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Child Sponsorship Report 2010, from Nelspruit, South Africa

Mother and child from Nelspruit, South Africa
Mother and child from Nelspruit, South Africa

A child sponsorship report from Nelspruit in South Africa. 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 Sponsor,

It is that time of the year again when we thank the warm, caring and generous people who make it  possible for us to bring smiles to the faces of our children. We are excited about offering you an  opportunity of updating you on our village and our country's news.

South Africa is currently a hive of activity and focus world wide as we receive and host international  soccer fans, soccer teams and visitors during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. 'World Cup Fever', has injected a wonderful feeling of unity throughout our nation. We have been encouraged to wear our soccer shirts on a Friday-this has been a great nation building exercise. Our children are also basking in the spirit that is flowing through our nation, and a new sense of pride and appreciation is springing forth for our country.

The first quarter of the year is normally quiet in terms of Village activities but busy in terms of school admissions, purchasing of stationery, uniforms and placement of our children in new schools where necessary. It is a challenging and exhausting time for our SOS Mothers and the Admin Staff are very supportive to them in every way possible, to help them cope with this fairly demanding time.

85 children have found a home and security in a warm, loving and caring environment which best fulfills their needs within our Nelspruit Children's Village. The number of children who attend boarding school has increased from 5 to 6 this year. Our matriculant from last year unfortunately did not perform very well in her final examinations. With the guidance and support from the team she decided to rewrite her matric examinations.

A Community member Mrs Shongwe has been assisting the children from last year with Life Orientation and Isiswati Classes [Isiswati is one of our local languages]; she has very generously committed herself to continue with the lessons. We thank her for her dedication and continued support.

We have increased the number of children who are attending remedial classes at the Kip McGrath Foundation from 10 to 20. The group is divided into 2 groups, the first 10 attend on Friday afternoons and the second group attends on Saturday mornings. We are planning to provide more assistance for our children especially in Mathematics, Science, English and Isiswati.

Our Social worker has been working closely with our SOS Mothers and our local Psychologist, Dr Ginindza in ensuring that our children's emotional well being needs are taken care of. She has started therapeutic group sessions with 13 Village youth and they meet every Friday afternoons.

Our Social worker arranged a successful holiday programme for the Village children during the Easter holidays. Amongst others, village youth together with the youth from the community went on a camp to the nearby Pilgrims Rest Environmental Centre. They gathered a lot of knowledge on life skills including swimming. Back at home Love Life facilitated a debate session on the two topics on different days (corporal punishment should be re-instated at schools / the other was on teenage pregnancy be allowed at schools). On one of the holidays, boys challenged girls in a soccer game. The girls' team walloped the boys 3-0.

Our Village Drum Majorettes group is still performing exceptionally well; they practice everyday at the nursery. Our Village friend, Mr Ally Sibiya fondly known to children as Malome [meaning “uncle”], with the assistance of our Village General worker ensures that the children practice and learn new
moves for the diski dance in preparation for the world cup. There is a very strong possibility that our children will perform at the Mbombela Stadium during the match between Honduras vs Chile on the 16 June 2010. We are all so very excited and nervous to have our children performing at this very
international stage.

We continue to encourage our children to become actively involved in all sport-some are encouraged to swim, play netball, join dance classes or join soccer groups at school as well as in the Community. The soccer fanatics are excited that they can stay up late to watch the world cup matches.

Two of our SOS Mother trainees are currently at the SOS Adult Training Centre -attending the Basic Child Care Workers' Training Course. The Child and Youth Development Coordinator and the Social worker attended a workshop on the New Child CareAct.

Our Family Strengthening Programme continues to reach out to our various beneficiaries, empowering them with life skills that enable them to also take care of themselves. We honestly and humbly thank our generous local donors for enabling us to provide school uniforms to 135 children in January, food parcels to 99 families in January, 97 in February and 88 in March and milk formula for one baby. We were also able to provide T-shirts to 100 children at three different pre-schools. The little ones were very cheerful and full of smiles at receiving their gifts.

Child Protection has also become a very important aspect of our programmes, with staff and children constantly sensitized through awareness programs of how to care and improve this important service. Important measures have also been put into place during the 2010 FIFA World Cup to ensure that our
children are well protected and aware of the constant dangers that could be detrimental to their well being.

It is an absolute joy to receive such support from you. Your presence in our children's lives is amazing; we take our hats off to you. We would like to thank you for ongoing generosity and for being part of our family.

Yours Sincerely

Soka J Matlala
Village Director