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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Mogadishu, Somalia

Sponsored child from Mogadishu, Somalia
Sponsored child from Mogadishu, Somalia

A child sponsorship report from Mogadishu in Somalia. Written in 2009.

Dear sponsors,

As we come to the end of 2009, the SOS Children’s villages Mogadishu wishes to send you our warmest Christmas greetings and to tell you about various happenings from our SOS Children’s Village.

There has been no effective government since 1991 when the last functioning government came to an end due to civil war. Fighting in Somalia has killed thousands of civilians and driven millions of people from their homes. The Afgooye corridor now accommodates almost half a million refugees who are escaping the ongoing fighting in Mogadishu.

Family Homes

The SOS Children’s Village Mogadishu is a home to 60 children (33 boys and 27 girls) and 56 youth. The number of males has reduced following the departure of some of the youth.

This year, the SOS families left the village when yet more heavy fighting between the government troops, together with the African Union troops, and the opposition, broke out in July near the children’s village. The families were relocated in different houses in the Afgooye corridor 15 kilometres from the village. Idd,(a festival usually celebrated at the end of every fasting period), was colorfully enjoyed by the families. Children wore happy, glittering and new clothes. Once the situation had calmed down in October, the families returned to the village. Once the situation had calmed down in October, the families returned to the village.

Youth News

Four of our youths completed their primary education and have now joined the SOS Hermann Gmeiner Sheikh School in Hargeisa for their secondary education.

SOS School

In spite of the insecurity in Mogadishu the SOS School restarted on 5 September for the new academic year. It continues to maintain high standards of education and the graduates have shown competence in the outside world of work.

The village educator organized a trip for the top ten children to visit the lower Shebele region, to tour the fruit orchards, (the first time in three years) and it was great fun for them all.

SOS Medical Centre

The insecurity in Mogadishu continues to leave little room for people to heal, and this still remains a challenge for the SOS Medical Centre. However, on the positive side, for a long period this year, the project has not been under attack, except for some parts of the surrounding area.

Four nurses have been trained and are now helping the doctors in charge of the outpatients in the hospital. Around 133,000 people received medical services from the centre, covering 82 percent of its target.

The SOS Mother and Child Health Clinic has seen nearly 11,000 patients in the last six months, most of who suffer from respiratory tract infection. Seven children suffering from heart disease were treated abroad. Immunization has made a positive impact on the local people because they are now bringing their children to be vaccinated. Therefore, preventable diseases like whooping cough, measles and tetanus have been reduced.

In the Emergency Pediatric Unit, a total of 31,887 children received treatment this year, in both outpatient and inpatient medical services. Most children suffered from respiratory tract infection.

In addition, more patients have been admitted to the Supplementary Feeding Programme most of whom were severely malnourished. Proper nutritional supplements are given to these people, enabling them to recover quickly.

SOS Nursing School

Despite the ongoing war, the nursing school continued with its activities. Twenty-one students graduated in October and at the same time the school received a new principal. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), all students excelled in their exams, and some of them are now employed in different health institutions in Somalia. The SOS Medical Centre itself employed nine graduates. Currently, the school has 65 students.

We thank you sincerely for your generosity which enables us to provide a pleasant and comfortable life to our SOS children in Mogadishu despite the prevailing circumstances.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

With warm regards,

Osman Shukri
Village Director
SOS Children's Village Mogadishu