Dear sponsors, dear friends:
After the first six months of this year have passed, we want to tell you some news from our SOS Children’s Village Antofagasta.
At present, 97 children and young persons live in our village inside 14 families. 15 of them returned to live with their biological families, because their situation has improved. But their vacancies were filled quickly with new children and this way we maintain the same quantity.
The weather in Antofagasta starts to be hot before Christmas. So, Christmas is the beginning of desired summer holidays. This year, several families travelled to other cities in our country. They visited the families of their SOS mothers, some of them travelled even 700 kilometres to Arica in the North or to Vallenar, southerly from our town. Not only the long bus journey, but also the possibility to see different landscapes and historical places, beautiful beaches and to enjoy a pleasant stay, made these days unforgettable for the families. Several children visited their biological families and could tighten ties with their relatives.
The new school year started in March and everyone returned to his or her duties. Beside classes, the children take part in different workshops: they train football, basketball, play chess, participate in the dance school. The youngsters from the high school have to dedicate more time to their lessons. Mario will conclude this year the high school. He is a very smart boy, who wants to study a carrier related to medicine. After school, he goes to an institute where he takes special classes in Math, Biology and Sciences. Mauricio made us very proud. He is in the first grade of high school now. Because of his excellent results in the basic school, as the only one from our village he received the scholarship President of the Republic, which is given to the best pupils.
This year we could not do remodelling of our family houses or purchase bigger appliances. But our mothers do their best to cheer up the environment of their houses with new plants and flowers and enliven that way the views in our dessert geography.
At the moment, our country is being affected by the global financial crisis. Therefore, the work of our family strengthening programme is even more important. We support 966 children and their families in the towns of Mejillones, Tocopilla and Calama. They are not very close to Antofagasta, but in a distance of between 80 and 220 kilometres. The programme’s work is focused on prevention of vulnerability. We help the adults to conclude their primary and secondary school education and enable them to find a better work. Our aim is that the parents do not abandon, maltreat and abuse their children and that the children do not interrupt their schooling process.
Dear sponsors, we know that the financial crisis has reached the corners of the whole word and hope that it will be solved as soon as possible. We appreciate even more your generous and constant support, which makes possible that our children know this crisis only from the news and not on the raw.
Once again – THANK YOU!
Néstor Rojas Mena
SOS Children’s village Antofagasta