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Child Sponsorship 2010, from Bissau, Guinea-Bissau

Sisters from SOS Village Bissau
Sisters from SOS Village Bissau

A child sponsorship report from Bissau in Guinea-Bissau. Written in 2010.

Dear Sponsors,

Please kindly share with us some information about the village which sponsor you for some time, stressing  that your generous contribution has allowed up to his date, a roof, well-being and good education for our children in need. In the SOS Children's Village of Bissau, we have a total of 107 children aged 0-20, including 53 girls and 54 boys. Each family home has a population of 9 children.

SOS mothers also meet once a week to discuss how the Village’s functioning and its current situation, daily work in each family house and behaviour vis-à-vis their children with a view to avoiding physical and emotional abuse.  SOS Mothers take adult literacy courses and are divided into 1st, 2nd and 3rd year groups. Meetings involving Mothers take place over holiday periods aiming at allowing them to exchange opinions, cook and dance in the company of their respective children.

The 2008/2009 school year, went well. Out of the 64 children enrolled at the SOS Primary School Bissau, we had 14 children that repeated the year. Remedial courses are conducted during the week, every afternoon, except on Wednesday, or for children that attend catechism classes.

Carnival is celebrated every year in February for 4 days. People dress up in various different manners and disguise themselves wearing traditional attire and masks. Two parades are held on this occasion namely one for Nursery children and another one for primary schools. On the following day it is the time for older children to have their parade. They come from many regions and the ones winning first, second and third spots receive a substantial sum. SOS Nursery took part in 2010 Carnival festivities entitled "Let us unite for peace and development". All children dressed up for the occasion.

Meetings with Bissau SOS youth are regularly held to discuss children's rights, their future reintegration into their biological families, provide them with advice on communicable diseases, and also their future career plans. SOS youngsters also participate in events organized by FIFA and other NGOs working with orphans and neglected children.

A seminar on sponsorship was organised last March involving SOS Mothers and Aunts, and staff members, in collaboration with the Regional Sponsorship Coordinator.

SOS Nursery celebrates 1 June, International Children’s day, with poems, songs and dances followed by a cocktail. A draw is carried out and each child brings a meal or a drink, and the party is animated by music. All children are well dressed for the occasion and accompanied by their parents.

International organizations, the football federation and other institutions working on behalf of children, have continued their collaboration with our children. Therefore, our children are invited to many events and activities outside the village and receive, from time to time donations of various kinds.

The SOS Social Centre continues to welcome SOS children and those from the surrounding community for computer training, literacy, sewing and language classes.

The SOS Medical Centre operates twice a week with a doctor and, if needed, the Village nurse, mainly due to malaria during the rainy season, which has already begun.

A programme of holiday activities takes place in July designed for our young children whereby our girls learn how to do needlework and cloth dyeing in conjunction with SOS mothers.

A two-weekly programme of visits to biological families is organised in August to the benefit of our children. Such a programme allows SOS children them to remain in contact with other family members. The programme will have a limited once the rainy season sets in and preventive measures are then taken to protect children against epidemics.

Again, we appreciate your kind and generous contribution; please accept the greetings of your village.

We thank you again for your kind and generous contribution and avail ourselves of this opportunity to present to you our Village’s best compliments.

SOS Children's Village Guinea Bissau