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Child Sponsorship Report 2010, from Bhersaf, Lebanon

Children playing at SOS Village Bhersaf
Children playing at SOS Village Bhersaf

A child sponsorship report from Bhersaf in Lebanon. Written in 2010.

Dear Sponsors,

SOS Children’s Village Bhersaf is currently home to 69 children living in 11 SOS family homes; they go to 5 neighboring schools.  The youngest child in our village is three years old.  She is a cheerful and happy girl and she is the joy of the large SOS family. 

Most of the children who are admitted at the SOS Village have never been to school or they did not attend school regularly.  At the beginning of the school year, they encounter sometimes major difficulty.  To support them in this difficult period, we help them with private lessons and a special teacher is engaged to guide them in their homework.

As you already know, our children are very happy to take part in various activities during the weekends.  They also participate in national competitions and they usually win medals in taekwondoo or drawing competition.

During the Easter holidays, our elder children participated in a cultural tour to the Lebanese oldest winery, “Chateau Ksara” founded in 1857.  It is located in the Bekaa Valley.  After an hour and a half drive they were welcomed by a pleasant guide who was so lively when explaining all about this famous place.  First of all our children watched a slide show about the vineyard and the winemaking.  It was interesting to know that the climatic conditions in the Bekaa provide Ksara’s vineyards with exceptional advantages. The wine ages in spacious underground galleries where the temperature both in winter and summer varies just between 10 and 13 centigrades. They walked down into the cellars that are more than 2 kms long and where the wine  matures in oak barrels.  According to the legend, this cavern was discovered in Roman times when a fox, pursued by a pack of hounds, was seen to disappear into the ground through a cleft in the rock.

Currently fourteen young girls and eight young boys live at the SOS Youth Homes, in addition to 47 semi independent youths who are still supported by SOS Children’s Village Bhersaf in their path towards independence.

In addition to the awareness raising sessions common to all the facilities, the youth play sports on a regular basis, go to the movies, and visit sites in the country.  During the holidays, they were encouraged to do some small jobs that would increase their pocket money and enhance their sense of responsibility.  It is the aim of the pedagogical team to provide the youths with the best opportunities that would develop their capacity to organize their budgets, and consequently their lives.