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Child Sponsorship Report 2010, from Sferai, Lebanon

Child from Sferai, Lebanon
Child from Sferai, Lebanon

A child sponsorship report from Sferai in Lebanon. 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,

SOS Children’s Village – Sferai  is currently home to 60 children living in 10 SOS family houses; they go to 4 neighboring schools.  The youngest child in our village is two years old.  He is a happy and cheerful boy and he is the joy of the large SOS family. 

As you know, the individual child development plan is now an integrated part in our educational approach.  We are satisfied of the good results.  The regular follow-up helps us to detect the problem at the beginning and so it becomes easier to find the solution.  The continuous dialogue with the child helps him feel more responsible.  He is motivated positively when he participates to the decisions that concerns him. 

Within the framework of Advocacy that is a major concern for SOS Children’s Villages, the SOS Village Director participated to the national conference on “Child Priorities” that was organized by the Lebanese Higher Council of Childhood and that took place on the 22nd and 23rd of March.   He gave a conference on SOS Children’s Village Family that ensures safety and stability and looks after the child’s emotional and psychosocial needs.  Through its 40 years of experience in Lebanon, SOS Children’s Village aims at influencing decision-makers on the necessity to make changes in local policies and practices as required by the UN Convention.  SOS Children’s Villages – Lebanon is a reliable partner to help children claiming their rights and joining actively in the decisions that affect them.  Moreover it guides them into taking a dynamic role in their own development. 

« Camping is what making scout great ».   As you already know our children have enrolled in the scouting activity for quite a while.  They are so enthusiastic to participate to the weekly meetings and activities.  But what they experienced this year is a 5 days camp. It was such an intensive and lively experience. The camping life presents a myriad of obstacles, some small and some large.  Each of these challenges boots the confidence of the scout who learns how to overcome them.   When you ask our elder children what they remember of their first camping experience, most of them say : “I greatly appreciated the loyal spirit in my team.  We stick to our patrol, we fail or we succeed together. Camping is a constant example of cooperation and resourcefulness. I also learned a lot about the beauty and the complexity of nature”.  

Eight young boys and nine young girls are provided family care within the two SOS Youth Homes that are at located at 10 Kms from SOS Childen’s Village - Sferai, in addition to 22 semi independent youths who are still supported in their path towards independence.  During school days, the leaders are busy with the daily life of the home and the school work of the youths.  During the weekends, several meetings and workshops are organized, inside or even outside the home. 

When asked why he did not let the children take the bus to and from school, and spare himself the traffic jams, the youth leader explained that the road to school and back to the home was a period of intimacy where the youths would talk about their day and discuss their problems, without being distracted by the other activities of the youth house.

Before ending the report, it is useful to give you a short update on the Lebanese political situation.  In the everyday life, the Lebanese live in a certain stability.  Our President has relaunched the national dialogue process on difficult issues, a unity government has been formed and the municipal elections have taken place.  But the political scene will remain uncertain and subject to dirsturbance due to the Middle East conflict that reflects directly on the Lebanese scene.  Growth economy is mainly constrained by the large fiscal deficit and the high cost of private credit but the tourism sector is flourishing steadily.