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.
The SOS Children’s Village of Douala, is the second project of the SOS Children Village in Cameroon which ensures the long term family base care of parental responsibility over children having lost family care or who run the risk of losing it, now hosts 83 children aged from 02 to 14 years old of whom 45 boys and 35 girls. They are shared into 12 family houses under the care of 12 SOS mothers, 03 SOS aunts and 04 family’s assistant.
Situated at the place called Mbanga-Bakoko, precisely at the northern way out of Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon, in the third District, it is a complex which has twelve (12) family houses, a house for the aunts, one for the Director, a Guest house, an administrative block, a technical block, a multipurpose room and games facilities for children.
Just by these are a Nursery School, a Primary School and a Health Centre which also help in assuming integral responsibility over our target population. Four (04) of our children are registered in a secondary school of general education and one of our boys is in a technical school. There are 52 pupils in the primary school and 24 in the nursery. For the moment, two of our children are still too young to go to school. A tutor provides assistance at home to the secondary school students in French, Mathematics, and Biology. As for the younger ones, the SOS mothers and aunts are in charge of the follow- up, according to each pupil’s level, at home.
A psychologist consultant regularly supports the mothers and aunts as well as the pedagogic team in their duty.
On the 10th of November 2009, the Village was officially inaugurated under the patronage of the Minister of Social Affairs. The ceremony was presided over by the Representative of the Governor of the Littoral Region in the presence of the Continental Director of the International SOS Children Village for Africa and the Middle East and of the Director of SOS Children Village France. There were also many administrative, religious and traditional authorities, many partners and friends. For the occasion, the children presented diverse activities which they perfectly master: circus numbers (acrobatics, jugglery), traditional and modern dances, sketches, songs and recitations.
The ceremony of the Christmas tree organised in December offered the opportunity for each child to receive a gift. As for the end of year feasts, each SOS mother brought her children on outing either in her own family or for sight- seeing at places like the International Airport or at the banks of Wouri (river).
Football is the most practiced sports. A karate club has been put in place under the supervision of a qualified monitor and a scout group has also been created. Seventeen (17) children actually spent three (03) days on camp and each came back with a promotion certificate awarded to them during an official ceremony in which were present the authorities of the Douala third District.
The dance group took part in the celebrations of the 44th edition of the national youth day presided by the Governor of the Littoral Region.
As for the staff of the family service, the sport activities were continued (walking, gymnastic, football). For the celebration of the 2010 International Women’s Day, a football encounter opposed the village’s team to that of the surrounding community.
Our relations with the surrounding community are good and stronger day by day. Our taps are always opened to the inhabitants of the area for them to get potable water. The village Director is always invited in the different manifestations organised in the Bakoko canton. This canton has seven (07) villages and the SOS Village is considered as the eighth. Our children dance group was even invited to the ceremonies marking the passage of the Ngondo (big cultural festival of the SAWA people) caravan in the canton.
With the Government, the relations are also good. The village is invited in any activity related to children in distress. The representatives of the Ministry of Justice and that of Social Affairs always participate in the children admission commissions which are often held in the village.
As perspectives, the village will complete its accommodation capacity; the village can accommodate 120 children. We also plan to create open spaces so that in a near future we will have trees with shade and flowers in our compound in which the temperature sometimes reaches 40°c. The creation of other play grounds for basket ball, volley ball and football will help to diversify the sport activities for both children and adults.
The village won’t be absent at the celebrations marking the 124th Labour Day. The SOS children will join other children for the celebrations of the 20th edition of the African Child’s Day. Finally, together with the surrounding community and partners, we shall celebrate the International SOS Day on the 23rd of June.
That is, dear friend, the present situation of the SOS Children Village which you support unceasingly. The children of SOS Douala and the staff send words of thanks through our voice and wish that your interest for this project remains.