Children from SOS Children's Village Ennerdale will be hot and happy at Christmas time, as Christmas falls in the middle of summer in South Africa with temperatures often soaring over 35 degrees.
SOS mother Sarah looks after ten children at her home in SOS Children's Village Ennerdale, just outside Johannesburg. "Six of my children will stay with me for the Christmas holidays and the other four will visit relatives." Sarah will also invite two young people who used to live at the SOS Children's Village to spend Christmas day with her family. "For Christmas day we will have a specially cooked meal or a braai (barbeque), depending on the weather. If it is warm the children can go swimming after lunch and then in the evening we will listen to music and dance," Sarah says. Sarah's children, ranging in age from two to 16, still believe in Father Christmas. "I will put cookies and milk out for Father Christmas," said eight-year-old Mary. "He comes at night while we are sleeping and leaves us presents," she says, smiling happily.
Prince, who is now 14 years old and as image-conscious as any teenager, secretly wishes for an iPod from Father Christmas but when his mother asks him what he wants he says: "A bicycle." His two younger siblings Crushindi and Mary, who look almost like twins but are actually two years apart (ten and eight years respectively), would also like bicycles. And, mother Sarah says of baby Matshidiso, who came to the Village when she was just 18 months: "Tidi would like a tea set. She loves to pour water into cups and pretend to have a tea party."
The other siblings are still doing their exams at school and have not put in their requests to Father Christmas yet. As for Sarah, she shyly says she would like a CD player for Christmas and then she quickly excuses herself to go and bake cookies for the man in red!
The SOS Children's Village Ennerdale comprises sixteen family houses, an administration and service area and houses for the Village Director and the SOS aunts (who support the SOS mothers and take care of the children when the mothers are on leave). Up to 160 children can find a new home in the sixteen family houses. At present there are eight SOS Children's Villages, six SOS Youth Homes, seven SOS Nurseries, one SOS School, one SOS Mother and Staff Training Centre and eleven SOS Social Centres in South Africa.
If you would like to help a child have the chance of a family life and a happy childhood why not sponsor a child this Christmas?