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Child Sponsorship Report 2010, from Nhlangano, Swaziland

Children from Nhlangano, Swaziland
Children from Nhlangano, Swaziland

A child sponsorship report from Nhlangano, Swaziland. Written in 2010.

Dear friends and Sponsors

The Nhlangano SOS Children’s Village again sends its warmest greetings to all its friends, sponsors and supporters. We are again happy to write and update you about the village’s early 2010 activities and sincerely thank you for the support.

The Village is currently home to one hundred children, fifty-one girls and forty-nine boys. A total of sixteen youths were integrated to the youth homes at the beginning of the year. These were replaced with the same number of children who were admitted into the village to take up the spaces opened by the moved youth. All these children are bonding well with their SOS mothers, brothers and sisters. Nine of the one hundred children mentioned-above are in the nursery, eighty-two in primary school and eleven in secondary school. A total of forty youths has been raised from the village since its inception in 2001.Thirty-three youths live within the SOS structures and seven live outside. The Family Strengthening Programme is currently assisting and caring for a total of two hundred and sixteen families with five hundred and twenty-four children.

The youth homes now house a total of twenty-nine youths. The youth boys’ rented farm house accommodates seventeen boys. The farm accommodates four more boys than the previous facility. The boys have just started on their vegetables gardening project to ensure the home’s big garden is put into good use and hope to soon start on the chickens’ rearing project which will also ensure the two reasonably built chicken sheds are also used effectively. The sixteen youth girls have joined the boys in the gardening project and shall be doing the same with the chickens and piggery projects. Although the piggery project has not started yet but a dairy project is under way. Two of the rented eight cows gave birth to two beautiful calves. The youth were able to start to sell milk to the local community people early in the New Year and have so far started to generate some income from the surrounding communities.

With the guidance of the Child Development Plan team (CDP) and the Child Protection Focal Person, the Village childcare team started on the SOS Children’s Village Programme Policy. Putting the child first, the team was able to ensure that a quality child care, protection, nutritional food, dress code and ensuring a very fair homely environment continued to be everybody’s business. A formal and non-formal education was all made important and meaningful to the capability of the individual child. Due to the implementation of the above principles of our work, the Village was able to improve in the children’s educational performance, health and safety during the last months of 2009. As such the internal end of year school results showed a great improvement this year as compared to the previous years. One of the youth girls who took part in the Distance Intervention Programme has earned herself a place in the SOS International College in Ghana and will be leaving before end of June 2010. The rest are still continuing with the preparatory long distance learning programme which will enable them to write their admission tests again in June 2010.

The Nursery has also added value to the children’s education as twenty-eight of these children currently receive special learner support and assistance from the nursery teachers to improve their academic performance.

With more training, Nhlangano Village childcare workers abilities and strengths in caring for the children in the Village have also positively improved. During the mentioned training, the child participation and protection policies were vigorously brought to the attention of every member of the SOS Childcare Worker. This shall finally be extended to all the surrounding Family Strengthening Programme targeted communities.

In October 2009, nursery children and parents had a trip to Badplaas which served as the parents and children’s fundraising contribution to the whole SOS Children’s Village Swaziland. The parents and children enjoyed the day with a special fun on the games and slides. The nursery also had its Graduation Ceremony in November 2009. A total of ninety-eight children attended nursery during the year and thirty-two graduated on this special day. Everyone should have been here to see the lovely big smiling faces. Six of these children were SOS children from the village. SOS Children’s Village Swaziland is very proud of her children.

A total of nine thousand one hundred and thirteen patients were treated at the SOS Clinic during the year period. Two hundred and eighty-two children’s cases were from the Village while the rest were from the surrounding communities. SOS Children’s Village Clinic wants to ensure quality service delivery to both the Village and the surrounding communities. Most of the newly admitted children have undergone a medical observation by the clinic to try and improve their health conditions. Children with minor illnesses related to the very cold winter were treated at the SOS Clinic. Some were later admitted but have since been discharged from hospital and are now back in the village looking much better and happy.

The Nhlangano village would like to take this opportunity and thank you for your unwavering support in kind during these trying times of economic hardships. We hope to share with you our Village’s activities again towards the end of the year. We wish you all the best.