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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Hargeisa, Somaliland

Sponsored children from Hargeisa
Sponsored children from Hargeisa

A child sponsorship report from Hargeisa in Somaliland. Written in 2009.

Dear Child Sponsors,

In spite of the failure to hold elections as planned in August (due to a misunderstanding between the national parties on the procedures to follow), Somaliland is one of the most peaceful countries in the horn of Africa. However the ongoing drought is affecting the rural people who are mainly pastoralists.

The SOS families

This year, the SOS Children’s Villages Hargeisa has seen an increase in the number of children admitted to the village. Currently, it is a home to 80 children in the 12 houses. Among these we have 53 boys and 27 girls.

Idd celebrations (a festival usually observed at the end of every fasting period) were prepared in a colourful manner. Children from the different SOS families, dressed in new and glittering attire, met together in the compound to sing and enjoy themselves for the day.

Specialized eye doctors from Menhal Hospital (a private hospital in the town), visited the SOS family houses and diagnosed mothers and children with eyesight problems. The report showed that most of the children and their mothers had good vision, while a few were treated for minor problems.

SOS Nursery

Twenty seven children from the SOS Nursery graduated to grade one of primary school. The graduation was a special event where the children performed to an invited audience. English and Arabic dramas were shown by the children, who focused on the theme of ‘Family’. At the end of the ceremony, the best child in academics was issued with a certificate. Similarly, the best parent was recognized. The SOS Nursery currently has 74 children with 54 from the SOS Children’s Village and 20 from the community.

In anticipation of the growth of the SOS Children’s Village a village administrator was recruited to help the village director. At the same time, more SOS aunts were employed to cater for the children’s well being. All the houses now have SOS mothers working together with these aunts.

SOS Family Strengthening Programme (FSP)

The SOS FSP carries out preventative work. We want to help while there is still time to do so, to take measures so that the youngest members of the families concerned do not become street children or meet another sad fate.  Most of the children from the families benefiting from the FSP are able to access education and 60% go to school every day. Currently, four support groups have been formed. Community participation in projects for families contributes significantly to the families helping themselves. Success has been realized in three families who have bought land and built homesteads for themselves.

In addition, the FSP in Hargeisa organized an outreach programme on child health and sanitation in the neighboring areas. Similarly, an organizational and capacity assessment workshop was carried out to assess the capacity of the community based organizations to determine their strengths and weaknesses.

The SOS Medical Centre Hargeisa and Berbera.

This year, medical attention was given to over 2,000 children and 9,000 adults in Hargeisa and to 1,879 children and over 1,000 adults in Berbera. Children, were mostly treated diseases included tonsillitis, intestine warms, cough among many other illness common to children.

A Voluntary Counseling and Testing centre has recently been established in Hargeisa in the medical centre and has been attended by many people from the outside community.

We thank you all for your efforts and offer sincere heartfelt greetings from the SOS Children’s Village in Hargeisa

With warm regards,

Abdirahman .A. Karie
Village Director
SOS Children’s Village Somaliland.