Dear sponsors and friends:
Once again, we want to share some news from the SOS village Ancud with you. This SOS village is placed at the Chiloé Island, in the south of our country and possible to reach only by a ferry, crossing the Chacao channel. The most important city in the region is Puerto Montt, which is at the continent, about 100 kilometres distance from Ancud.
The year started happily with 2 or 3 days family trips inside the island. And one family travelled to the continent, where they stayed in the country side during a week. During the long summer holidays, which can be very rainy in Chiloé and which last from December to March, the children and their SOS mothers travelled to different beaches at the coast, to national parks, to fun fairs, handicraft exhibitions, museums, and so on. Unforgettable and a spectacular event for everybody was the visit to the Russian Circus on Ice. We seldom have the chance so see this kind of events because of the big distance, more than 1000 kilometres, to Santiago, capital of our country. At the SOS village, we had presentations from drama and art groups, and we invited the community to join us. We have a big room, with a capacity for 100 people and our neighbours often use this it for different meetings.
Today, there are 107 children and youngsters living in the village in 12 cosy family houses, surrounded by beautiful gardens. All the children help there during the weekends, and we are now planting more flowers and trees.
One boy returned to live with his biological family, because they have resolved most of their problems.
We consider part of our task helping families in need to resolve their problems. In seven centres belonging to SOS Children’s Villages Chile, we work actively with children and their families, especially with their mothers who participate in diverse workshops and occupation trainings allowing them later to improve their economic situation. At the same time, it means also a direct benefit for children. Other workshops carried out are mainly focused on couples, with the purpose to recover and strength emotional ties.
The new school year started in March: some children left to school with happy faces, but some were really scared, too. Depending on their skills and interests, the children are also joining several workshops in their schools: gym, music, sport, etc. Three months of classes have passed and we know now who needs extra help because of learning difficulties. Each Saturday a teacher comes to the village and helps the children who need it. Some children, mainly youngsters, also join workshops about self care and bullying. They are organized by the village and guided by a psychologist.
In February, we had a great experience: 80 tourists, who were travelling with the cruise MS EUROPA, visited us on an afternoon. The children were fascinated looking at the captain, dressed completely in white - like in a movie. Everybody wanted touch his impeccable uniform! The visitors felt quite touched, and they left a generous contribution. Many of them knew our organisation but hadn’t had the opportunity before to visit a village personally.
Our youngsters made an excursion to a salmon fish factory where they knew more about each production step and had the chance to talk to all the workers. Fish industry is nowadays the most important resource of the Island, but because of the crisis, many people were dismissed, also several relatives from our children. Other important sources are tourism and handicraft. Proud and happy, we can tell you that in May our children organized a celebration for all the mothers. They only asked us to help them to buy soft drinks and French fries, everything else they did by themselves. Each family prepared a video with songs, poems and greetings for their mothers. The mothers received a special invitation card, written and printed by the children, and for all them, this was a big surprise. We saw happy faces and also some tears. Especially mother Fresia couldn’t stop crying. She suffered two years ago under cancer. She is the only mother who grew up in the country side of Chiloe, has strong roots within the island and to the SOS village. Even when she goes on vacation, some of her children travel with her. Luckily, she is feeling fine and healthy again.
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.
Thank you, once again.
Osvaldo Salazar Salazar
SOS Village Ancud