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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Makalle, Ethiopia

Sponsored Children from Makalle
Sponsored Children from Makalle

A child sponsorship report from Makalle, Ethiopia. Written in 2009.

Dear Child Sponsors,

Here comes the most enchanting moment of the year to wish you a very delightful Christmas and happiest New Year ever. We also like to use this opportunity to send you our deepest gratitude for your dedicated help through our effort in shaping the future of disadvantaged children under our care. As usual here we have come up with the latest happenings in our village and affiliated facilities.

The SOS Children's Village

Life in the village has kept on going well with all the 182 children in the village and 66 youth in the youth facilities. Mothers and the village co-workers have also been helpful all the year through exerting commendable effort for the better development of the children. 

Education

In the second semester of the completed academic year 128 of the 138 school going children are promoted to their respective next grades. Besides, all the children, except one from grade 10, who sat for grade 8, 10, and 12 national exams are promoted. The only youth who did not score satisfactory result in the national exam has got the chance to attend a vocational training. 

Celebrations

There were different celebrations held in our village and added color to the routine. Mentioning which, the 35th anniversary of SOS Day on June 23, 2009 was so glamorous. The whole SOS community from the village and other facilities wore a specially made T-shirt with “SOS: My Home!” written on it walked through the streets of the town. The circus performances, the out loud slogans, and the line of the children according to their respective clubs were among the many activities that gave the March beauty. The photo exhibition that shows the works of SOS was also very great. The guest of honor on the occasion was the first child to be admitted to SOS Children’s Village Makalle during the establishment. Now working as an accountant at Makalle University, he witnessed the great opportunity SOS provided him when he was in need. He also advised his younger SOS mates to use their chance and cultivate their future life. 

In the yearly African Child Day celebration organized by the city administration our village children took part in poem competition and won the prize by ranking 1 to 4. 

Vacation and Club Activities

After a long and busy academic year, all school-going children had two months vacation in July and August. During this time all had been engaged in different activities that gave color to the village life by entertaining and widening the scope of children’s outlook. They had also been giving some time to attend the summer tutorial class to get ready for the new academic year.  

To help children well acquaint with their surrounding, the village social worker arranged a unique exercise during the vacation. That is, grown up children in different groups were given assignments like how many Pharmacies, shops, or restaurants are there in the vicinity of the village? And they were supposed to find the answer by going out. The children were so enthusiastic to go out with their respective group and get the answer while studying their surrounding.

An Art Club is established in the village with 28 members and it has paved the way for the children to reveal the talents and motives within them. This new Art Club consists of 3 sub clubs vis-à-vis Drama, Dance, and Song clubs and it took the lion share of activities the children had been engaged during the long summer break. The club members have been showing their talents to the village community on different occasions. 

Meanwhile, a volunteer who is chair person of the youth association for the vicinity gave a 10 day short training for selected village children on Music, Acting, and Traditional dance and were certified for their active participation and talent.

In another development, the Child Parliament has kept on its active performances in the village. The children are motivated to know their rights and responsibilities. Similarly, a Child Council is also established for kids in the age range of 4 to 6. The practices of the child council are the same as the child parliament. Both clubs host 40 children each and they are led by a chair person and a secretary of the children’s choice. 

There was a very colorful and the first of its kind National Youth Forum and formation of SOS National Children Parliament held at the head quarter of SOS Children’s Villages Ethiopia in the capital. Our village was delegated by three youth and three children. Both the forum and parliament created venue for experience sharing for youth and children. And the participants came up with a lot of ideas to share for their brothers and sister in the village.

Youth

Provided with the proper orientation, a total of 21 youth; 18 girls and 3 boys were transferred to the youth facilities from their family houses so as to start their semi independent life and foster their integration with the surrounding community.

The Youth Hearing Days have also continued in the youth facilities. Lately the youth hearing session was held in the girls youth facility with a camp fire, traditional dance, coffee ceremony and a debate on the title ‘the return of Axum obelisk from Rome to Ethiopia, important or not!'

The youth have also been in different activities during their summer break. With the help of Bright Africa Youth Association, a local youth association, the girls in the youth facility have been developing their talents and lead a meaningful life in the future. For doing so, there were different and open discussions on issues like how to meet their targets, how to solve problems in a family, friendship, and community. The youth also took dance and acting trainings during the sessions.

SOS School and Nursery

The SOS School Makalle completed the academic year with success. For its accomplishments it is selected as the best school in the regional state and has received a certificate and special award of LCD computer from the regional state education bureau. The award was given during the annual educational seminar of the regional state, and the school was highly appreciated for its high level of contribution in providing quality education. The school is now giving its service for 915 students. 

During the completed academic year, the school teachers in collaboration with the village staff have also conducted a pilot project entitled ALSDP (Academic and Life Skill Development Program) for the village children and youth. The project was held to see the results of students using the three methods namely peer tutoring (equal grade level students studying together), cross age tutoring (upper graders helping lower graders), and one-to-one tutoring (a teacher or one staff member assigned to help one child in one difficult subject during study time). And this resulted in promising achievements in the final exam during the past academic year. 

On the other hand, the SOS Nursery graduated a total of 77 children, among which 28 are from the village and the rest are from the community. Sports show, educational play, and poems by the graduating kids filled the occasion with beauty. Currently the Nursery has 121 students. 

Nursing College

The Nursing College had a very colorful graduation ceremony for 18 students. After completing the academic session at the college, the graduating class acquired practical skills within the 2 months of apprenticeship program arranged at Makalle hospital. Before the completion of the academic year, the College has conducted a retreat program to the graduating class to a historical place of Axum. It was a great moment for the students to have quality time together and learn from their visit as well. The junior Students of the college have also conducted a farewell coffee ceremony. 

The college has received 25 new students for the new academic year. Among these 13 of them are awarded a scholarship by the college. 

SOS Social Centre

The social centre is keeping its significant role in the lives of 460 people with its day care, family strengthening, and community outreach programs. 

Recently, by integrating the village farm with the social center, some stakeholders are engaged in poultry production, which has become the best income generating scheme.  

In the completed year the medical center on its part has provided service for a total of 1320 patients of which 691 are new to the center. Besides, the center provided health education that focuses on prevention for 1187 beneficiaries. In addition, it conducted a medical check up for all the children in the village; hence every child in the village and every youth in the facilities were fully examined.  

Finally, we give the credit to you for all the activities performed in our village and facilities. May you have a blessed New Year and Christmas with long lasting memories of happiness!

Sincerely Yours,

Nigusse Eshetie (Mr.)
Village Director, Makalle