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 entire SOS family in Makalle Village extends many greetings for you and your loved ones. The time has come to post you with the overall development of our village. Before all, lots of thanks for your unflagging support that makes the safe growth of children under our care possible.
Life has kept on flowing safe and active in our village. We now have a new village director as our previous village director Ato Nigussie Eshete has been transferred to the children's village at the Capital Addis Ababa. The new village director is Mr. Molla Haile who used to be the village's social worker.
In the past couple of months we have admitted six new children to our village. The children are adapting life very well. Currently there are 358 children under the care of the SOS Children’s Village Makalle. Among these 188 of them are in the family houses while the rest 170 are in the youth programmes. The children fill the village with their honest smiles and noises that fill the compound with fragrance of life every day.
This year the number of the school going children from our village has grown to 166. In order to increase the performance of the children, we provide different tutorial programmes for all. According to the first semester result, there were eight under achieving students and we are helping them by designing a one to one coaching system. The pilot programme called ALSDP (academic and life skill development programme), has also continued to be a permanent programme to the school going children from the village. Teachers, staff members, peers and senior students are helping weaker students academically and discuss on their life experience one another. And it is becoming very fruitful. A total of 39 children from our village took the grades 8, 10, and 12 national exams. The numbers are 10, 21, and 8 respectively.
The annual 'education day' was held colorfully in our village to encourage outstanding students and teachers with awards. A flag is put up at the gate of the academically best family house for a semester which reads 'Academically Best Family House'.
Celebrations and Vacation
SOS mothers' day was celebrated warmly on March 7 to bring the mothers' unreserved sacrifices and love into attention. The mothers and aunts with their white traditional clothes were so graceful. The children gave present to their mothers and sang a song praising them. The regional women's affairs bureau representative gave a speech appreciating the village mothers' and aunts' dedication. The bureau has also promised it would be the first to appear to support their work at any time needed. The guests were invited for lunch to the family house and observed lives of the children. The programme was also aired by the regional FM radios.
Among the 170 youth under the ‘youth programme’ 50 of them are in the youth homes. The rest are supervised youth who started semi-independent life in rented houses and those learning at various universities and colleges in the country. Relatively to the previous years the youth's educational performance has shown improvement. The youth affairs officer has continued preparing youth hearing programmes and home visits to discuss challenges of the youth and take remedy.
To reduce number of college drop outs and unemployment, the youth department made a study by referring back to the five years educational performance and inclination of the youth. Then, the youth are being given counseling on their best study options for better result and future. The department also let youths take short courses on computer, English language, driving training and other courses which can make the youth better competent along side their profession.
Apart from this, youth are helped to show up their talents. Mentioning which, seven youth (six girls and a boy) took part on a popular talent competition called Ethiopian Idol in dancing and vocal. Of all, four of the girls could make it to the next round (two in dancing and two for vocal).
SOS School and Nursery
There are currently 911 students at the SOS School. The number of students has increased by 132. This change is made because the number of scholarships increased from 20 to 100. On the contrary the nursery has only accepted 123 students, lesser by 14 students relatively to last year to avoid crowded classes.
There are scholarship students who couldn’t afford lunch like all the other students on their own. To solve their problem all the teachers and some students raise fund of their own to make them able to have lunch and a good afternoon with all their friends. The charity club also provides shoes, clothes and books sometimes.
SOS Social Centre
The social centre has kept on moving lives of many into safety with its day care, medical centre, and Family Strengthening Programmes within the community. The medical centre has given service to 2367, the day care to 150 and the Family Strengthening Programme to 336 individuals. Stationary materials shoes and school uniforms have also been given to students in the Family Strengthening Programme. The 'care-givers' (people whose children are taken care of) were given child care and livelihood trainings. A psychologist from Makalle University gave them the training mainly on understanding children's behavior and to decide how to react to them considering carefully their age and case. They were also able to have better understanding on running small businesses identifying what area they could achieve best and the current market.
Out of the 162 care givers 105 of them are united in eight community associations under the supervision of the SOS Family Strengthening Programme. Six of these labor unions are working under urban agriculture on poultry and crop production. The other two unions are working on small private businesses. In this way two families have started living totally on their own succeeding the goal of the Family Strengthening Programme: 'finally self reliant family'.
Please know that we are always at loss of words to thank you enough for your incredible personal commitment to help children grow in a safe and secured environment. Our prayers for your well being!
Molla Haile (Mr.)
A/Village Director, Makalle