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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Makeni, Sierra Leone

Sponsored child from Makeni
Sponsored child from Makeni

A child sponsorship report from Makeni in Sierra Leone. Written in 2009.

Dear Child Sponsor,

Christmas is just round the corner and this means we are coming to the end of another year.  We want to express our sincere thanks and appreciation for your relentless and untiring support, financially, morally or otherwise towards your SOS Children's Village Makeni.  We would like to inform you about all activities undertaken during the year by the children, mothers and staff of the SOS Children’s Village Makeni and its affiliated programmes.

During the period under review, the political and social situation in the country had no major impact on our work.  However, as a result of the high inflation and the ever increasing rate of the United State Dollar against the Leone, the prices of fuel and basic food items hiked which caused a lot of financial challenges in the implementation process of the project.

The SOS Children’s Village of Makeni is currently home for 82 children (43 boys and 39 girls).  76 of them have been admitted into formal schooling.  31 are in the nursery and 45 at the SOS Primary School of Makeni.

Four of the last admitted SOS children were registered at the SOS Nursery and five at the SOS Primary School. A graduation ceremony for group 3 children at the SOS Nursery of Makeni was held in July 2009.  24 children including five SOS children received certificates, after a colourful march past in the main streets of Makeni.

The village administrative team organised a meeting with biological relations in June 2009.  By participating in such meetings, relations are given the opportunity to share information on their children’s development both positive and negative and to access the current policy information from SOS Children's Villages.

As part of the SOS International Day celebrations on June 23rd, a thanksgiving service was held at the African Hut for school children, mothers/aunties and other co-workers.  A football match between staff of SOS Makeni and War Child Holland, another NGO with whom the SOS Children’s Village Makeni partnered climaxed the occasion.

The admission committee continues to make efforts to ensure that needy children are given the opportunity of a decent life in our SOS Children’s Village Makeni.  The screening process continues with social workers from the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs and the SOS team to ensure the right children are admitted. 

Over the period under review, the Village administrative team organized series of sensitization sessions on child protection, norms, values, and mission and vision statements of the organisation.  Children and co-workers share information on the organization, with questions and answers forming part of the sessions.  The sessions also serve as orientation for new members of staff.

Presently, two SOS mothers from the SOS Children’s Village Makeni are in The Gambia for a two month 'Mother Profession training programme'.

To ensure that the children in the village have a sound mind in a sound body, a back to school jam was organised for them.  This took place at the multi-purpose hall in September 2009 and was climaxed by a football match between the SOS children and the Makama community children.

This summer, the national office of SOS Children's Villages Sierra Leone organised a one week holiday trip to Makeni for 20 children from Bo and 30 from Freetown in July and August 2009.  The visiting children had the opportunity of seeing historic and important places in and around Makeni and making new friends in SOS Children's Village Makeni. Everyone really enjoyed this visit!

Programmes for the end of the year will include birthday celebrations.  Children whose birthdays fall between July and December will have their birthdays celebrated in December.  Programmes will also include SOS Children joining other community children to watch football gala, comedians’ entertainment and variety shows at the Wesleyan Primary School, Makama.

Christmas celebrations will include the usual family house parties where each family will cook special dishes, snacks and sweets and exchange gifts.  The children will dress and decorate family houses with Christmas trees, lights, etc.  Christmas will also be celebrated with local sponsors and SOS co-worker who will join the children for a big party in the village. On this day, Father Christmas will distribute gifts to each child.  Finally, children will also attend the New Year’s Eve church Services which will usher us into the New Year.

SOS Primary School of Makeni

The SOS International School in Makeni started its 2009/2010 academic year in September with a roll of 208 students. 

In the recent National Primary School Exams, the International School in Makeni was second in the Northern Province as it is known to have a very high standard of education.  In a bid to fully involve the parents and community, the school facilitated a Community Teachers Association meeting and also invited parents to discuss the children’s performance and identify weaknesses and strengths of their children.

The Physical and Health Education Unit of the school will be organizing inter-class soccer, volleyball and basketball competitions within the frame of extracurricular activities.

The children are all looking forward with anticipation towards the Christmas festivities.   We thank God for showering his blessings on you our sponsors, our children, mothers and staff. We join our children and mothers in wishing you a merry Christmas and a bright and successful New Year 2010.   Enclosed are a Christmas card and a photo.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. Fatmata M. Taylor
National Sponsorship Co-ordinator