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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Gabu, Guinea-Bissau

Sponsored child from Gabu
Sponsored child from Gabu

A child sponsorship report from Gabu in Guinea-Bissau. Written in 2009.

Dear sponsors,

The Children’s Village Gabu, SOS Mothers, SOS Aunts and all the staff members, wish you and your family a merry Christmas and a happy new year. We would like you to share with us both our country news and daily life of your sponsored children with SOS Children that your kind contribution enables them to have a family, a state of good health and full of joy.

Social, Economic and political situation

Guinea Bissau has gone through a harsh crisis with the event that took place in the first quarter of the present year with the assassination of the former president of the Republic and the former chief of Army Staff. That brought about the presidential election to take place before the due time. Another factor is the global recession which affects most of the poor countries. So Guinea Bissau government is undergoing many difficulties such as payment of wages, health problems, unemployment and teachers’ strike that really brought a set back on school calendar.

SOS Children’s Village

In accordance with the new children’s admission regulation, we have just selected 10 new children to fill in the vacancy in the family houses. Gabu village has now 109 children among them 61 are girls and 48 boys from the age of 5 months to 15 years.

As far as SOS Mothers and Aunts’ training is concerned, the director and tutors of Nursery School lecture them on capacities strengthening, child psychology, literature, songs, different types of games and practical demonstrations. Skill work, educative programmes and physical exercise to combat stress are organized too.

During holidays, children went back to their biological families just for two weeks. They also did some gardening’s works in the Village. One of the SOS Children Gabu was appointed as the vice-president of the Youth Parliament and together with 5 others SOS Children participated to promote the rights of children in a weekly broadcasting programme in the local radio.

In December the village is preparing Christmas and New Year sending out invitations to some biological parents of children and friends from the neighbouring community. And at this time the village team organized collective anniversary for all children into the village. The children participated on cleaning, painting and decorating the village and the elders help their SOS Mothers and Aunts in the preparation of lunch. Children will receive presents from their SOS mothers, some local sponsors and international sponsors.

SOS Mothers have contributed a lot to the success of their children. The Village has a monitoring team and they always meet at every quarter to assess the performance of the students. SOS Mothers also play an active part during these meetings. Extra lessons are also organized to help children with academic difficulties.

The schools in Guinea Bissau opened October 1st after 3 months of vacation. The occasion was signalized in the presence of pupils and parents who have come for the ceremony with a welcoming speech delivered by the school Director, pupils were happy to meet their colleagues back and the teachers as well.

SOS Primary School

The International Child Day was celebrated at school and SOS Children participated massively. 34 Children (20 girls and 14 boys) passed their primary school exam and are now in a private secondary School. The Village team regularly organized meetings with Youths to inform them about what their future will be. There are regular talks on children rights and good behavior in the social life.

Sporting and Cultural Programme

The SOS Children’s Cultural Group participated in a cultural event organized by the French Cultural Center in Bissau. They were accompanied by some SOS Mother’s Gabu and the staff members. They were very happy to take part in the Fist June celebration.

SOS Clinic

Concerning health, Bissau region and the Bijagos Islands suffered from cholera epidemic because of lack of clean water. But fortunately for the SOS neighbouring community, SOS has built some fountains to supply clean water to them. The world day “Washing Hands” has been held into the children’s village by washing hand with all children, Mothers, Aunties and Staff members. 50 tutors and 174 children are benefitting from the Family Strengthening Programme. They frequently go to the medical centre for free medical care, drugs and psychological counseling. The coordinating team visits them regularly.

Deep gratitude, from your sponsored child for all your cares and sense of belonging that have been always showed by you and wish you all the best and more grace to your elbow.