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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Sponsored children from Samarkand
Sponsored children from Samarkand

A child sponsorship report from Samarkand in Uzbekistan. Written in 2009.

Dear sponsors,

With the approach of a Christmas and a New Year there comes a time to present you the recent changes and events in our SOS Children’s Village Samarkand.  Above all, please, accept our appreciation and gratitude for your reliable support and participation in our Village life.  Let this New Year bring to you and your family prosperity, happiness and eternal bliss.  

This year was full of unforgettable, joyful and interesting moments for the children of Children’s Village Samarkand. They have been waiting for the beginning of new 2009 year with impatience as they knew that there would be many surprises and entertainments organized for them. The Administration of the Village prepared a New Year performance for children. Not only the children, but also employees of the Village took an active part in it. They prepared interesting plays with songs, dances and poems. Fairy Santa Klaus and a Snow Girl were the main heroes of the New Year show. They made all children’s cherished wishes come true. Santa Klaus and a Snow Girl gave presents to children which they had wished and asked Santa Klaus in their letters. So New Year was a nice start-up for our children.

I won’t be mistaken if I say that all children like holidays. That’s why they prepared for the spring holiday ‘International Women’s day’ very actively. Every day they see daring faces of their SOS Mothers who give them their care and love, so on this special day children wanted to express their love and respect by the help of songs and dances once more. As every year, in March, SOS Children’s Village Samarkand celebrated the long-expected national holiday ‘Navruz’ (oriental New Year). Many famous national singers and other village guests came together to mark this day with SOS children.

During the spring vacations children visited the capital of our country again. It became a good tradition. During the excursion in Tashkent our boys and girls visited the Zoo and in the evening they went to Tashkent circus where they saw merry clowns, mysterious conjurers and acrobats with delight. Performances with animals were the most memorable. Children lived in Children’s Village Tashkent where they could talk with other children, share their impressions about the city and make new friends.

This year in May the last school bell rang for two our youngsters. It means that they began new and independent life. They have been passing school exams during the whole month June. At the end of this month the long awaited day for them had come. They had got a school certificate. It is the step to future for them. They both studied hard throughout the summer and entered the Medical College and Railway College in Samarkand.

As we had mentioned before the youngsters reaching the age 16 should move to a Youth Facility where they will prepare for independent life and start to take their own decisions. For the time being the Administration of the Village is negotiating with the Government about the premises for the Youth Facility in Samarkand. Supposedly, our youngsters will move out of the Village by the end of 2010.

When the academic school year was finished in the Village there was conducted the last stage of Olympiad which had been begun in the previous year. We chose the winners who showed the best results during the whole school year. It was a great challenge for many children to improve their knowledge.

Hot summer was joyful for children. Many of them had rest in summer camps. As children go to this summer camp every year they met many old friends there. Children were not bored the whole summer as in the Village there had been built a swimming pool. They spent time very actively as they could swim and get sunburn. Also in the Village there were conducted sport competitions during which the children could show their strengths and adroitness.

This summer was last summer spending in the nursery for 10 our preschool children. In September they went to the first form at the public school in Samarkand. They waited for this moment with impatience and had prepared for the studies in advance.

As usually September began from the celebration of the national holiday ‘Independence day’. There was prepared a holiday performance, national food for children and employees of the Village. Children demonstrated their musical and dancing abilities. Also in the Village there were conducted joint theoretical trainings for SOS Aunts and candidates for this post. In these trainings the employees from Children’s Village Tashkent took a part as well. This was a good possibility for them to talk with their colleagues and share with the experience about bringing up the children.

At the moment there are 85 children in Children’s Village Samarkand including 10 children from the Crisis Centre ‘Sunflower’ which continues to support children and their families in crisis situations. Since the start of its functioning the Crisis Center has become a vital place for children with problems. Thanks to dedication and efforts of the social workers a number of children have been reunited with their biological families.

The Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) running in Samarkand from 2008 also continues its work successfully. It mainly focuses on the families in the most socially vulnerable region of Samarkand – Sogdiana. Starting from 2008 138 families, including 404 children and 225 their parents and care givers have become an FSP beneficiaries. The social workers lead the social accompanying of the families until they reach self-sufficiency and become self-reliant. Families received consultations on legal issues, including restoration of their lost documents on children, and house documents. They also received psychological help according to the level of needs. Besides, the families with the lowest or no income have got food packages in order to improve their living conditions and their children were granted with school stationery and a uniform.  
In general this year has passed imperceptibly. Children and employees have gone through many events in the Village and outside of it. For the time being, SOS children begin to prepare for the celebration of New Year.

On behalf of SOS Children’s Village Samarkand we thank you for your trust and highly appreciate your contribution!
With our very best wishes for Christmas and New Year,

Yours sincerely,
Village Director
Feruz Egamberdiev