It is a renewed pleasure for me to give you the most recent news of the SOS Children’s Village of Mbalmayo, at the moment when the said Village has just got through its 12th year of existence, for having taken in the first children in March 1998. At that time, it was a jewel of art located nearly a kilometre away from the town of Mbalmayo which shined forth thanks to the prosperity of forestry companies.
Today, the Village has certainly kept her beauty, but she is about to be surrounded by a new quarter of the town where prevails a climate of insecurity, with hold-ups days and nights. These are some of the consequences of unemployment of a given fringe of the population of the locality, due to the successive closing of forestry companies which those days were their pride.
However, the Village which was up to now spared for her humanitarian character, was recently attacked by those outlaws, who fortunately were driven back by security agents.
The children of the Village, whom the number has increased from 106 to 109 with the admission of three new children late in 2009, did not even hear a single noise form that incident. They continue benefiting from the framing of devoted co workers in the implementation of the National Child Protection Policy recently elaborated at the national level. The later is a concrete expression of our conviction of which “education without violence is possible”. So, we report all cases of abuse or violence exercised on children either those living in the village or in surrounding communities. This desire of meeting our goal led us in the creation of the Network of Organisations Defending the Rights of Distressed Children, (RODDED) in our town and its surroundings. The objective of this network is to coordinate actions of its organisations and assure the continued training of their collaborators and children. In this line, 50 children from the 7 organisations of the network have just been trained on peer education as regarding sexuality; so, back in their respective organisations, they have to share the acquired knowledge with their brothers and sisters; and this is to prevent all the problems linked to premature eventual sexuality amongst our children. By the same token, we are planning to train the network trainers on the “national and international instruments of child protection”. This will allow us to implement the national child protection policy above mentioned.
The Easter holidays were a favourable moment to appreciate cultural and sports potentialities of our children. So, some of them took part in sports competitions where their performances were appreciable. One of our girls won a golden medal during the inter-regional karate tournament held in Bamenda, then another silver medal in the national open of the karate season in Yaoundé in January 2010.
Similarly, two of our children including one girl, won a silver medal, one each, in judo during the national all school games, which is the biggest tournament at the national level for children from primary schools. Talking of foot ball players, they lost a final on penalties kicks, during a tournament called “Coupe Top”, organised by the National Brewing Company which takes place very year in order to promote sweet drinks. Many famous Cameroonian players were discovered thanks from that competition. So we hope that one of our children will also pass through the same way.
We have also created a music club, still in the idea of detecting and developing sports and cultural talent in those extra school educations.
Talking about school, the success rate has increased for this second term: from 89% in the first term, to 95% for children in primary school; for those in secondary schools, from 68% to 69%. We hope this rate will increase again at the end of the year, with the training of SOS mothers and aunts on home school follow up. But, our attention is focussed on those of our children who are going to sit official exams at the end of the school year; and we do hope, they will make it.
It is with this hope that I extend my sincere gratitude, the one of our children and all the workers of the SOS Children’s Village Mbalmayo for your kindness for them especially at this particular moment when the situation of the world economy is not more favourable to acts of charity.