We are very pleased to have this space so important to inform all our actions and results achieved during the first half of 2009, our labor is in benefit of children and youth living in the families at the Children's Village.
We also try to displaying the dynamics of the village allowing you to feel satisfied to be one of those who supported the mission of our organization: Create families for all children, adolescents and young people who for some reason lost their family.
In our thirteen families living at the Village, there is a population of 92 children. Currently we are in process of receiving 13 children more; it would be a total of 105 children in the half of 2009, this is close to the goal of 100% of service capacity in our community.
Thanks to donations from people it has become a reality to include our children in cultural, educational and recreational activities. The great support and constancy of people like you also let us to optimize our existing services and provide better coverage within our families.
Currently, six youths from the village have begun a process of preparation for independent living, so that when they are sufficiently prepared to leave their families to start their own life, either alone or returning to their biological families. In addition we are proud of two young students who have excelled in their training in the United World College and have won scholarships to study at universities in the United States of America. One is already studying in USA, and the other youth depart in the month of August.
Other youths continue with their college carriers in the best institutions of our country, in areas like medicine, chemical engineering and business administration. They frequently visit their families at the village, sharing their free time or important dates and holidays. This indicates that they feel they have their family in the village and also they are a good reference for their siblings and mom.
During the first half of this year, the Easter time was important to strengthen ties within the SOS families and with some biological relatives of our children.
We hope that with good models and good examples children does not repeat the sad story of neglect and violence experienced before coming to the Village.
We focus our efforts on strengthening and improving family relationships and services that our mothers give to their families through in different areas of development: areas of family life, health and nutrition, academic and technical training, recreation and sports area and socio-cultural integration area.
According to the above, the main actions were:
1. Strengthening family autonomy processes: Preparation, monitoring and updating of the family Plans and Individual Development Plans. It is a space for meditation where the mother and their children reflect about their goals and level of achievement for them. It is a very important activity in which the mother, under the guidance and support of the Director provides technical tools to provide guidance to their children. This year has been very special because for such processes have enhanced the level of trust, communication and mutual understanding that should exist between mother and child, through pedagogical dialogues.
2. Adjust according to the monitoring processes to be taken to optimize the mother services. To guide the mothers it was necessary a major revision of the outcomes and processes that must occur in every development area. An activity to analyze along with the mother, it determines the actions to be performed and the main achievements reached. It is very Important in order to the mothers can update the Individual Development Plans and Family Plans.
3. Reinforcement training for references. All the literature that collects the experience and the years worked in our organization on development and strengthening of our families. It has been possible to train constantly our mothers and co-workers. Currently two of our mothers completed the three levels of training and they are prepared to receive their diplomas as SOS Mothers. This has an impact on the technical level of our mothers and the degree of motivation as well because the empowerment they reach achieving these. Additionally we have our own spaces for reflection and training required by the needs of each mother.
4. Strengthening the conditions of family autonomy. Currently, all families manage a family budget, distributed in areas of family development. This budget is administrated by each SOS mother allow each family to have somehow an accountable autonomy. Likewise, the mother takes a responsible management and development of his family, according to individual plans for their children and collective goals for their family under the guidance and support of the director, the village staff and the guidelines of our Organizational Referents.
5. Strengthening institutions for the consensus of the Village. We have three bodies: the Executive Committee of Village Development, Committee of The Mother and the Host Committee. Instances in which mothers participate among the village community to make decisions that set the course of the project.
6. Development of monitoring processes to improve the quality of our services. Processes taking place in the community and are intended to create spaces for reflection about improve process of care for each child.
7. Strengthening the processes of reception. It has been a major achievement that seeks to improve quality in the process of hosting boys and girls who lost their family and need a right family for them. With a warm and quality care the needs of each child are supplied and the family grows and become strength.
8. Monitoring work on the Rights of NNAJ. It is intended to verify that all actions and processes been in compliance with the law. Here, we are supported by protocols and measures to prevent abusive conditions.
9. Support training for youths in order to acquire tools for their independent life. Almost the 50% of our population are adolescents whom are getting complementary technical training. This creates the challenge of establish high technical levels for out youths. This is the result of the orientation and the projection that mothers support, that way they can develop skills, abilities and expertise for carrying out an independent life. Some courses which youths are participating are English for call center, Computer Operator, Cooking for Institutions, Automotive Mechanics, Industrial Welding, Agricultural, Beauty, Bilingual Secretary and Hydroponics.
10. Participation in training, sports and leisure activities too support artistic and sport skills of each child. Currently, children whom are not in technical training, they participate in sports or arts courses. This improves the education of our children and reaches a high level of motivation for them. Some of the courses are cheerleading, football, Athletics, Art, Drawing, Dance, Swimming, Scout, Taekwondo, Ballet, Visual Arts, Musical Band and special stimulation programs.
11. Monitoring of academic and training process that mothers do in schools and high schools. The academic average among all the children in the village is about 8.2. All boys and girls older than 15 years are linked to training courses. Three girls and one boy are attending university competitive careers. Six children and youths are enrolled in the Comby High School, an institution of international recognition where they learn to study in three different languages: Spanish, English and Mandarin.
Participation in recreational, cultural and sporting activities contributes to academic performance, due the high level of stimulation and strengthening of self-esteem in children. With these actions it has been possible to keep high academic averages over time.
14. Involvement of families in recreational and cultural activities and community integration. Our families participate in cultural and religious events in the community.
We have come a long way and we have great hopes for the goals that we have ahead. However, all we have done is thanks to the support and confidence you have placed in us. Thank you and God bless you for deposit you quota of responsibility and social solidarity. Many successes derive from God to you and your family this year.
With great affection and sincerely,
Marvin Flores Maya
SOS Children's Village Tres Ríos