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Children from the SOS nursery in Bucharest
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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Cisnadie, Romania

Sponsored child from Cisnadie
Sponsored child from Cisnadie

A child sponsorship report from Cisnadie in Romania. Written in 2009.

Dear Sponsors and Friends,

We are again on the verge of concluding a year, during which we look back to have a panoramic view. It was a year when, with good and less good, we were glad to be together and know that there, by far, you watch over our children and youth, too. We always felt this, by correspondence and gifts sent to children and, especially, the thoughts that you wrote down.
We are happy again, this time, that we can share with you our achievements, of the little ones and together with them, of ours, the adults.

The event that marked the last period of 2008 was the visit to our village of two great sportsmen of Romania, Gica Hagi and Gica Popescu, people who have joined us in our great work put in the service of children. Their arrival at Cisnadie was a great celebration, both for children and adults, and for all supporters from the local community.

Like every year, the winter holidays have brought us joy. The houses were ornamented, the wonderful aroma of homemade cakes delighted us and the children’s voice filled every corner of our hearts ... "Santa" has arrived in our village SOS and he was received with joy and a festivity organized for him, by children from SOS nursery and the SOS Village. At the end, all the children received gifts from him. Young people from the two Youth Communities learned and experienced over the years it's nice to get but also it’s great to give back, so from their pocket money they prepared and provided gifts for needy children in the Day Center St. Nicholas. These are moments in which we, the grown up ones, feel that we are on a good way educating the children, as they become people with a big heart.

The year 2009 found us all fit as a fiddle, started with dreams and hopes, with bold plans and many activities aimed at continuously improving the quality of services we offer to our children and young people, trying to best respond to their needs and desires.

This year one of our objectives was the admission of new children, wishing to give them a chance at a happy childhood for all children in need. Since February first new child admitted shyly stepped in his new family house. In no time he found little family here who has so much to offer, a loving mother and social brothers to play with, and they have made him feel at home. The same thing happened with the other 14 children who learned in the SOS Children's Village Cisnadie meaning of words home, family, loving mother, toys, heat, sweets, etc… In each project were held events and activities that brought smiles, joy, happiness, and of which we all learned something.

In the SOS nursery were particular activities for preschoolers, under the careful guidance of teacher ladies. Project SOS nursery is a social project that addresses both SOS preschool children and children from poor families from the local community. Celebration for Santa Claus, celebration for the mothers (during the anniversary day of March 8), activities for the International Children's Day celebrations (June 1), participation and gaining first prize at the International Festival of Dance for Children, games and competitions in various occasions, these are only a few activities carried with preschool children.

In the 2009-2010 school year, SOS nursery opened its doors to 55 children. Ladies educators have welcomed them with smiles, warm words and with much gentleness, so that soon took the place of tears, the smiles, games and toys, making them forget the emotions caused by the first day of nursery. But most were happy to discover new playground, rather kindly arranged by a foundation that sponsored the whole arrangement, with swings, slides, stirrups, etc.

School children enjoyed the wide offer of the clubs and educational circles in the SOS village, where every day they can improve skills and abilities. The circle of creation, the carpentry work, sports or chess club were opened for each child who wanted to participate in these activities, guided by the team of teachers.

End of school year made us proud of our children: graduated 100% and 13 with first prize. The latter have been rewarded by participating in "trip prize-winners”.

With the coming of summer and the beginning of great holiday, our thoughts headed to excursions, school camps, trips and many recreational activities. Thus, all school children enjoyed a few days in northern Moldavia, where together they have visited the monasteries, and also the childhood place of Romanian novelist Ion Creanga; they went through Cheile Bicazului and were marveled by the greatness of Red Lake. It was a wonderful trip, from which all left with good memories. A group of children have participated in the celebration of 60 years of SOS and the exchange of experience with children in Austria. After the partnership established with ASTRA Complex and Gong Theater, children from Cisnadie SOS Village took part in various activities of museum pedagogy. Many other holiday activities filled the hot days of summer, when the sun was our best friend.

First day of school was a moment of joy for most school children in SOS village. They waited eagerly joining classmates and friends, during holidays and curious stories of the new beginning. Only the small children from 1st class had tears in their eyes and stepped with fear in their classrooms; they were placed in their desks, too big for them, waiting for a miracle. And when the miracle was revealed, a fairy with sweet voice told them how many wonderful things they will learn in school, so all fear gone away and remained only the desire, to be the best students.

Young people from the two Youth Communities are preparing every day for life, to become independent and autonomous. Thus, with the help of counseling and psycho-pedagogical staff specializes in solving adolescent age problems, youngsters from SOS build the foundation of what they will become, reliable and successful people. At the end of school 100% finished the school. School results were good and very good. Two of them are now new students and the number is 5 in total. At the beginning of summer holiday, together with young people we have prepared schedule of activities. Holidays started with a voluntary project, where were involved 10 of our youths. Satisfaction offered by the involvement and dedication was even bigger when they were rewarded with repair and maintenance products got by sponsorship, necessary for the spaces in which young people live in the Youth Community. After that, came the Caciulata camp, where all young people from the two communities attended, followed immediately by a sanitation project to an area of interest, also a voluntary activity, rewarded by allowing to spend a week holiday in a hostel in the area. Sun, swimming, disco, walking and hum of first love, all these contributed to young people’s good mood. Both during the school year and during holidays, young people involved in extracurricular activities continued to practice (2 young football players, one new member in Mountains’ Friends Club, 1 young member in a social dance club).

This year 11 of our youngsters became independent and the other four have made the first step on the way to independence and autonomy. The beginning of the school year found us in the formula: 29 young people assisted in the two Youth communities and other 6 in partial assistance.

And "Camp SOS”, through activities and being opened to children with good school results coming from families with limited material possibilities, offered services and unforgettable days for all children who have spent several holidays here.

Counseling center for disadvantaged families successfully continues its activity, engaging in all that it means local community, offering good quality services, support, therapy and counseling to families at risk of abandon their children, developing also activities with the children of these families. SOS counseling center has become an important point of support for local community and the large number of beneficiaries proves this.

Entire staff working with children and young people received training this year and continues the training. Were organized training courses, supervision of team and individual, team-building, all these for quality improvement of the services.

Every year we enjoy the achievements and successes, but mostly we are proud that we are able to educate and to grow healthy and cheerful children.

Thank you for being our dear friends, always close to our children.

Florin Hariga
Village Director, SOS Children's Village Cisnadie