It is with great pleasure that we give you our best regards and express once again our deepest gratitude, since it is thanks to you that SOS Children´s Village has been able to work in our country for 32 years.
Our Children´s Village shelters currently 108 children. At a national level, the 7 Family-based care Programme assisted 1,271 children and youths in year 2008. Our coverage figures for the Family Strengthening Programme increased too, so we assisted 7180 children. At a local level, the Family Strengthening Programme Callao runs 16 childminding programmes in cooperation with the community, assisting a population of 767 children members of 720 families living under poverty and extreme poverty conditions, and coming from the areas of Callao, San Martín de Porres and Ventanilla-Pachacutec. We are taking part in social networks, together with public and private entities working towards a common goal: the respect for and the defense of children´s rights.
Last year a plan was elaborated for the implementation and execution of the pilot Social Project of Callao, integrating both the Family-based care and the Family Strengthening Programmes. It was a very rich work experience, specifically when the time came to make a diagnosis of the situation in the surrounding communities. A relevant event was the important donation by a local company which will be used to help covering the running costs.
In Christmas time last year, the company Gate Gourmet, catering company which has been supporting us for five years, surprised the children and their families with dishes prepared by members of their staff, and with lovely surprise boxes containing presents and candies. It was very funny to see how the youngest child of the Village (18 months old) walked around the garden with his surprise box in the hand, not letting anyone but his mother see what was in the box. That was his first Christmas, and everything was new for him. ‘The best gift ever is looking at him feel happy’ says his mother. All children were also invited to a Christmas celebration at a neighboring shopping center, where they attended an amusing show and got nice presents.
Three siblings of ages 3, 6 and 14 joined an SOS Family during these last months, while two young people continue with their integral formation process with their families of origin. The SOS mothers feel very proud of their children´s progress. Time goes by so fast… their children grow very fast, too, and in some cases it will soon be time to leave the Children´s Village. Although they will keep in touch with them, it will be hard for these mothers to let their children go. The prevention of child abandonment has become a priority for us in Callao, where poverty, unemployment and delinquency rates are very high, thus leaving many of its inhabitants just few perspectives for the future. As a result, many parents neglect their children, or even worse, decide to abandon them.
During the summer school holidays (January and February) many activities combined with leveling lessons (in Math, Spanish, and English) were carried out. Sport training workshops in volleyball, basketball, football, and swimming were held, while health care campaigns aiming to prevent diseases such as Hepatitis B and Tetanus were organized. On the other side, a renowned company devoted to the manufacturing of tissue, personal care, and professional health care products started a recycling campaign on behalf of our organization in the country. With the fund obtained from the recycling process, they grant full grants (in terms of health care treatments, and maintenance cost coverage) with excellent results so far. In March, young people of ages between 15 and 16 attended the conference ‘Talent and Creativity’, were successful people shared their experiences in life. Thanks to her outstanding academic performance, the 9-year-old girl was awarded for the second year in a row a full scholarship by a local Foundation. Industrious students from other SOS Children´s Villages have also received full scholarships.
SOS mothers, aunts, and female co-workers were honored with an artistic performance on Woman´s Day on March 8th. On Easter time we have four days off school and work. This is a good opportunity for the families to follow some Peruvian traditions and to get together with their friends and relatives. Some of them use to go to church, eat some fish or watch religious films on TV. On Mother´s Day a big lunch was organized and nice presents were delivered. At school their children prepared self-made presents, as well as the traditional artistic performance and the raffle of Christmas hampers. We keep encouraging the integral development of the children not only though academic, but also sport activities. Children in ages from 9 to 12 have started their football training in order to prepare for the local championship by the end of the year, when they will have the opportunity to compete with external teams.
We have been invited once again by the Junior Achievement Programme, to send a new group of young people to take part in their workshops for young achievers. The staff of a well-known supermarket chain executed a comprehensive visit/activity programme in the framework of the second campaign aiming to win SOS Friends.
It is still our main challenge to offer the children supported by the Social Project an integral formation, placing a particular emphasis on their rights, and working with their families, so that they can guarantee their normal development. Thank you for accompanying us in these efforts and for making the dreams of thousands of children of living in a caring atmosphere, come true.
Gustavo Tupayachi Guevara
SOS Children´s Village Callao