Dear Friends and Child Sponsors,
It is that time of the year again when we bring you, our friends and supporters, the yearly update in our village and the children’s progress in their different areas. We cannot forget to always express our most sincere gratitude and appreciation for your unwavering support.
It has been a very cold winter this year in Swaziland due to the heavy rains received in summer. However all our children and youths were able to cope well in these conditions. We have just started to have a feel of the summer season as temperatures are souring up and experiencing some rainy days though not much. The country has held one of its major cultural event for the young girls called Reed Dance. It was attended by more than 60,000 young girls from all parts of the country and 28 of the village girls participated. This event was also used as an advertisement campaign for the 2010 World Cup to be held in our neighboring country, South Africa. We have experienced a massive number of visitors even from abroad and this has put the country in a spotlight for countries to camp here for the 2010 World Cup.
The village is currently operating in full capacity of one hundred and thirty children. There has been an admission of twelve new children into the village, ranging from one year to thirteen years. All of these have settled well in the new environment and are already bonding with their mothers, brothers and sisters. Two of these are at primary school, two in the nursery school, four in our literacy class and four at home.
We do have cases of children who are sickly but with the good care provided by the mothers and village nurse, there are significant signs of improvement. There has been a country wide immunisation campaign for all children under the age of five and our clinic has been very busy with the village and community children. Overall the clinic attended to one three three nine children in this campaign. Generally, the number of patients attending our clinic seems to be improving a lot due to the good care and availability of medication at all times.
The village children and youth have had a number of activities during the year. Most of these activities took part during the first and second term holidays. They held a car wash campaign that attracted the eight of the Miss Swaziland finalist. The main aim of the event was to create awareness to the public about the work done by SOS Children’s Villages in Swaziland and for fundraising purposes. The event was a huge success as the public from the surrounding community and far came in their large numbers for support.
The existing relationship between the village children, youth and the community children was further strengthened this year by a successful Sport Bonanza event that was held in the village. This is one sporting event that was favorable to the children as it provided recreational development as well as socialising with children from other community clubs.
On the 20th June 2009, the village children, SOS youth and Family Strengthening Programme children all joined together in celebrating the SOS Day as well as the Day of the African Child. This event was graced by the presence of another child care giving organisation called Selusandla and the Fountain of Living Waters Church youths. The theme for the event was “Make Swaziland Fit for Children”. The whole programme for the day was managed by the children making presentations in a form of speeches and plays about what the Government and NGO’s have done so far in making Swaziland fit for children.
In August, the Mbabane Village held a talent search show which was graced by the presence of Swaziland National Youth Council, Swaziland Music and Arts as well as Mr. and Miss Swaziland. Children from Siteki and Nhlangano villages also participated. The theme for this event was “My Life, My Skill Support Me”. Children and youths were categorised in music and dancing, poetry and drama, and fine arts. Different talents were exposed with fabulous prizes awarded to winners. The village ball room dance group outperformed itself even this year as two members were selected to be part of the national team that went to Lesotho for competitions.
The SOS Nursery School held a successful family fete day mid second term with an overwhelming attendance from the community. Stalls were child oriented and include jumping castle, face painting and cookie decorations, pick a box, raffle draws and entertainment groups from the village. A substantial amount of money was raised. On another note the Prince Lindani foundation also boosted our finances by a donation of E5000.00. We have also had visitors from Our Lady of Fatima School in Durban who donated various goods which the village found to me useful in the family houses.
The children, mothers and administration staff would like to thank all friends, supporters and sponsors for all your contributions and wish you the best during the festive season and the coming year 2010.