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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Santa Maria, Brazil

Sponsored children from Santa Maria
Sponsored children from Santa Maria

A child sponsorship repotr from Santa Maria in Brazil. Written in 2009.

Dear sponsors,

SOS Children’s Village Santa Maria opened its first SOS house in 1980. Currently we assist 112 children and adolescents within the village, being 55 boys and 57 girls. We had this year 7 children who were adopted and 18 who returned to their birth families. Regarding to affective bonds with the biological families, most of our children and adolescents keep in touch with their families.

To strengthen the bonds with the families, social worker and SOS mothers do home calls to promote the socio-cultural integration of children and community, enabling them to have a psycho-social development to awake to their Rights.
Children who arrived this year in the village were very receptive to their SOS mothers and siblings, having a good relationship with all of them. These children are well-adjusted to their SOS families, going to school and taking part in socio-cultural activities.

Aiming to overcome the expectancies on family reintegration, SOS Children’s Village Santa Maria has a good dialogue with the local Tutor Council and the Childhood and Youth Judgeship. SOS mothers are extremely important in this process, since they have a very important role in children’s life promoting and strengthening family bonds, which results in a better quality of life for children and adolescents. SOS Children’s Village Santa Maria nurses the affective bonds strengthening as well as the exceptionality of the family-based care process.

Trying to motivate the adolescents to become protagonists of their own life history, we orientate them to fight for their Rights and we enlarge this action to their families aiming to produce autonomous actions.

Having the PDI (Individual Development Plan) and the insertion into the job market as goals, 4 teenagers finished technical school that they were done in university and the other teenagers, from 12 to 14 years old, are finishing vocational training in several fields, like computing and technology.

In 2009 we did some events, like Mother’s Day and Easter. For June Party the teenagers organized the traditional backwoods mock wedding. They coordinate all event which could count with some traditional dance groups, schools and nearby community, besides the families of the reintegrated children, who came to enjoy this event and celebrate the 60th anniversary of SOS Children’s Villages.

Choreography for the shows was about photography. Children appeared in the stage inside a big frame, as they were in a photo shooting, telling the photography history. It was a wonderful and rewarding experience for the girls since they felt like being part of the history.

We have another artist group that takes part in ATOQUE project, having percussion classes. They frequently perform at Musiartes and Misishow, showing to the audience their talents and work. In the end of the year, all members of this project make a huge presentation at Teatro Treze de Maio, with a large repertory from classical to popular music.
In this project they learn several music instruments, like jew’s harp, tambourine and guitar. Besides, there are workshops in which they make their own instruments with recycles, like pan lid, washing machine basket.

In June, Marcelo, Jaqueline, Clademir and Diego graduated in Industrial Solder and Machining Training course at Industrial School sponsored by Santa Maria Federal University. Now they are about to start their probation period.

Course is a great opportunity to them, since Santa Maria is becoming a metallurgic centre with a considerable number of industries, included refreshment industry, and for now there is a shortage of specialized labour. Thus they have a great chance to get a job soon. Also they earn a grant to take this course.

Balloon Festival motivated children to go along with the trajectory that balloons were doing in the sky, colouring it. Among other activities, the Solidarity Day, organized by the local commerce, offered for children a delicious sandwich, sodas and dessert in a famous local snack bar, where they could enjoy the afternoon.

Community and Family Strengthening Programme develops several socio-pedagogical actions for children and teenagers aiming to promote self-esteem through identification and valorization of their acquaintance and experiences.
Community and Family Strengthening Programme together with a partner [Institute Harmonia] enlarged the building to provide assistance for more children and teenagers.

Onofre Mario Stnislawski Lane Alves Márcia Bertoletti
Director Director Coordinator