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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Muyinga, Burundi

Sponsored children from Burundi
Sponsored children from Burundi

A child sponsorship report from Muyinga in Burundi. Written in 2009.

Dear friend,

As we move towards the end of the 2009 first semester, we snap this opportunity to express you once again our sincere thanks for the invaluable support that you provide us for the conduct and running of the different programs for the development and the preparation of the self-sufficiency of all children and youths in our care.

It is also an opportunity for us to deliver to you our greetings and our wishes for good celebration in this period when we are gearing ourselves up to celebrate the SOS Children’s Villages ‘Day on June 23, 2009, the same year that SOS Children’s Villages celebrates its 60th anniversary, that will be locally celebrated Saturday, June 27th and whose preparations are in progress.

At the socioeconomic level, the jump in prices of all products in general and those of essential foodstuffs in particular that marked the economy of our country since soon three years, in reference to our previous mails, makes the life always difficult almost for all households, especially those having low incomes.

Dear friend, in the name of the whole community of the SOS Children’s Village, we would like to keep you informed that our village is currently home to 148 children divided up in 15 family houses, after the death of one of our children occurred in the night of April 7th, 2009 following a natural disease, that had almost become chronic.

As for the number of the youth, it is important to mention that there are 151 youth of whom some are living in youth facilities or other facilities with boarding school system; similarly, the number of youth facilities did not change, namely 5 youth facilities of which 2 for girls based in Bujumbura 3 others at Muyinga at the rate of 2 for boys and 1 for girls.

With regard to academic achievements of our SOS children, these latter performed very well during the two last terms, even though the success rate of our primary school children did not significantly change; because indeed, it was of 92.98% in the 1st term against 92.92% in the 2nd term. On the other hand, results dropped with our youths given that their success rate went from 91.37% in the 1st term to 88.59% in the second term; in this respect, remedial measures were taken so as to support every child and youth according to experienced difficulties.

Still in matter of work with youth, you will know that 2 girls have just completed a vocational training at the sewing technical school of Ijenda and are currently living in the village awaiting their self-sufficiency in the forthcoming months.

Furthermore, it is interesting to note that 1 young girl and 1 young boy who are attending the SOS Technical School of Kigali in Rwanda have just completed their secondary studies; and the girl in question has already began her higher studies at the Adventist University of Kigali, while the young boy is waiting for his enrolment at the National university of Rwanda, in Butare, with the opening of the 2009-2010 academic year.

In the same time, two other youngsters of whom a boy and a girl were registered in January 2009 in the same SOS Technical School of Kigali and performed very well in the first semester. Moreover, another SOS youngster who was studying in the SOS Secondary School of Bujumbura has just passed an exam enabling him to pursue his secondary studies in the International College of TEMA in Ghana, thus to join an another one who gone last year.

Concerning the SOS Primary School, during this 2nd term of the 2008-2009 school year, it counted 429 schoolchildren of whom 221 boys and 208 girls. Among these schoolchildren, 113 are from the SOS Children’s Village while 316 are from the community of whom 11 from the Family Strengthening Program (FSP) benefiting from the Organisation school award. Otherwise, during this term, school results of our schoolchildren did not significantly change compared to the last year, because the success rate is 96.72%, whereas it was of 96.37% in 2007-2008 for the same period.

In order to alleviate the misery of the populations from the surrounding community, our FSP is going on with its assistance in favour of Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children (OVCs) of which the number of direct recipients remains of 250 vulnerable children divided up in 103 families.

With regard to our SOS Friends’ Network and local sponsors, the first annual General Assembly of the Network was held on May 20th and 122 members massively took part in it; this meeting caused a big hope as to the new approach related to fundraising; besides, a second provincial branch of the Network was set up in Ngozi on February 8th, 2009; it is covered by a committee made of 5 members, with at its head a president.

In relation with partnership, we have just celebrated the African Child Day for this June 16th of which several activities were carried out in the framework of NGOs Synergy and other associations working in the field of Orphans and other Vulnerable Children of which the SOS Children’s Village of Muyinga provides the coordination. NGOs involved are namely IRC, the Society for Women against Aids, CARE INTERNATIONAL, STAMM FOUNDATION, with prizes offered by the UNHCR, etc. Activities of the day were marked by a conference-debate that took place the day before in which took part the representatives of the administration and the education sector whereas festivities of the day were heightened by the 2nd deputy President of the Republic together with  the UNICEF representative  in Burundi.

It is also in this framework that 23 youngsters  of the FSP and 5 other youngsters of the Village are learning  auto mechanics, which training is provided for by an NGO named, AHD (Humanitarian Action against Delinquency) with which we had just signed a training contract.

Dear friends, we could not conclude this report without reiterating you our profound gratitude for the support both moral and financial that you unceasingly show us, by wishing you a 2009 enjoyable summertime,

Yours very sincerely,

Louis RWASA- Village Director