I am so pleased to transmit you herewith the kindest regards of the children, youths, and families from the SOS Children´s Village Esperanza, which currently shelters 106 children of ages between 2 and 16 years. Fourteen children and youths were reinserted into their biological families and are being financially supported by the organization covering the cost of their school formation. Four young people are already following technical careers or university studies. Most of the young men and ladies who left the Children´s Village some time ago have a good relationship with their SOS families and they visit them regularly.
This contact between the young people who left the village and their families can be kept thanks to the efforts of the SOS mothers to strengthen the affective bonds with their children. Two families are a good example for that, as they went on a family trip to the cities of Tumbes (1000 Km away from Lima to the North) and Huancayo (Central region of the country). It was an unforgettable experience for all family members. They had a great time together and got to see interesting touristic sites of the cities they visited. The family who travelled to Tumbes had the opportunity to visit Ecuador, thus becoming the first family of the Children´s Village to visit a foreign country.
Earlier this year, we were witnesses of a very touching moment, when after a long and tiring trip to the inland, four siblings got together after 13 years. Three of them lived in the Children´s Village until year 2007, when they moved with their biological father, although they continued to be financially supported by SOS. Their youngest sister, who is now 13 years of age, was separated from them when she was just a newborn, and her grandmother took the little girl to live with her. Now the whole family lives happily together, and we are so happy and proud we could contribute to make the dreams of these children come true.
Sport is a very important aspect of the human being. For this reason the students of the Faculty of Physical Education did their pre-professional practical training in our Children´s Village during the summer school holidays (January and February) in the framework of an agreement signed with the State University ‘Enrique Guzmán y Valle’ (La Cantuta) through summer workshops for Volleyball, Football, and Basketball training, as well as Swimming lessons. But not only the children benefitted from these workshops, since mothers and aunts had also the possibility of taking part in them.
For the second year in a row, thirteen young people attend English lessons held and financed by the NGO Generation ACTS Club International. During the summer months (January and February) 64 children and youths had the opportunity to visit their biological families in order to strengthen their family bonds.
In January 2009 the first workshops of the Project ‘Sustainable Environmental Education’ aimed at children and youths from the community of Ricardo Palma were held. This project, executed in the framework of the Agreement signed between SOS-KDI International and HSBC in year 2008 is thought to support initiatives favoring the development of our children. They enthusiastically attend the workshops and take part in all discussions regarding preservation and protection of the environment as well as the recycling process. Study trips were organized to local zoos (Parque de las leyendas, Huachipa), and to nature reserves (Pantanos de Villa, Humedal Costero Poza de La Arenilla) where they could observe the biodiversity of our country and learn about how important it is to protect our flora and fauna.
The Program for Youths living in Children´s Villages has been operating already for 4 years. A four-day SOS Youth Encounter was organized at beach Kawai aimed at these youths and the ones who are already living independently, where topics such as Values, Personal Growth, and Sexuality were dealt with. Besides, they had the opportunity to share experiences with self-reliant young people. Adolescent students attending the 3rd grade of middle school and upper are attending vocational guidance sessions and psychological counselling in order to help them priorize their interests and develop their social skills.
Before we end this letter, we would very much like to thank you for joining us in our efforts to support the less favored children, youths, families, and communities to be the main characters of their own future and to look forward to their own lives with hope and optimism.
Juan Reátegui Ballón
SOS Children´s Village Esperanza