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Child Sponsorship Report 2010, from Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo

Child and mother from SOS Children's Village Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo
Child and mother from SOS Children's Village Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo

A child sponsorship report from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Written in 2010.

Please note: This report may have been written by someone whose first language is not English.  We have left it largely unedited, as this is how a sponsor would receive it.

Dear sponsors,

The SOS Children’s Village of Bukavu would not succeed in helping the numerous Congolese children in distress without your support. Despite the international financial crisis you have not stopped thinking of our Village, and we say once more again thank you a lot for such a love.

By the end of this first term of 2010, the Children’s Village of Bukavu takes care of 150 children including 69 girls and 81 boys. Among them, 64 girls and 76 boys walk to school. Some 10 children including 5 boys and 5 girls are not school aged yet. There are 15 SOS mothers, and 9 SOS aunts to look after them. SOS mothers are helped by the Village director, the pedagogic responsible, the social assistant and others SOS co workers.

Offering children better care is the main concern of the SOS Children’s Village of Bukavu. To reach this aim, the SOS co workers are often trained in different domains which fall in the scope of children’s care. SOS co workers were trained on the Management of performance, and the SOS mothers were trained about “Household Economy” and “Active Communication”.  

Different cultural blossoming activities were organised in favour of children and youths. Apart from sport activities, children went out for visiting some unknown wonderful areas. They visited a factory which makes plastic bottles and other items, a mill ground and a baking factory at OLAME Centre down town. 

These activities were supplied by the SOS schools. The SOS Nursery which counts 130 children including 21 SOS children took them to visit some working shops down town. The SOS Primary school of Bukavu which counts 435 children including 92 SOS children also organised some excursions for children. They went to KABARE Territory to visit IRABATA tea farms and a private Zoo. Some 54 pupils are ending the 6th form including 5 SOS girls and 3 boys. They will sit for the National Test on 3 June 2010. They will certainly afford it. Meanwhile, the SOS primary school is preparing the retirement of one of its teachers.

The grown up SOS youths, are looked after by 10 Educators. They are 140 youths including 51 grown up girls and 89 boys. They walk to different better local high or Vocational training schools and colleges or universities. Some 18 youths including 9 girls and 9 boys are High school finalists. They will sit for the National State examinations next June 2010. Some 13 youths including 4 girls and 9 boys are attending Vocational schools. 19 grown up girls and 41 boys attend local universities or colleges. They are all struggling for improvement.   Moreover, 2 youths emancipated last March 2010.There was a girl and a boy. Some other 7 youths will emancipate in June 2010.

The child abandonment prevention is always on the SOS Children’s Village agenda through the Family Strengthening Programme.  Through this programme, the Village supports 400 orphans and vulnerable children within children’s biological or host families. The assistance consists of medical care, food supplement and school fees. Moreover, vulnerable children were offered some new clothes on Christmas day. The orphans and vulnerable children’s tutors still receive micro lends for some income generating activities to enable future self dependency. The Family Strengthening Programme manager goes on working up on some families’ plans for their probable development. The Family Strengthening Programme beneficiaries are sensitized to free HIV/AIDS check up. Some of them side with the idea and have initiated a Club against HIV/AIDS.

By the beginning of February 2010, the SOS Medical Centre of Bukavu has opened the Emergency maternity for the surrounding community which is very glad of the action. The number of women who benefit from this new service is increasing. However, this new service brings in some challenges such as the lack of ambulance and enough personnel. Anyway, other services function well.

The SOS Vocational Training Centre is functioning since 2 years now. It is attended by 103 learners including 28 pupis in Secretary and Computer sciences, 26 in Electricity and plumbing, 27 pupils in masonry and tiling and 22 including 3 SOS youths in carpentry and joinery. Learners show much interest in skills and they practice much out of class.  The SOS Vocational Training Centre organised an Atelier for the Carpentry Trainers. It invited other local Vocational and Technical school Centres’ trainers. The Lecturer was Mr. Jan Leijtens who came from the Netherlands. This Vocational Centre is seeking to set up a Club for the Child’s Right very next. It sticks upon opening a Youth Leisure Centre for Development and entrepreneurial.

Thank you, Dear Sponsor, for your support devoted to our SOS Children’s Village and I wish you all the best.  

Sincerely yours,

Ciraane Cisika

Village Director