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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Rutana, Burundi

Sponsored child from Rutana
Sponsored child from Rutana

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

Dear friend,                                                   

Children and co-workers of Rutana SOS Children Village are happy to snatch at this opportunity to keep you posted on the most developments of their Village during this 2009 first semester.

Immediately, we extend to you our sincere greetings and express you one more time our thanks for the valuable support that you unceasingly supply us with for the smooth functioning of our activities.

The socioeconomic situation of the Rutana province is promising at the end of this farming season. Rains were regular and essential foodstuffs become more and more available on the local market and their price reviewed downwards. The price of one Kg of rice has just passed from 1200BIF to 900BIF and that of beans from 700BIF to 500BIF. The population is now relieving themselves and some of our SOS families avail themselves of it to constitute small food stocks and thus to achieve some savings on  family allowances.

During this period, the number of SOS children and youth did not change. The Village is home to 145 children and youths whose age is ranging from 2 and 15 years. As for their distribution; a small boy is not of school going age, 20 children are registered in the SOS Nursery, 95 children are attending the SOS GH grade school, 28 youngsters are attending the SOS Secondary School of Bujumbura of whom 17 are boarders and 11 who go to the college and the communal high school of Rutana still live in the Village. A resettled youngster is still supported in his biological family.

Children and youngsters of the SOS Village Rutana enjoy a physically remarkable growth.

Their academic achievements during the 2008-2009 first and second term are also satisfactory.

In the framework of school follow-up of our children and youths, strategies are set during local educational team meetings for those who performed badly. They are about focussing our efforts on children/youngsters who have failed by rehearsal and/or continuation  sessions according to intellectual abilities of each case as well as personalized listening and counselling sessions.

On the spiritual development; 7 children /youths were christened at Easter on Sunday, April 12th and 9 were confirmed on May 31st, 2009 on Whitsun Day. Also, 7 children got their first confirmation on June 14th 2009.

Relevant ceremonies took place at the Saint Joseph cathedral of RUTANA; they are highly celebrated and followed by family celebrations in the Village.

In matter of child rights and so as to improve the level of child listening, advice of  children representatives were set up in the different family houses  and in the Village.

As for fulfilment and children cultural supervision, a drummers club made of village children / youngsters was initiated in May 2009. Presently, it is undergoing practice and coaching sessions by an internal co-worker and a drummers’ team member from the Youth Centre of Rutana.  Similarly, the ‘Six boys unit ‘, a team of young musicians belonging to the village is progressively settling down.

During Easter holidays, a school outing was organized for all youths studying in secondary school at the Nile source pyramid situated in  Rutovu commune  of Bururi province. It was an opportunity for these youngsters to fill fulfilled, to learn and to relax.

Likewise, a football match was played between SOS GH primary schoolchildren and secondary school SOS youth.

SOS primary schoolchildren won the match. Equally, thanks to audio-visual supports ( cassettes and CD) given by the Youth Centre of  Rutana, grade 5 and 6 children and secondary schools benefited from counselling sessions on HIV/AIDS pandemic and on  behaviour change techniques on  April 13th and 17th, 2009.

As for the SOS primary school of Rutana, it experienced a great deal of events. Indeed, the school initiated ‘Child Rights’ club for Rongero and Gifunzo public primary schools. Currently, this club is operational in 5 public schools that take in Family Strengthening Programme children. Regular visits are conducted in above-mentioned schools to support them in the activity organisation  of  the aforesaid clubs.

The school provided itself with an observatory of child rights implementation. Its mission is to monitor then register all child abuse cases in order to treat them accordingly.

On the partnership plan; through a children’s parents’ committee member, the school got from the HELP CHANNEL NGO a donation made of 65 knitwear. They have been used to award the best pupils during 2008-2009 second term proclamation results. The school also received a donation made of a batch of school manuals that can be used in grade, 2, 4, 5 and 6 from the teaching provincial office of Rutana.

In the framework of fruit trees multiplication and environment protection, the school planted more 60 avocado seedlings.

In the SOS Nursery, educators pursue the composition recitations/poems serving as educational learning materials in organization language activities. Productions are regularly mentioned in a collection.

Furthermore, educators organize themselves with child guardians to supervise FSP children registered in kindergarten in home weekly assignments during weekends.

Activities of SOS Medical Centre of Rutana normally went on: the number of treated people amounts to 3, 923 whereas it was 3, 051 in 2008 that is an increase of 28, 6%. This increase is also observed in the laboratory where 3, 747 samples were tested.

Just as the nursing staff from the public sector had observed a cessation from work for pay claim, the Medical Centre managed to meet care solicitations of neighbouring populations;  what could explains this increase of visits to a doctor.

Concerning fight against HIV/AIDS, 664 persons accepted HIV/AIDS screening with a seroprevalence of 2.26%. Likewise, 90 PLWHA are under anti retroviral treatment, 2 under the national protocol of Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV/AIDS Transmission (PMCT). A training in favour of 55 communal leaders on PMCT and on preventive care was carried out.

As for the Family Strengthening Program (FSP), it supported 282 OVCs divided up in 99 families until March 2009. 33 families counting 72 OVCs that reached self-sufficiency came out of the program and will be replaced in July 2009.

Trainings aiming at strengthening guardians and OVS conducted (training of 51 guardians on nutrition, 3 OVCs in sewing and 10 others are going to be trained as of June 2009). Similarly, associations’ capacity building for the sitting of community networks are under achievement.

Bolstered up by your support both moral and financial and to have you among us as friend, we beg you to accept, dear friend, the expression of our profound gratitude.

Augustin HAKIZIMANA

Village Director