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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Chennai, India

Sponsored child from Chennai
Sponsored child from Chennai

A child sponsorship report from Chennai in India. Written in 2009.

Dear Friend,

Warm greeting from children, mothers & co-workers of SOS Children’s Village, Chennai.

It is our great pleasure to thank you for your valuable and committed support for cause of children. The children are very happy.  With a feeling of deep joy and pride we take the opportunity to inform you about the recent developments about the village held during last 6 months.

As you know, SOS Chennai consist of 14 family homes, Youth House, a SOS Primary School, a SOS Medical Centre, a temple,  Tailoring center, Children’s Computer lab, Library and Auditorium in the  village.

Children from our village and children in the neighborhood areas are getting benefited by studying in the SOS Nursery & Primary School (up to class V), situated in village campus, which is providing good and quality education to children under Montessori system. Presently it has strength of over 95 children.  Apart from taking medical care of children, mothers and co-workers, SOS Medical Centre extends services to rural public through regular Medical Camps in 5 villages and township, where medical facilities are scanty. 

Village Strength and Status

Presently we have 186 children. 144 children are residing in village in 14 family homes, while 42 youngsters are in youth houses.  55 children attend SOS Nursery & Primary School, 58 children are in different schools outside village. 10 children are attending Professional/vocational courses and 10 are pursuing university degree courses. 9 children are under going apprenticeship and 2 babies are at home.    During the last 6 months 14 new children were brought home for the permanent care and shelter. We are providing special care and attention so that they can adjust easily in the village environment.

This year children gave excellent performance in academics and the overall passing percentage was 96% out of which 58% children scored above 60% marks. Overall pass percentage in 10th and 12th board examination children is 100%.

Youth Status

We have 42 youngsters (boys) under youth house care, of which 9 youngsters joined Youth House during May 2009.  13 youngsters stay physically in Youth House of which 11 pursue their schooling and 2 vocational diploma studies.  8 youngsters pursue their studies in hostels, while 21 youngsters undergo apprenticeship and stay in rented rooms or hostels. 

Some of our settled boys are found their way to professional niche. One among our youth who has completed B.E –Electronics Communication Engineering got placed in Infosys Technologies, Chennai as a Software Engineer. One more boy who completed B.Tech.-IT is working as a Software Engineer in Zanac Technologies. One more boy who completed the Advanced Technical Training in Machinist Course is associated with Sanmar Group besides undergoing his Engineering studies in Dr. MGR University, Chennai.

Activities During The Year

During summer vacation, many interesting activities such as Konnakol, Theatre workshop, Art Mapping, Bharatha Natyam and Mohini Attam (classical dance of South India ) movements, Cookery, Rangoli, Tailoring and Embroidery, Art and Craft, Drawing, Fun Maths were organized for 21 days in May 2009. 2 days outing to Egmore Museum, Birla Planetarium, Periyar Science and Technology Centre, Marina Beach, Crocodile Park, Dakshina Chitra and Tiger Cave Beach organized for all children made their summer camp exciting and enjoyable.  12 children from FSP families and about 8 children from neighbourhood joined this camp. 12 children also took part in 3 days Personality Development camp from 25th to 28th May.  One day Cycling expedition also carried out over 30 children and mothers covered a distance of 23 kms.

On the occasion of “World Water Day”, painting & quiz competitions were organized and 30 children participated in it. Children made beautiful paintings and gave genuine answers on the topics Water Cycle, Climate Change, Mother Earth, Our universe etc and won prizes.  One of our girls studying in class XII attended Badminton tournament and has been selected in the district and to play state level competition. 

Festivals like Pongal (Harvest Festival), Navratri (9 day’s worship of goddess Durga) were celebrated in village with full vigor. On the occasion of Mother’s Day, children presented a colourful cultural programme for their loving mothers. Later on the same evening mothers enjoyed a picnic at Marina Beach, a movie and had dinner together at a restaurant in Chennai.  SOS Day marked with a vibrant debate on the topic “what is more important for development of children? Whether education? Or discipline? On both sides two mothers and two children argued with their points, moderated by an external resource person.

Family Strengthening Programme

302 children of 143 mothers are being supported under the Family Strengthening Programme.  For the good health and overall development of outside community people, various camps and workshops were organized for them during the last 6 months, such as personality development and anti-smoking campaign, mental health, child rights, women empowerment, livelihood opportunities, health & nutrition, self help groups activities,  etc. Overall pass percentage of FSP children during this year is good.  Out of 296 school going children, 162 secured first division in the examinations. 24 children are pursuing their graduation and vocational courses. Hands on skills training, Self Help Group promotion, advocacy activities on health, hygiene, rights are being conducted regularly for the FSP mothers.

Once again on behalf of children, mothers and co-workers thank you for your kind support.

With regards

S. Nambi Varatharajan

Village Director