The SOS Village in Tema now has a total of 153 children. All the children are in various schools; from the Primary to the Secondary level with exception of a baby who has not yet reached school going age.
The former Village Director retired from active service in December 2008 after seventeen (17) good years of dedicated service to the SOS Children’s Village Association. During his tenure of office he inspired and motivated the children to believe in themselves and spurred them on to greater heights in their educational endeavours. A grand send off party was held in his honour in December 2008 and in attendance were all the children, youths, staff and the SOS Children's Villages International Vice-President.
The SOS Children’s Village Tema is going through a phase lift and ten (10) old family houses are being renovated. So far seven (7) family houses have undergone the renovation and are habitable. The other three (3) family houses are being worked on and will be completed soon. Also a training centre is being built to serve as a resource centre for mothers.
The SOS Village medical centre continues to give the children all the necessary medical attention they require. As a result all the children are in good health and doing well.
SOS Youth Homes/ Development
The SOS Youth homes have a total of 16 boys and 11 girls. Some are in high schools whilst others are yet to enter the tertiary. Two girls have just finished their counselling and are ready to move to the semi-independence stage. Five (5) youth at the SOS Village are also going through counselling and will move to the youth homes by the close of the year.
A youth forum was organised in April for the youth in both the SOS Village and the Youth homes. The forum was attended by a total number of 57 youth. The ‘role play’ method was used and the youth themselves served as facilitators. Topics discussed included Relationships, Handling finances and Attitudes which was a follow up on the weaknesses from the 2008 SOS Youth Day Celebrations.
New Year and Easter party
A renowned philanthropist feted the whole SOS Village on the 1st of January to usher in the year 2009 and also during Easter celebrations to show his love and concern to the children. In attendance to these parties were renowned sportsmen, SOS ambassadors and media personnel in the country to grace the occasion. Each person was given the chance to give a word of advice to the children and urge them on to higher heights. The children prepared adequately for these occasions with poetry recitals, choreography, and drama. They had lots of fun and were all happy.
Eight (8) of our children sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) in April 2009 and are awaiting results to enter Senior High School in September. Seven (7) children from the crèche will enter Kindergarten this September and eleven (11) nursery children are also being prepared for Primary one (1) this September. Sixteen (16) students are studying at the International College.
The International College held its graduation ceremony and speech and prize giving day under the theme ‘Education, Fitness for a Purpose’ for students who completed the International Baccalaureate (IB2). Four of our children, two (2) boys and two (2) girls were among the graduants. They will soon proceed with their University education. One of our youth, has passed the recent entrance examination to the International College and will join his peers for the orientation programme in June.
The SOS Village continues to build the capacities of the SOS Mothers and Aunts through the organisation of ‘Mothers classes’ fortnightly. Mothers were taken through topics such as ‘Helping the child to acquire self esteem’, ‘Child psychological, emotional and physical needs’. At the end of the programme mothers were grateful for the knowledge acquired which they believe will be useful.
Since the beginning of the year, the SOS Village in Tema have hosted two main visitors from Austria and the continental office. The SOS Kinderdorf International President also visited the SOS Village and groups from Sweden and Holland among others.
The SOS Village continues to receive donations in kind and cash from friends, sponsors and donors. Notably amongst them was an international child sponsor who donated money for the purchase of Musical Instruments for the SOS Children’s Village Tema.
The Vice President of SOS International also donated story books to equip the SOS Village library.
Socio/ cultural Activities
The SOS Village continues to hold its weekend programme of activities for the children such as musical night, variety night, film show and inter-class or house quiz competition. Four (4) of our children were invited for one of the nation’s reality shows in March. The SOS Village received volunteers on practical attachment from Norway as well as other health services. The Village also witnessed and celebrated the marriage ceremony of one of the settled youth in January.
Tamale & Kumasi Villages
The SOS Villages in Kumasi and Tamale will soon be operating. The Kumasi Village will begin operation by the end of August this year whilst the Tamale Village will start by February next year. Twenty-eight (28) mothers/aunties have been recruited for both Kumasi and Tamale SOS Villages. A three (3) month training session is in progress for the newly recruited aunties. They are currently undergoing practical training in Tema and Asiakwa SOS Villages. The new aunties’ presence at the SOS Village in Tema has brought excitement in the Village as the children have adjusted well to them. Their practical session would end in July, 2009.
SOS Family Strengthening Programme
The Family Strengthening programme under the SOS Children’s Villages, Ghana, is making a lot of impact in the lives of many orphans and vulnerable children. Currently this programme is supporting 1210 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and 434 caregivers in various communities in the Eastern, Greater Accra and Central Region of the country. 20 families have become self sufficient and have left the programme. By the close of this year 100 families are expected to become self sufficient and will as well leave the programme whilst other families and children are added.
Family Strengthening Programme saved the life of a 16 year old girl and her three younger siblings. After the death of their parents they were rejected by family members because the older girl ran away from an arranged marriage which is common in the Northern and Upper parts of the country. The 16 year old girl had to find means and ways to fend for herself and her siblings. The intervention of the SOS Children’s Villages was timely as their community was noted for prostitution, child labour and other social vices. They are supplied with food items on monthly basis, clothing, health care and guaranteed education.
Ghana’s economy has seen some difficult challenges as a result of the change in government and the general global recession. The new government is confronted with how to tackle the widening deficit on fiscal performance and is yet to come out with its own budget. The global financial crisis ‘credit crunch’ has affected the economy making Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as well as external borrowing from international capital markets more difficult to obtain. As a result of this, there has been an increase in inflation as well as reduction donor inflow. The exchange rate to the Ghana cedis depreciated at the beginning of the year. As Ghana is dependent on crude oil, the escalation of crude oil prices has affected the fuel prices in Ghana resulting in recent hike of 30%. The country is at the moment facing challenges in utility services which is affecting businesses in the country.
In spite of all these challenges in the country your generous sponsorship over the past years for our charity work in the country has made it possible for the children to have homes, education and a better future.
Thank you for your support and best wishes to you and your family.