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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Ipiales, Colombia

Sponsored children from Ipiales
Sponsored children from Ipiales

child sponsorship report from Ipiales in Colombia. Written in 2009.

Dear friends,

It’s very nice for us to tell you about recent events at the SOS Children’s Village Ipiales and the community and family strengthening programmes of Nariño department: Social Centers Ipiales and Tumaco. We are proud to have your support and friendship that make possible to offer service to more girls, boys, teenagers and youths participants in all programmes.

There are 112 boys, girls, teenagers and youths at different age living at the SOS Children’s Village Ipiales, most of the participants are adolescents…they are doing a joint productive work based on recycling plastic container; It has been a profitable business that has permitted them to create a fund to pay some of their extra expenses.

Other youths are building their future up in other institutions where they are studying technical courses about different fields. Nowadays, there are 11 young people who are studying careers; for instance, Olga is studying to be a hairstylist, Jairo is studying computers, Luz chose a technical career in graphic design, Elissa decided for surgical instrumentation, Pablo will be a professional nurse from a university of Tulcán, Equator –Ipiales is located on the border of Equator what make easier for youths from Ipiales to study there, besides costs are cheaper.  On the other hand, Carlos and Marco tend to study a military career, that’s why they are doing one year of military service in Ipiales and would like to continue there with the support of the SOS Children’s Village Ipiales.

Riding bicycle for SOS Children’s Village Colombia…

The first days of April we enjoy an expected visit at the SOS Children’s Village Ipiales… It was the visit of Damián, an Argentine youth, who has visited many SOS Children’s Village in different countries of South America; nowadays, he has the chance was for Colombia. This fact made that whole the community in SOS Children’s Village Ipiales, especially girls, boys and youth were spending a happy day together with him. He told them all about the route he had ride on bicycle from Buenos Aires and his anecdotes in countries he had visited, as well as his goal during the next visits; children also shared with him experiences in their SOS families and a recreational programme, both inside houses and outdoors on the green field. After one day living at the SOS Children’s Village of exchanges, Damián said good bye to continue his journey that had a followed stop at the SOS Children’s Village Ibagué…many hours with many new faces of girls, boys and a new culture.

Partnerships… a valued support!

Taking in mind that one of the main purpose of SOS Children’s Village is to offer an integral development to girls, boys, teenager and youth, we have set up joint work proposals with other organisations which are committed with our mission and have help to strengthen our daily work; for instance, we have established partnership like follows:

  • The town hall and the social development secretary, for carrying out training courses addressed to boys, girls and youth, SOS mothers and aunts and SOS co-workers about topics like gender equality;
  • The Culture House that has released a reading-writing program for girls and boys;
  • The Pastoral Social trains girls, boys and youth in bakery and cakes;
  • The Social Foundation decided to guide the community in topics regarding human sustainable development;
  •  The dream’s loom group -Telar de Sueños is working in a proposal directed into working therapy art and working with boys, girls, teenagers and youth.
  • The Mariana University has joined our pedagogical work, appointing an occupational therapist practising, to develop personal skills in girls, boys, teenagers and youth outside and within the family.

Community empowerment: Productive training and leadership

The SOS Social Centre Ipiales since 2008 has established a partnership with the SENA (National Learning Service) has coordinated training activities for parents of the community, in topics like minor species and kitchen garden; that’s why a trained group that belongs to the Community Centre at the community that covers the Social Centre Ipiales, conformed an associative group leaded by Mrs. Maira, who rented a small field neighbouring her house in order to start a livestock of  chickens and pigs. Mrs. Maira has showed her qualities as a leader becoming a woman who motivates, organizes and keeps friendship links within the group, not only with parents of the families registered in the Social Centre but also women and men of neighbourhood she lives in.

Therefore, this activities has made possible that her husband and whole her own family also be integrated into the project. The first products of the rearing were sold by them in the open-market successfully, what made them to be so happy and enthusiastic to buy pigs for rearing again. Thinking of business increasing, Mrs. Maira and her group have done negotiations joint with the Social Centre to receive veterinarian assistance in animal rearing care in order they to grow up in a healthy way; moreover, the Social Centre helps them to look for new markets to sell the products in. 

This work has permitted to the members of the group to live in peace without selfish, without fears and has motivated them to accept this type of work like a challenge to invest better their resources looking for other productive alternatives that improve their incomes and quality of life. Nowadays, they are more responsible, solidarity people with goals and dreams in their minds that will be reached in short or long term.

Changes of attitude: Other positive achievement indicator inside families…

Nowadays, we invite you to share a touching story of the SOS Social Centre Tumaco:

Piedad, the director of the SOS Social Centre Tumaco tells us: ‘Since the year 2006 when we started this programme, some children that had not been in child care programmes –community homes, and they were not used to be inside rooms, meanwhile they were doing activities run away and we –the co-workers, must run and run behind to take hold them. Their behaviour was rude toward the peer group and community mothers. This day, community mothers says to me that changes are positive, one of the mother says: ‘mi daughter Yolanda was one of those children who run away, she did not like to come to the SOS Social Centre, but nowadays, her change is impressive; she is more obedient and her wish to be on the street all the time disappeared.  –For me, says Mrs. Ruby, SOS Children’s Village has been a god blessing; it has given me to find a job like a community mother and help me to overcome my difficulties in personal life like the family violence, my husband change is visible, he is a very different person who helps me in house activities, we talk instead of shouting or fighting, I feel his support.  - I have learnt to take care of my health, says Mrs. Janeth, I was careless with my body, I was not used to make my annual smear test because others say it was painful, but thanks to the Pilar (a co-worker), I had this test the previous year and I had to start a long treatment because a cancerous sickness was beginning. Fortunately, the doctor told me that I was on time to be cured, later it could not be possible; she stopped talking, sighed and told… My life is indebted to SOS Children’s Village, I am healthy now.'  

Your lasting support also motivates and inspires us to continue working for boys, girls, teenager and youth wellbeing. Therefore, on behalf of the SOS Children’s Village Ipiales and the SOS Social Centres Ipiales and Tumaco, you deserve to receive especial greetings and to make part of this big SOS family in Colombia that feels very proud of you.

Your contribution is important to helps 829 girls, boys, teenagers and youths enjoy a family in six family-based care programmes and 3,098 children with their families being supported through the 16 family strengthening programmes that prevent children’s abandonment increasing in Colombia. These figures are to say that SOS Children’s Village Colombia has grown from year to year during almost 38 years like around the world after six decades from one SOS Children's Village in 1949 to 500 SOS Children's Villages in 2009.

Kind regards,
Daniel Gamarra Polo    Emilce Peñón Esquivel
Director Sponsorship co-ordinator/ Edition and translation