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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Zanzibar, Tanzania

Sponsored child from Zanzibar, Tanzania
Sponsored child from Zanzibar, Tanzania

A child sponsorship report from Zanzibar in Tanzania. Written in 2009.

Dear Sponsors/Friends,

It is the end of the year and it is Christmas again, time for a review. Let me start to say thank you and to express our ongoing appreciation for your amazing generosity.  Your support has enabled us to expand our programs and enrich the lives of more children through our major common objective that is to enable children to grow in a caring family environment. Children who learn to become self-supporting and to be contributing member of society one day; children who are inspired to become valuable advocates for tolerance and peace.

As we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the SOS Children’s Villages around the world, we launched into a new decade; a decade with new Strategies of ONE CHILD, ONE FRIEND and ONE MOVEMENT. A decade where 1 million children are enabled to grow in a caring family, a decade where we need more SOS friends around the world, a decade of Strong people, strong associations for 1 million children.

Year 2009 in Review

FAMILY STRENGTHENING PROGRAMME

• Enabled more than 280 children from poor families to access school education these includes 18 children who are admitted at SOS Schools (10 nursery & 8 at school) and all members of beneficiary families benefit from medical care services.
• Achievement in terms of skills acquired:
-Training on Psycho-Social Support and Child care skills.
-Skills in Poultry production and management.
-Training skills in Tie & die, and Batiki making (Textiles)
-Training skills in Vegetable production and post harvesting
-The skills acquired have enabled the creation of two new projects which are currently running. i.e. Poultry & Vegetable production

SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGE ZANZIBAR

• Following the resignation of the National Director in April 2009 it is recommended that the post of substantive National Director to have a choice candidate in place by 2nd January 2010.
• The Village Directors in all the SOS CVs in Tanzania have been assigned for local fundraising and rely on the GSC for qualitative technical support.
• Students of the SOS Zanzibar participated in intensive human rights education and gained the skills needed to promote human rights to their peers.
• Our youth Boy who was admitted at the SOS International College Ghana this year has settled well with his studies.
• A joint Planning Meeting of all the SOS Children’s Villages in Tanzania was conducted in Dar es Salaam in October this year to effectively implementation of the new strategies.
• The Board of Trustees of the SOS Children’s Villages Zanzibar sat for two Board Meetings to analyse the current situation of the SOS Children’s Village Zanzibar.
• Our Village Educator resigned in October 2009 post marital settlement and has to pursue her career life in Dar es Salaam, an immediate replacement was done.
This year we have been blessed by generous international students, who came as volunteers. Among our activities, they enthusiastically followed-up the Family Strengthening Programme and they worked closely with Family care-givers. Within a few days, they were able to support them to raise some funds from family and friends at home to support Family Care-givers to set up a Poultry Project which is an Income Generating Activity. With funds received, a construction of sheds started and 400 hundred chicks were purchased.  There were lots of big grins - on the faces of those receiving the support. It is immensely gratifying, and it is beyond words expressing appreciation on behalf of the community.

Despite the success that the Family Strengthening Programme has achieved, the project still faces challenges such as HIV/AIDS stigmatization,  Illiteracy level, Cultural values: Polygamous, Early marriage/early pregnancy etc. Some measures have been immediately recommended as Introduction of literacy classes for adult beneficiaries, Gender equality sensitization workshop for care-givers and Community sensitization programmes on cultural belief and development.

Superstition has led to the killing and the selling of body parts of albinos in Tanzania. The Red Cross Red Crescent is backing the Tanzanian government efforts to protect them, and defends their right to a life in dignity. More than 40 lives were lost in a recent spate of albino killings in Eastern Africa.

Phenomenon of albino hunting” that started in August last year is linked to the economic boom in the fishing and gold mining industries. Things are so serious that Red Cross volunteers often have to pour concrete over the tombs to prevent albino corpses from being exhumed at night by people in search of the 'magical organs'.  We are all condemning and fighting this horrible form of discrimination.

I have prepared for our Christmas package two beautiful stories of our children who have received and have tried to achieve. The thesis is “Making a Difference”.

The recent move by the two strong political parties in the Isles to put aside their political differences have been described as aimed at promoting peace, stability and unity in the isles. This has been observed as a boldly move showing the way forward by taking concrete steps towards resolution of the long political impasse on the Isles. The steps taken by the two leaders indicate that even in a situation where policies and ideologies sharply differ, it is still possible and important to uphold wider national interests over and above individual and partly outlooks.

Wishing you a wonderful and productive 2010!

With kind regards,

Asya M Salum
Sponsorship Coordinator
SOS Children’s Village Programme Zanzibar