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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Sferai, Lebanon

Sponsored child from Sferai
Sponsored child from Sferai

A child sponsorship report from Sferai in Lebanon. Written in 2009.

Dear sponsor,

It is once again with sincere joy and commitment that we take this opportunity to keep you updated with our pedagogical and educational.  When you will be reading this report, our children at SOS Children’s Village – Sferai will be busy decorating the Christmas tree with home made handicrafts like stars and candles.  

At present we care for 56 children, 27 boys and 29 girls.  They live in 10 SOS Family Houses where their SOS mothers are doing their best to give them the daily care and to encourage them to overcome the difficult moments.   In October 2009, Mother Rajaa welcomed a family of 4 siblings.  The four girls are greatly affected by their difficult early childhood and Mother Rajaa is always present to give them the emotional and educational support they greatly need.   Mother Sayde is now taking care of 4 children among them Laurice and her sister Nicole who have just been admitted.   As for Anthony, an only child who joined the family, he is happy to play with his SOS brothers and sisters. 

SOS Children’s Village – Sferai welcomed back SOS Mother Samara.   From 2001 to 2006, she used to live at SOS Children’s Village – Bhersaf.   At that time, she was very caring towards her children but when they moved to SOS Youth Homes, Samara wished to look for a new job.  Although she liked the SOS mother profession, she needed to experience something else.  She had a good opportunity in a neighboring Arab country.   She signed for a three years contract.   When she came to Lebanon on holidays, Samara’s first visit was to the SOS Village to see her SOS friends.  She kept a regular contact with her children and she is still their first referee.  Although it was a fair working experience, Mother Samara’s wish was to settle back in Lebanon.  In her deep thought, she greatly missed her SOS mother profession and the SOS family life.

It was such a happy day when she heard about the reopening of a family house at SOS Children’s Village – Sferai.   After meeting with the Village Director and the national pedagogical team, Mother Samara was so touched by their positive answer to her request: to fulfill what she really wants to be “a loving and caring SOS Mother”.  It is with great happiness that she welcomed her first children, two sisters and their brother.   Two weeks later, her family grew bigger as two brothers were admitted.  Malek, a lovely little baby, 20 months old, is her youngest child.  SOS Mother Samara holds him warmly in her arms and says: “He is a gift from God.  My true vocation is what I am doing now, a happy SOS Mother living with her children”.   As for Ali, he is an only child and he is so happy to have SOS brothers and sisters. 

On the educational level, our children are having the adequate support to do well at school.   The school success is 92.5%.   Congratulations to Izzat, Sahar and Hawraa who have succeeded in the official complementary diploma “Brevet”.   Actually 39 boys and girls are attending the primary and complementary levels in 4 neighboring schools.  5 children under 5 years are in Junior or Senior nursery, 6 are going to a school for special needs children.  One girl, 6 years old, was admitted in October 2009 and she needs a special follow-up from the speech therapist.  5 children under 3 years are happy to keep company to their SOS mother. 

In October 2009, 4 young girls and 3 young boys have joined the SOS Youth Houses.  Actually there are 16 adolescents who are continuing their academic or technical studies.  In the SOS Youth Home, and under the SOS Youth Leaders’ guidance, they are directly involved in decisions that concern their future and begin to assume responsibilities concerning their daily life such as organizing cultural and outdoor activities.  

SOS Children’s Villages – Lebanon is the only organization that has been selected to participate to the opening ceremony of the 6th Jeux de la Francophonie that were held on Sunday, September 27 under the values of “solidarity, diversity and excellence”.   50 children, aged 13 to 18 years old, from SOS Children’s Village – Sferai and SOS Youth Houses have begun the training in the company of the two SOS Youth Leaders for boys and girls, one month before the ceremony.   Our participants were congratulated by the organizing staff for their discipline, commitment and good will.  

30000 people gathered to the stadium to attend this outstanding opening ceremony.   The magnificent spectacle reflected the cultural history of Lebanon in the forms of plays, songs and poetic recitals in an outstanding sound and light performance.  SOS children were present at the following :
-    Welcoming the participants in the games during the parade.  47 countries were present holding their national flag 
-    During the traditional Lebanese dance, the Dabke, featuring the Roman period Baalbeck relics
-    In the choir, when the Lebanese Diva sang her homage to the capital city, Beirut
For our children and youths, it was such a pleasure to experience this unique and magical moment and to take actively part in it. 

Together we continue doing our best to strengthen our children’s hopes in a happier future.  Thank you for your fidelity.  On Christmas Eve, after singing carols and opening their gifts, our children at SOS Children’s Village – Sferai will have a special thought for their dearest sponsors.  They wish you all what is good during this Holy Season and for the year 2010.  .

Yours sincerely
Mrs. Houda Helou
Sponsorship Coordinator