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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Varanasi, India

Sponsored child from Varanasi
Sponsored child from Varanasi

A child sponsorship report from Varanasi in India. Written in 2009.

Dear Friends,

We express deep gratitude for your consistent and noble gesture for supporting our cause. You are the source of inspiration by which we are able to provide a congenial environment for our children. Please accept our very best wishes to you, friends and family members for a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year from Children’s, Mothers and Co-workers of SOS Children Varanasi. We feel pleasure in sharing our progress, and attainments during the year.

Our Village

Our Village consists of 18 family homes, a multi-purpose hall, Village Nursery, Learning Centre, Play ground, Village Store and Dispensary for kids. The SOS Children's Village has its own playground. In the nearby Villages, there are primary and secondary schools. Most of our children attend SOS School adjacent to our Village where they learn to intermingle with the society. The village caters to 190 children (84 boys and 106 girls).This year, 17 children came home (including 4 boys and 13 girls) under our SOS care. Now, they are growing well under the loving care of SOS mothers.

SOS Children’s Village, Varanasi is one of the biggest Villages of SOS Villages in India, it covers sprawling area of 24 acres, where each and every corner are filled with different medicinal herbs, shrubs, climbers and many trees including Mango, Guava, Pomegranate that makes the environment very eco friendly and pleasant. It is inhabited by many migratory birds- Peacocks, Larks, Swans, Squirrels and other chirping colorful birds, it is proud of its Flora & Fauna. We have a temple next to the pond with perennial water and many species of fish in it. Twenty seven Gooses come down in the pond at every evening.

Education

Our children performed well in the session, with 90% as the overall passing percentage. Sonal scored 92% marks in class IX. Arjun, Angad and Vikas passed class XII and joined professional courses (Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Computer Applications). As per their interest, 4 youths were diverted towards Vocational courses and 8 youths will appear class XII Board Examination next year.

Youth Achievements

It is a matter of joy and pride for SOS Children’s Village that one of our youths has successfully completed the final examination of Charted Accounts and employed with one of the best Audit Consulting Firm KPMG, in the world.  Ankur shared his joy with his mother, brothers and sisters and Co-workers. After the completion of B.Tech., Gopal qualified in All India Sugar Engineering Examination. Now, he is pursing the course from National Sugar Institute, Govt. of India, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Kanpur.

Youth Houses

Presently, there is 67 boys staying in two facilities. Youth play a vital role in the growth of any Nation. Youth are supported and strengthened from all aspects of life to become self-reliant and useful citizen. Young people usually move from the SOS Children's Village to SOS Youth Facility when they start a vocational training course or go on to higher education. With the support of qualified youth workers, the young people develop realistic perspectives for their future, learn to shoulder responsibility and increasingly make their own decisions. They are encouraged to develop team spirit and build up contacts with friends, as well as with potential employers.

Facilities

We have a well prepared learning center, consisting of a library, a music room and a computer center. We have a Nursery, the smaller children attend the SOS Nursery, which is also open to children from local families, which is well- equipped with teaching aids like Computer lab, music system and educative toys. In SOS Nursery, 35 children (26 Girls and 9 Boys) are attaining their fundamental training under the continuous guidance of skilled teachers, we have a community hall, which is used for various co-curricular activities.

Health

Fortunately, we did not face any major health problems. Essential vaccination was provided to the children. The children were treated for general health problems.

An Ideal School

SOS School situated in Varanasi is one of the premier educational institutions around. The school boasts of about 1436 students, 44 staff members and about 16 other supporting staff members includes maintenance and administrative staffs. The school is well outfitted with all the amenities such as library, sports ground, laboratory, computer lab, and music along with other infotainment classes. The students have been able to make their mark in various Inter School as well as Inter state level competitions in various fields. This academic year, 99.31% children passed in class X and 83.54% children passed in class XII Board examination. To sum it up the parents feel highly elevated and proud sending their children at SOS School, Varanasi.

Summer Vacation Activities

For the proper utilization of summer vacation, children were engaged in various activities like learning computer, attending library, attending singing, dance and music classes and many others outdoor sports and games. Painting and quiz competition has been organized by Coca-Cola in which 25 children were participated in Quiz competition and 20 Children were participated in Painting Competition. The topic of the competition was based on Rain Water harvesting and environment. Children enthusiastically participated in the competition and draw various pictures.

An educational trip was organized by the Youth House for 10 young adults. Our Sr. Co-worker Youth accompanied them for visit to Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradoon and Mussoorie in the state of Uttarakhand. The boys enjoyed a lot and it was a learning experience for them. They shared their experiences with the other youngsters in the youth house.

Festivals

We celebrated various festivals during the year like Maha Shivratri, Basant Panchami, the color festival Holi and Navratri.  Like every year, our children from Children’s Club organized Krishna Janmashtami at our Village Temple. All the houses of SOS Village and Youth House were decorated on this occasion. Children, mothers and coworkers participated with full enthusiasm. Children decorated the temple with tiny toys, branches of trees, sand, Pebbles and tiny colorful bulbs from morning till evening. At the evening, around 8 pm mothers, children and coworkers gathered at the temple and prayer was held till 12 pm ( symbolic birth time of Lord Krishna) the surroundings were filled with ascetic noise of Conch (Shankh) and Bells. Raksha Bandhan, the festival of brothers and sisters was celebrated in our Village with great delight. On the day, sisters tied a colorful band (Rakhee) to their brothers for their love and protection.

Family Strengthening Programme

The Varanasi Family Strengthening Programme provides nutritional, educational and health support as well as Vocational training, career counseling sessions and job placement support. Under this programme we have covered migrated families, Low Income generated families like Weavers, Families with Poor hygiene condition and Families where Gender discrimination rates are very high. Presently, we are supporting 173 families under which 600 Children are getting benefited by this programme, we are supporting 50 children under our scholarship programme. In this way, SOS Children's Villages therefore works with local authorities and other service providers to support families and enable them to take good care of their children.

May your Christmas and the New Year be filled with much joy, happiness and prosperity. We look forward to be with you in the coming year and hope to continue to receive your cooperation always to ensure a full life and bright future to our children.

Warm good wishes to you and your family members.

Manoj Mishra

Village Director