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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Harrar, Ethiopia

Sponsored children from Harrar
Sponsored children from Harrar

A child sponsorship report from Harrar in Ethiopia. Written in 2009.

Dear sponsors,

We send you warmest greetings at this special time of the year, Christmas and New Year! As your well being is a priority to all of us in the village, we always wish you to stay in the best of your health and have all the best things in life. The whole family in SOS Children’s Village Harrar is also doing fine and it is with pleasure that we inform you about the latest happenings in the village.

Our SOS Children's Village

Ten of the family houses in the village are to be renovated. It has been 30 years since the houses were constructed and with some maintenance and repair throughout the years, the houses have been a warm home for the many children under our care. In addition, since the houses are constructed from prefab material we have sought the need to use bricks and building blocks to constructing a modern and stronger family houses.

It is planned that the renovation will be made for three houses at a time. And the village is arranging temporary shelters for the children of three family houses and the respective SOS mothers till the construction is complete. In this way the ten family houses will take turns till all the houses are renovated. We are hoping that the transformation will start soon and the children will have better place and more secured homes to lead a comfortable life.

This year we have transferred thirteen of our children to youth facilities in which they start leading a semi independent life of their own with the guidance of employed youth leaders. We are also on the process of admitting other children to fill the vacant places in the family houses.  

Our Fruits

This year has been a remarkable year for SOS children’s village Harrar as five of our girls graduated with a BA degree from different universities in the country. We organized an occasion on their arrival to the compound and all the village community gathered to celebrate their huge success. The event had two major significances: one, it is a way of giving recognition to achievements and second it also motivates the other children to success following the footsteps of the graduates. On the occasion circus club presented its show and children in the mini media interviewed the graduates.

In a related development, one of our girls who is in Ghana for her education won a competition and got an invitation from Cambridge University in London to spend two months vacation. She learned a lot from her trip and it was an overwhelming experience for her.   

Social Activities

The village mini media has been reestablished with new equipments and has created an opportunity for our children to learn and develop their language and writing skills. It has also continued to help them develop their confidence in public speaking.

Members of the child council on their part have continued their active participation in raising different issues to be discussed by members and invited gusts. They also organized a child hearing program and discussed on different issues that are related to the village, such as level of respecting each other, self discipline and so on. We have also finalized the work for the establishment of the cultural corner in the village. All the necessary materials have been collected from different parts of the country and they are properly displayed in the corner becoming available for the children. They are happy to know about their cultural heritage and their backgrounds besides its being a place for leisure time.

SOS School

To equip our children with the necessary knowledge and skills, the school has continued providing quality education to children in the village as well as the community. The national exam result during the past year is one of the good achievements we have from the school. 100 % of our grade eight, 95 % of our grade ten and 98% of our grade twelve students who took the national exams have passed to their respective grade levels successfully. We have also continued working together with Haromaya University (17 Km from the village) in teachers capacity building trainings. Moreover, one of our teachers has been rewarded a free masters education in the university.

To increase the students’ understanding of their environment, the school environmental protection club and geography club members visited Awash National park (300 Km from Harrar) and Mount Kundudo (200 Km from Harrar).

Working together with the regional Roads Transport Authority we have given additional lessons to enhance students’ awareness on traffic rules. The lessons included road traffic marks especially around the school and some other traffic laws that children need to know.

SOS Nursery

It is a short memory that we lost our nursery three years ago when it was caught on fire. But today, it is our greatest pleasure to inform you that the reconstruction has been finalized and the nursery has already started the new academic year in the new compound. It was a blissful moment to see the children move back to their original place. 

In the past academic year a total number of thirty-four children have also graduated from the nursery and they have transferred to grade one. We had a large number of nursery graduates compared to the past few years. As we have continued our joint venture with Harrar Teachers Training College, workshop was given to the nursery educators on child development. Among the educators, three of them are also given the chance of up grading their qualification in the college.

To end with, we sincerely forward many thanks in the name of our children and the whole village society. We hope to have you with us in our journey of working for the benefit of the needy in our community.

Best Regards,

Tsegaye Dejene (Mr.)
Village Director, Harrar