It gives us great pleasure to send to you the latest news on your sponsored facility, SOS Children’s Village Francistown. We hope we find you and your loved ones very well. It is a hectic yet exciting year for the Francistown Village as a lot has been achieved for the first half of the year and yet a lot still to be covered.
The Francistown Village now has 182 children living in the 16 family houses and 39 youths in both the boys and girls youth facilities. With the arrival of the Village Educator last year, more structure has been put in place to improve on the academic performance of the children and results are already evident. A breakthrough workshop was conducted for the SOS mothers in which they were enlightened on how to assist their SOS children who have difficulty learning and it was a welcomed development by both the mothers and the children. The village soccer team took part in the ‘Re ba bona fa’ competition. This is a competition of all small soccer teams around the country of which the best players are selected to play for the national team. The children were excited about the prospect of playing for the national team and the SOS team shined throughout the competitions.
In July the Francistown Village will celebrate 10 years of anniversary. A big party is organised for the children, staff and friends of SOS. A series of activities are arranged as a build up to this big day. Children of all ages will take part in different sports and cultural activities such as talent show, fashion show and concert. The mood in the village is warm and there is a sense of pride prevailing. It is also a year when Bosena, one of the first SOS mothers retired at the age of 60 years. She joined SOS Francistown in 1998 when it opened its doors and she looked after 12 children in her family house of which 2 have graduated and are working and living outside SOS care.
Of the 39 youths in Francistown, 25 are attending the formal schools and 14 are at different tertiary institutions pursuing different courses. There they stay in rented accommodations and only visit the youth facilities during the school vacations. It is in the youth facility that the young men and young women live semi-independently as they are prepared for the eventual departure from the SOS care. In the 10 years of its existence, the village has successfully graduated 12 youngsters who are now integrated back into the society. They work in different fields such as hospitality industry, supermarkets, construction and textile industry.
The SOS Nursery has an enrolment of 102 children. 20 of the children are SOS children, 60 are from the Francistown community and 22 are from the Family Strengthening Programme. This year the Nursery is taking part in the Regional Nursery Competitions that involve all the nurseries in the City of Francistown. The activities include beanbag racing, tyre racing, hopping and many more. The children showed a high level of enthusiasm and competitive spirit – they had great fun with their counterparts as they explored their ability.
Family Strengthening Programme (FSP)
The family strengthening programme in Francistown has a total of 74 families as beneficiaries equalling to 546 individuals. These include child headed and chronically ill parents headed families. The beneficiaries in these families are equipped with life skills such as first aid, and running small businesses as economic empowerment. They are also offered supportive counselling over the loss of their family members. During the April school holidays the FSP children went camping where they were offered psycho-social counselling.
We thank you most sincerely for your unwavering support throughout the years.