. Further more two youth boys, John and Daniel travelled to Nairobi, Kenya to further develop their carpentry skills at the SOS Vocational Training and Production Centre.
This year also saw two youths, George and Sheila, join the SOS International College Ghana. It was such an exciting moment for them after they passed all their entry exams to make it to the college. They are doing well so far and seem to be getting on well with the syllabus. Meanwhile, one of the older youths, Martin, who was already at the college, travelled to London UK, in July, for a two week study programme at the invitation of Oxford University. He travelled alongside four other students from the college.
Zain Uganda Limited visits Kakiri
One of the leading telecommunication companies, Zain Uganda Limited visited the SOS School in Kakiri. Zain Uganda Limited enjoys a partnership with ‘The Monitor’ Newspaper (one of our local dailies) whereby The Monitor produces weekly Newspapers in Education (NiE) pull-outs and also gives free newspapers to the children; the SOS School has been one of the schools that benefit from this partnership. Their mission was to follow up on the NiE activities at the school and support the young readers in any possible way they can. Apart from the warm welcome, the children showed many items and ideas they have gleaned from reading newspapers. They ranged from scrap books of events, to even making their own newspapers. The zeal with which the children looked forward to the NiE activities overwhelmed the guests. Certificates were finally awarded to participants of NiE, who were many.
To many children in Kakiri, our National Day (Independence Day) on 9th October has always been a public holiday that some times goes by unnoticed, but the youth girls defied this and organized a tea party and fashion show which was attended by mothers, aunties and administration staff. Each girl modeled a costume which she was required to talk about. In addition, the function dedicated to mothers for the wonderful work they do bringing up children. All the accompanying music was glorifying mothers and it was a beautiful show of appreciation. The Village Director Mr. Magara encouraged more of such creative activities as they cement the relationships of the children and the mothers.
Family Strengthening Programme
In July this year, the Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) of SOS Children’s Village Kakiri hosted a group of members from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) most of whom were SOS staff from different countries. They were in Uganda for a week long workshop on how FSP projects can best implement their strategies to impact positively on the community. While in Kakiri, they visited different activities going on in the area in relation to family strengthening programmes. They toured the parishes where the FSP operates and gave remarks and recommendations on the progress of the programme, especially in the area of agriculture where they visited several demonstration gardens. They also visited beneficiaries in some parishes and schools where the children attend. They concluded their tour by visiting the out of school Youth Peer Education Club whose activities on health were very much appreciated.
Recently SOS Children’s Village Kakiri received a donation of balls, bags and socks from The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA). Being a weekend, the ceremony was low-key. A bigger handover ceremony is being organized in the near future, with a senior executive of the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) to officiate. These donations will go a long way to supporting our children in their sporting activities, especially football, which happens to be enjoyed by most children, both boys and girls.
The children will break off for the long Christmas holidays in December and we look forward to that. It is always the best part of the year because the children love getting gifts from Santa Claus. Let me take this opportunity to thank you, on behalf of the entire SOS Children’s Village Kakiri family for supporting us, even through the difficult global financial crisis. We know it is not easy, but you have stuck with us and for that we are grateful. We would not be able to reach out to the children without your support.
We wish you and your family a happy 2010.