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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Ksarnaba, Lebanon

Sponsored child from Ksarnaba
Sponsored child from Ksarnaba

A child sponsorship report from Ksarnaba in Lebanon. Written in 2009.

Dear sponsors,

It is once again with sincere joy and commitment that we take this opportunity to keep you updated with our pedagogical and educational work.  When you will be reading this report, our children at SOS Children’s Village – Ksarnaba will be busy decorating the Christmas tree with home made handicrafts like stars and candles. 

At present we care for 62 children, 31 boys and 31 girls.  They live in 9 SOS Family Houses where their SOS mothers are doing their best to give them the daily care and to encourage them to overcome the difficult moments.  In February 2009, Mother Khadigeh finished her theoretical and practical training and she is now in charge of the 9th SOS Family House.  She is taking care of two brothers, Hicham, 3 years and Hassan, 2 years.  Both of them had a very difficult early childhood and start to feel secure in the SOS Family.   In August 2009, Mother Magida has welcomed a family of three siblings, 3 boys who are now happy to be able to go to school.  As for Mother Obeida, she welcomed Adam, who celebrated his first anniversary in August.  He is the youngest child at the SOS Village and every one loves him and cuddles him.

On the educational level, our children are having the adequate support to do well at school.   The school success is 90% for the school year 2008-2009.   Actually 46 children are going to 3 neighboring schools and 15 children, 2 to 5 years old, are attending the SOS Nursery, Junior and Senior Nursery.  As for Adam, he is happy to keep company to his SOS mother.

In order to maintain a good relation between the child and his/her biological family, we send most of our children to spend a two weeks vacation in their natural family during the summer.   They usually look forward to that.  When they take a child under their care, SOS mothers become more familiar with his/her family background.  With the SOS social worker’s help and sometimes with the psychologist’s help, our SOS mothers  do their best to preserve a good family relation with the biological family.   Most of the time, the parents and child relations are good but whenever there is a problem, we try to find a solution in the child’s best interest. 

On the 21st of June,  we celebrated three special events: SOS Children’s Villages 60th Anniversary worldwide, 40th  Anniversary of the first SOS Children’s Village in Lebanon – Bhersaf and International SOS Day.  Children and youth from our four SOS Children’s Villages, SOS mothers, SOS friends and invited guests all converged on SOS Children’s Village – Bhersaf to join in the triple celebration.   Our guest of honor, the First Lady of Lebanon, Mrs. Wafaa Souleiman, attended the celebrations.   It was a day full of excitement.   In the morning, the little children were busy playing various fair games such as: pin the tail of a donkey, fishing a duck,… The painting faces kiosk had a great success and the magic show too.  A famous musical band entertained our teenagers and invited them for a karaoke show. 

Many activities were organized during the summer such as sports competitions, cultural tours, arts activities, etc,… But the most interesting one was the summer camp for boys and girls, aged 4 to 15 years, that took place from 15th of July till the 13th of August .  40 children from the SOS Children’s Village and 210 children from the families that are supported by the Family Strengthening Program (FSP), as well as children living in the neighborhood, participated to the summer camp.

A team of 20 adults and volunteer teenagers were in charge of the summer camp.  The objectives are :

-         To develop the children’s creativity

-         To raise awareness of gender equality issues

-         To strengthen social links between SOS Children and children living in the neighborhood

-         To bring hope for children supported by FSP program

The program consisted of the following :

-         Sports activities

-         Arts activities such as : drawing, crafts, handmade articles, theater, dances,..

-         Social and intellectual activities such as a workshop for better communication skills  for the teenagers, awareness campaign on the importance of healthy food and hygienic habits

-         One gathering day with the association for blind children

The closing ceremony was a great success.  SOS mothers, parents and relatives assisted to the children’s presentation: a musical show “Lebanese Wedding”  performed by  children aged 12 to 15, a play “The Elephant and the Ant” by children aged 4 to 7, and famous folkloric songs by boys and girls aged 8 to 11.   When saying goodbye, children were looking forward to the next summer camp. 

Together we continue doing our best to strengthen our children’s hopes in a happier future.   Thank you for your fidelity.  On Christmas Eve, after singing carols and opening their gifts, our children at SOS Children’s Village – Ksarnaba will have a special thought for their dearest sponsors.  They wish you all what is good during this Holy Season and for the year 2010.