Dear sponsors and friends,
Once again, we want to share some news from our SOS village Los Aromos with you. This village is placed in Santiago, our capital, under the impressive Andes Mountains.
The year started happily with family trips. During the long summer holidays that last from December until the end of February, most of our families stayed for 10 or 14 days at the sea, in places like Pelluhue, Algarrobo, Cartagena, Punta de Tralca, etc. Some families went to the countryside in the central region. Back at the SOS village, everybody enjoyed the large swimming pool. Some little ones and mothers took swimming lessons. Our scouts went on excursions with their groups, and the children also enjoyed cinema afternoons, visits to the zoo, fun fairs and a daytrip to a place with amusing games and a swimming pool that belongs to the organisation of firemen. Some children could also visit their relatives and strengthen ties with them.
Today, there are 112 children and youngsters living in the village, in 12 cosy family houses, surrounded by beautiful gardens with play grounds and a large swimming pool. Five children could return to live with their biological relatives again, because they resolved most of their problems. We are always working on strengthening family ties.
We consider that part of our task is helping families in need to resolve their problems. In seven centres belonging to SOS Children’s Villages Chile, we work actively with children and their families, especially with their mothers who participate in diverse workshops and occupation trainings allowing them later to improve their economic situation. At the same time, it means also a direct benefit for children. One of these programmes is working next to our SOS village. In its nursery 244 children, aged from 1 until 5 years, stay during 8 hours daily, receiving the necessary meals and stimulation. We help their parents to get a financial support from government, and we also offer workshops where parents can learn how to manage difficulties in a constructive way. We do all this because our most important goal is the prevention of child abandonment.
Four of our youngsters continue their studies at institutes or universities. Sandy studies chemistry. Fabian and Carlos finished high school in December, and they are both learning computation at an Institute. During holidays, our youngsters could not find a summer job. Because of the financial crises, the unemployment is higher again. But Juan Pablo, who was received in our SOS village when he was only 7 days old and is an adult and chef now, wanted to work free at the SOS village. For him, it is difficult to think about an independent life.
Seven children were received in the village. Their new families prepared the welcome carefully. They decorated the house, prepared delicious things to eat and new toys were waiting for children, who generally come fear and distrustful. Unfortunately, this is not the first change in their short lives. SOS mother’s task is arduous and laborious, but then it is well rewarded when these children are more confident and happier
Mother Marina who started 8 years ago at our SOS village received three new children. They quickly said mother to her, enjoy family life and feel fine. Jenny, 4 years old, arrived one day before her birthday, and a fine cake and a doll waited for her. She carries the doll everywhere and sleeps with it. She is one of the youngest in the family.
A new school year started in March. Together with classes start also organised sport activities at the village, especially football. The Rosario Central Club has some new fans, and they are right now playing a new cup.
The community hall offers gym lessons for our SOS mothers. Some children joined a meeting at the community hall, where they talked about children’s rights. It was very interesting for them, because they could talk to the mayor and to other members of the Town Council.
The life unfortunately brings also sad news. Enrique, who grew up in our village, 38 years old, married and father of a daughter, died after a short aggressive disease. Almost all his former SOS siblings came to his burial. They decided to pay the costs of the funeral and help a little his wife.
This year, and due to the financial crisis, we can not make big investment or purchases in the SOS village. We are managing the resources, which you generously give for our children’s wellbeing, in the best possible, rational and careful way.
We are glad to count on your support and sincerely appreciate it very much. Thank you.
Victor Oviedo R.
SOS Village Los Aromos