The time has come to share with you news about your sponsored village of Abobo. We would like to take the opportunity of this mid-year letter to thank you for your contribution, which seeks to guarantee the well-being of all the children who are living in the village of Abobo-Gare.
Although the social and political crisis is dragging on, this doesn’t impede the smooth running of the village work. So throughout this information letter, we will tell you about the change in the youths' status (transfer from Family Homes to Youth Hostels), the admission of new children to the village, youths who have reached independence, education, integration into the job market and social life, health and the Family Strengthening Programme.
In January 2010, we transferred 14 youths from Family Homes to the Boys and Girls Hostels. Before this transfer, the teaching and supervisory team had several meetings with the youths concerned to prepare them for their new life in the hostel. And a party was thrown on that day so important for the youths.
Following this transfer, thereby making room in SOS Family Homes for new people to be admitted, we welcomed fourteen (14) children (7 lost both father and mother, 5 lost their fathers and 2 lost their mothers in childbirth) to the village. Soon upon admission those who reached school age were enrolled in SOS Nursery and the SOS Primary school. While some of the newcomers were easily integrated into their new environment, it took a few others some time to familiarize themselves. But right now, all the children are totally fulfilled and well integrated into the village. So at present, the total number of children in the village is broken down as follows:
- 100 children in Family Homes
- 14 girls in the Girls Hostel
- 12 boys in the Boys Hostel
- 60 youths in the Supervised Hostel
- And 150 children in the Family Strengthening Programme
As the last step of our support to the youths, 14 youths who completed their education left the SOS Children’s Village on December 31, 2009. Among them are a pharmacist, three engineers, (one in computer science, another one in telecommunication, and the last one in marketing), a preschool teacher, a bilingual secretary, 2 communication specialists, one with a ‘Maîtrise’ degree in History and the other in Sociology, and to finish with, a higher technician in agriculture. Some of them have found work, while most of them are still looking for a job. However, we think that they are well equipped to compete in the job market.
To build the capacities of SOS mothers, training in home economics was organized for them. The aim of this training was to show the SOS mothers how to save up (budget, water and energy) in their homes, how to manage the means given by SOS Children’s Village to take care of children. This training also permits them to know and do what is important in the children's daily lives.
On the educational level, the SOS Children’s Village Nursery, which has children ranging from age 2 to 5 years, is currently home to 97 children, including 11 children from the village, 7 children from the Family Strengthening Programme and 84 children from the community around the village. For this year 2010, the school mistress and children are carrying out a school project entitled ‘Sport, a factor for the fulfilment of the SOS Nursery child ’. So all the activities done in the Nursery are centred around this project (speech, reading, sport, outings to stadiums).
Concerning the SOS Primary school, the total number of pupils is 221, including 49 children from the village. The new children admitted in the village were enrolled there and we noticed that most of them had some integration problems; but with the support given by the teachers, we note an improvement.
The school pursues its different extracurricular activities (English courses, music, library, gardening, and farming). Children’s rights are also taught in all classes with the help of the special need teacher and the librarian. At present, the teaching staff is planning the creation of a newspaper within the school.
For the children of the village who are in middle and high schools, school results are rather good. As for the youths in the Supervised (external) Home, 27 of them are in college-level vocational schools and university, 13 in high school, 7 in middle school, 10 in vocational training schools and 1 youth in the military academy for active non-commissioned officers.
Another source of our satisfaction is the fact that our youth are more and more interested in different entrance examinations to become civil servants. Hence 4 youths will take the entrance examination to the National Gendarmerie, 2 others for the entrance examination to ENSOA (National Academy for Active Non-commissioned Officers) and 2 for the police academy.
As far as health is concerned, other than the usual illnesses, there is no major health problem.
For this year 2010, the Family Strengthening Programme takes care of 150 children from 58 needy families who are fully and totally supported through the means of the SOS Children’s Village and the donations of generous donors. The overall aim of the programme is to prevent families from withdrawing their support from their children by attacking the main causes leading to the abandonment. That is why the programme helps the children’s families to be financially independent. In partnership with MUCREFAB, a micro-finance organization which grants credits, these families implements profitable projects to have lasting incomes.
Thanks to a donor, we have now a library with 814 books. This donation will permit us to develop a reading interest in the children. Thanks to another donation, we have a TV room with a television equipped with all accessories to raise children’s awareness concerning HIV/AIDS.
All these activities we spoke about throughout this mail were made possible thanks to your contribution. That is why on behalf of all the children in the village of Abobo, we would like to thank you once more.