Dear Friends and Child Sponsors,
Have a warm greeting from El Salvador one more time, specifically from the children of the SOS Children’s Village Sonsonate. We hope you can know more about the lives of the different families of the village after reading this information.
We have currently 143 boys and girls between the ages of five months up to 16 years old. This year we have welcomed Daysi, a young woman with mental disabilities, who was living in the country of Honduras, in a village in the city of Valle de Ángeles (Valley of Angels) Now Daysi is part of one of our families; the SOS mother has made her best effort to give a warm welcome to her and for providing a cozy atmosphere for the adaptation of Daysi to her new home.
Regarding our youths of our SOS Youth Facilities in Sonsonate, there are some adolescents who have initiated this year the experience of living in a more responsible way to prepare for their independent life. An example of this is Débora, who is very motivated to live this process to begin to take his life and make their own decisions, with the support of the youth leader and her SOS mother. Gladis is a young woman who is also preparing to be transferred to the SOS Youth Facility for young women, she already has a part-time job and is very excited to live soon with the other girls her age, her SOS mother, Amanda Luz, is supporting her very much, too.
Just like the young women, there are young men who are also starting this process to be transferred to the SOS Youth Facility for boys. Domiciano and Mario, two teenagers who are very intelligent and dynamic, with the support of their SOS mother and the youth leader, are preparing for the moment they start their independent life. Both are talented youths, Mario works in a radio station and Domiciano at a workshop of Automotive Mechanics. It is worth mentioning that most of our youths have the desire to help others, Esmeralda for example, she is in her last year of nursing, and she makes her practices in the national hospital of the city of Sonsonate, putting her knowledge at the service of those who need it the most.
At the moment we don’t have planned the construction or expansion of any of the 16 homes of the village, but perhaps it will be necessary later in order to be able to welcome more boys and girls who need it, and thus continue to expand our programme Familias Exitosas (Successful Families) This programme consists in renting a house in some neighbourhood near the village and transfer one family to this house, today we have two families, the family of mother Loly and the family of mother Marlene. They are having very good results and are an example for the other families.
Regarding the Family Strengthening Programme, we have currently 129 boys and girls being attended in the Social Centre. This year we are focusing our work in strengthening the work of the educators, so they can be able to train the fathers and mothers of our children, to be guarantors in the protection of their children. We have also managed alliances and work in cooperation with other institutions and organizations, because with their support we can complement the services of our models of attention. As part of the attention to the parents of the children attended in the Social Centre, we have been given different skills labour in the area of sales, proof of this is Carlos, father of Bety, a girl who is four years old, he was trained in bakery, then he managed a micro credit and now he has his own business bakery. It is worth mentioning that the mothers and fathers have formed a Committee of family, which supports in monitoring the protection of their children, and are actively involved in the organization of different activities.
Life in the village is always full of surprises and stories to share. This year we have started with this programme called JAKE (Youths burning energy, by its acronym in Spanish), coordinated by the youth leaders and led by the same adolescents in the village, whose main objective is to prevent inappropriate conduct in the participants. This programme consists in making various activities where the adolescents can express their interests and skills freely, through sport and other recreational activities. As part of the programme, since March we are developing a football tournament where both men and women participate, the last April we had a softball game and the SOS mothers and aunts of the village played, each of them were supported by their boys and girls.
We are proud to share with you that Marcela and Mercedes, two girls living in our families since the early years of their lives, because of their good academic performance have scholarships to study in one of the most prestigious institutes in our country. In this period of the year Marcela has been a pride for mother Marta, his SOS Mother, because she is part of the table of honour and mother Marta receives congratulations from the authorities of the institution.
This year we celebrate the 37th anniversary of our village, and the arrival of SOS Children's Villages to the country. To celebrate it various celebration activities were scheduled and the boys and girls enjoyed breaking piñatas, like the Mexican ones, eating snacks and having a morning of sports games among adolescents, and something very peculiar was that the SOS mothers and aunts joined the teams. It was a very special day watching the SOS mothers with their children in the different games and also watching victorious the winning team. As an initiative of the different families of the village, they decided to enable an area of green zone as recreational area for boys and girls. Swings and other games were installed in the place with the help of adolescents, it is very gratifying to see the boys and girls playing, and the SOS mothers and aunts accompany them with responsibility, especially on weekends when they share together as a family and enjoy the air fresh and the outdoors. In Sonsonate we have warm weather in this season of the year.
But not only the life within the village is full of joys and events for sharing, also our former SOS youths share with us their life. For example, Wilber, who is twenty three years old, has begun his technical career in Administration of Restaurants and is very excited about learning. From a little more than two years Wilber has a stable job that allows him to rent a house in the downtown. All months he comes to the village to share that bond so strong of love that exists among his SOS mother and family. Samuel has already bought his own house, because of his labour stability he managed a loan with the bank and now he lives in his own house. Carlos, a young man who was prepared in the area of computer systems, currently administers his own business in computing services and digitization of text; thanks to his effort it is giving him very good results. Flavia and Jenny, both of twenty two years old, are assistants in a research company; Marisela, who is twenty two also, speaks very well the english and has a job as a receptionist at an international company, she is also studying her degree in International Relations at the university. Blanca Erecely is sharing her happiness with her SOS mother and family. She got married, has a beautiful baby and always visits her SOS mother and family, currently she continues with his college career.
This is what we can tell you at the moment, we hope you enjoyed reading and knowing more about our children in the village. We want to thank you again for giving us the opportunity to provide all our children and youths a family with love, respect and security. With your help and support we can make all this possible.
Once again, thank you very much. May God bless you always.
Samuel Ernesto Carías
SOS Children’s Village Sonsonate