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Child Sponsorship Report 2009: Sao Domingos, Cape Verde

Sponsored child from Sao Domingos
Sponsored child from Sao Domingos

A child sponsorship report from Sao Domingos in Cape Verde. Written in 2009.

Dear Child Sponsors,

2009 is reaching the end – a year full of big events of commemorations at the SOS Children’s Villages level. On one hand the 25th anniversary of SOS Children’s Villages Cape Verde and on the other hand the 60th anniversary of SOS Children’s Villages around the world. Thank you for believe, support and motivate us to work on the behalf of this great cause!

In these last two and a half decades the balance of the work done in Cape Verde has been very positive and our sphere of action has increased; we have been implementing family strengthening programmes in order to maintain children in their own family environment and prevent child abandonment in the communities where our two SOS Children’s Villages are located, Assomada and São Domingos. Our two latest facilities and programmes are the community centre of intervention in one of main problematic residential quarters of Praia, the capital and the SOS Social Centre in Mindelo, São Vicente Island. In each of the above mentioned several activities were carried out and we kindly invite you to learn some of them:

SOS Children’s Village São Domingos proceeds on its activities journey
The SOS Children’s Village São Domingos counts at moment with 79 children. A new admission happened: Gustavo used to spend all day in the street always around dumpsters of his living area with the same clothes and starving. He had no one's care, low self esteem and affective need. Although he had age to be integrated at school, he was not. He used to receive support from a non governmental and social institution but since he had no one to take care of him and his well-being, he did not use to show great interests or motivation and his concentration was very low. Today as a new SOS child he has learned the meaning to belong to someone and somewhere and he has easily adjusting to the new environment and his family.

Since the beginning of the year, festivities were celebrated such as Carnival and Easter. Some SOS children were involved in the Easter religious ceremonies, others were baptised during the festivities. Carnival was celebrated in February, in creativity and colours. This year’s theme was the musical generic and Cape Verde cultural manifestation called “tabanka”. There were a lot of spontaneous laughter and a great participation from the public, parents and people in charge of the children’s education. Children from Ribeirão Chiqueiro School participated as well and the carnival musical animation was performed by the third military region. The party continued in a cheerful mood and with loads of dancing on carnival music. A replica of the child protection policy workshop accomplished last year in October 2008 took place in the SOS Children’s Village São Domingos on 29th and 30th of April. The minister of education, Ms Duarte, member of the commemoration committee of honour (for the 25th anniversary of SOS Children’s Villages Cape Verde and 60th anniversary of the organisation worldwide), opened the ceremony. The participating children expressed themselves during the closing ceremony by presenting poems and performing dances. Also in October 2009, in order to give continuity to children’s rights and participation, one more workshop was carried out. The project counts with the representation and finance of SOS children’s Village Monde / Luxembourg. More activities were organised such as SOS cultural gala, summer holiday’s activities, SOS infantile games and the Global Peace Games, both games accomplished at a national level by SOS Children’s Cape Verde initiative with Education Ministry’s support. For the first one, around 600 children participated and the purpose was to develop the sprit of sport, fair-play and particularly to promote institutions which works with children. In the second one whose goal was to draw people's attention to non-violence, culture of peace and respect to each other, around 20,000 students; It was also celebrated the international and African child’s days and the silver anniversary of SOS Children’s Villages Cape Verde as well as the SOS Children’s Village São Domingos’s sixth anniversary.

For this last referred event, a range of activities were organized including cultural, recreational, sports, workshops on child protection policy, children's games, radio programs, etc. The program was launched in SOS Children’s Village Assomada on March 28th by the highest State figure his Excellence, Mr. Pedro Pires, Cape Verde President. During his speech, his Excellence reminded the origin of the SOS Children’s Villages in the world and the sharing spirit of its founder Mr. Hermann Gmeiner. He stressed that we are one of the most human solidarity organisation. Mr. Pires agreed that valuable work has been done during these twenty-five years in the country, which hosts and provides a home for vulnerable children as well as training and transmission of human values such as sharing, friendship, and solidarity. Mr. President, who made the necessary arrangements to bring the idea to Cape Verde at the end of 70’s, when he was at that time Prime Minister, was honoured to be President of our commemoration committee of honour.

We end our information sharing, wishing you and your family all the best during the Christmas holidays and a Prosperous year 2010.

Yours sincerely,

Jandira Freire