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SOS Children's Villages has been working hard to improve the lot of orphaned children in Eastern Europe since the Seventies although it was only in the eighties that our first Village offered Family based care in the Czech Republic. Since then a large number have spread across Eastern Europe offering hope for... … more about our charity work in Europe

Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Gulpilhares, Portugal

Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Gulpilhares, Portugal

A child sponsorship report from Gulpilhares in Portugal. Written in 2009.

Dear friends and sponsors

Thanks to your help, our SOS village has the possibility to continue supporting children and helping them building their future. In the current year our village watched 7 young adult conquer their independence, however they keep visiting the place they called home for so many years. We also watched the return of a young girl to her biological family.  This year, in May, August and September we received 11 children.

Actually the SOS village of Gulpilhares is composed by 9 SOS homes, where 6 of those are functioning with a SOS mother, and a 7th (seventh) where are living by their own our oldest girls that began their professional life. Because of their autonomy and responsibility, they manage the house without the help of the SOS mother, but always have the following and coaching of a social educator.

Right now, living at the SOS Village and at the SOS Youth facility, we have 40 users (boys and girls) with ages between 5 and 22 years old.  I must say that unfortunately not all the boys and girls that leaved this year the village are employed due to the serious economic crisis that we still are passing through, and others who had a job are now unemployed. But, as always in all the cases they have the support and help of the SOS Village.

Actually there are no renovations at the houses; we will wait for 2010 to begin.

Some Activities:

Participation of young people from SOS Children's Village in collecting Food Bank

The invitation to volunteer AXA - Hearts in action with which the Village has developed other voluntary activities, has embarked on the challenge of participating in an action to collect food for the Food Bank, this action was in a supermarket near the Village SOS Children. How could it be, the hearts of our people was enormous and their obvious commitment and professionalism, has completed an excellent job. Please note that in 195 supermarkets where the action took place where the team were working our young people were classified into 19 by the amount of food collected, an increase of 15% over the previous year and that in times of crisis, which is praise.  They are all to be congratulated.  It is already agreed that we will participate in the next scheduled collection.

Ceramics activity with employees Countess Lene Thun Foundation

Between 22 and 29 August to SOS Children's Village received four employees from Contessa Lene Thun Foundation, based in Bolzano in Italy, to carry out an activity with children of the SOS Village.

The Foundation in partnership with other SOS Village in several countries has developed a project called "with hands and with heart," geared to orphaned and abandoned children of SOS Villages. The foundation seeks to create a cultural attitude favouring manual work and creative, working the clay in a relaxed and stimulating, providing children to create sculptures and works differently according to their free imagination.

The main objective of this activity was to give children a close contact with work in clay, and thus creating all sorts of work giving freedom to their imagination.

Please note that joining the activity was so great that children created beautiful and original pieces in clay.
During the five days it took to work were carried a large number of pieces and all small ones ask for this activity from happening again, and given the many "young artists" discovered, we are going to continue this workshop.

We would like to give a special thanks to Daniela, Paul Manuel and also to Dr. Paul, one of the directors of the company Thun, the excellent work and for his endless willingness to teach the children of the village to develop their capabilities.

For the nostalgia that left and the affection of children who received, we are sure that as people and professionals are an example to follow and we can only give our warmest congratulations.   Thanks for everything.

Village Guard and Gulpilhares in the Slide & Splash Algarve

On days 1,2 and 3 September, our SOS village provided to older users, who have good academic achievement and have demonstrated exemplary behaviour and responsibility, an unforgettable day, a day full of animation in Slide & Splash .

The trip even though it was long, was very fun and relaxed. Arrived to the Algarve we sleep in the Youth Hostel in Faro, all very anxious to arrive the day after.

It was an eventful day, full of animation and good nature in mega slides Slide & Splash. At the end of the day were all pretty tired of all physical activity, but with a smile from ear to ear at fantastic day out. On 3 September and during the return, there was time to go to the beaches of the Lisbon region.

On behalf of all children and collaborating workers in the village we wish holy Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Best Regards.

Rui Dantas-Director of Gulpilhares SOS Children´s Village