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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Juah Town, Liberia

Sponsored child from Juah Town
Sponsored child from Juah Town

A child sponsorship report from Juah Town in Liberia. Written in 2009.

Dear child sponsors,

On behalf of the National Director of SOS Children’s Villages of Liberia Trust, Mr. George Kordahi, and other members of the SOS Family, we present our greetings and pray you share some moments with us as we relate our experiences for the last twelve months.

We would like to first extend many thanks and deep appreciation to you for your priceless support throughout the year 2009, and wish you the best for the coming year.  SOS Children’s Village-Juah Town and your sponsored child/children had a successful year punctuated by lots of fun and interesting activities.

At present, the SOS Children’s Village in Juah Town has a total of 72 children, 33 girls and 39 boys. Out of this number, five youth boys were transferred on August 8, 2009 to the youth facility in Monrovia because they have reached 14 years, and matured enough for transfer from the family homes.  The departure of the youths from Juah Town was a very emotional event even after months of preparation for the occasion.  At the initial stage, the youths were very excited over the news that they were moving to the city to the SOS Youth Facility.  However, when the defining moment came, the excitement turned sour.  Follow up visits show that the transferred youths are visibly integrating very well at the SOS Youth Facility in Monrovia.

The newly admitted children are being adjusted to life in the SOS Children’s Village Juah Town.  This is evident by their smiles, the polite greetings, the way they play with other children in the SOS Children’s Village, and the community, and the excitement about school every morning. The bond between mothers and their children continues to get stronger each day.  SOS mothers sometimes tell their children exciting bedside stories which the children love to hear.  At other times, the mothers take their children to farms in nearby communities to see how Liberia’s staple foods (rice and other crops) are grown on the farm.  The children like such experiences, and they volunteered to help do some work with the farmers.

The overall annual academic progress of the children was very good. Only four out of the 40 SOS children enrolled at International School for the 2008/2009 academic year retained their classes, and everyone (14) passed in the nursery. The performances of some of these children were exceptional, for which they were honored for their hard work.

Various vacation activities were planned for the children. These activities included special classes for the academically challenged children and skills training in arts/craft and sewing were organized. The children produced beautiful food baskets with the assistance of the arts/craft instructor. Both the visiting Regional Education Advisor and the National Educational Advisor admired these products. One of the baskets was taken to the National office for possible reproduction in SOS Children’s Village Monrovia.
Two of the new additional family homes received children admitted newly from the community, and two Mothers-in-training took over, rendering caring services until October, when they will be due for further training in Banjul, the Gambia.  The SOS Children’s Village Juah Town will be transformed shortly through the massive tree planting exercise carried out to curb erosion and enhance beautification.

SOS International School  Juah Town
This much-disciplined school was specially strengthened by the provision of two vehicles for the SOS Children’s Village Juah Town, thus facilitating better mobility for the children.  Now the school has an impressive enrollment of 134 students of which 41 are SOS children and 93 are community children.  Out of the total number of community children, seven pupils are residing seven miles away from the school who usually find their way to and from school by walking under unfavorable weather and bad road conditions. The school administration is working assiduously to help with this situation.
The school may be located deep in the forest, but quite a lot of interesting activities happen there, especially from the academic standpoint.  Only four SOS Children retained their classes, and the school now has an UNMIL (United Nation Mission in Liberia) Sponsored Human Rights Club.  In their competition with other schools in the community, SOS International School performed admirably well in the areas of “spelling Bee” and football. In the USAID sponsored quizzing contest among schools in Grand Bassa county, The school emerged as runner-up, bringing tremendous excitement and happiness to our SOS children.  Football matches played during the vacation were also very good, resulting in a lone goal scored by an SOS child.  These are the main areas of networking and partnership with the community.  Consequently, the school became closely connected with the St. Peter’s Claver Catholic High School, even though they are located over 20 miles apart. They relate very well academically and socially.

The SOS Nursery Juah Town grew during the period under review, with the introduction of new pupils (newly admitted) and new educators.  Consequently, new classes were created and the facility was enhanced to cope with the situation.

The SOS Nursery Juah Town now has 113 pupils with 26 SOS children and 87 from the community.  The previous academic year was a resounding success, in that all the pupils gained promotion.  In anticipation of the increased population, new toilets were constructed and the playground was rehabilitated.  The graduation and closing program was tremendous.  All of the SOS children six were successful, and they spent joyous vacation with their biological parents and relatives.  The nursery was fully set for new academic year to resume on September 1, 2009.

On this note, we would like to stop here and pray you God’s blessing.  Once again, we say Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Sincerely  yours,
Ruth Helen Swen