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Child Sponsorship Report 2010, from Montevideo, Uruguay

Children playing in SOS Children's Village Montevideo
Children playing in SOS Children's Village Montevideo

A child sponsorship report from Montevideo in Uruguay. Written in 2010.

Dear Sponsors,

This is an anecdote told by a SOS mother, of the day she received 4 little new siblings in her family.

“No doubt the first day is a very special one for all and the children arriving in their new home live it with great intensity. Small issues like learning that they’ll have a bed of their own, a new frock for school or receiving their own tooth-brush, are cause of joy or surprise for many. It takes time to really get to know each other and it’s only in the daily routine, that you can start unraveling their history little by little and try to heal their wounds. On that first day, the youngest, who was a year old, started to cry and immediately her 5-year-old brother asked: “Where do you keep the gas stove, so I can warm up milk for her?!” I told him not to worry, that I’d be preparing their food and that he was much too young to be handling fire. I already knew part of these children’s story; they’d just been reunited again, as the older ones lived with relatives, while the two youngest had been in charge of an aunt, who neglected them so badly, that finally a neighbor reported the situation to the authorities. Later this little boy told me that the two of them were left alone all day and that it depended solely on him, that his little sister ate anything at all. ... It was in that instant that I realized that my job was to make him live and enjoy his childhood and to lead “a child’s life”, surrounded by the love and security that only a home can provide”.

The work SOS Children’s Village Montevideo undertakes implies an enormous responsibility, as changing the course of a child’s life for the better is only achievable through the combined effort and care of many, many people, who either by means of their work or their financial support, day after day take this humanitarian and social commitment upon themselves. The coordinated approach the work the village does together with our Family Strengthening Programme makes stories like this one possible. In the Family Strengthening Programme we proactively enforce support of the children’s families by reaching families living in peripheral communities that are fragile and where children are most exposed to vulnerability, to prevent child abandonment and only in extreme cases like these, the children are admitted to the village of Montevideo, where today we have 87 children living. And we have many friends who support our work there. For example we received a donation of string instruments to complement our already existing musical band, thus transforming it into a real orchestra, so even the youngest get to love good music. And through our four Social and Community Centres we’re reaching 187 children more, supporting them and their families with the aid of various methods.

To make this possible it takes people, who like yourselves are compassionate and empathetic to the issue of the problems related to child abandonment, and only thanks to your continual and generous contributions we are able to help so many children, who for one reason or the other cannot grow up in their original family. For this I want to convey to you our sincere thanks!

Andrea Heimann

National Sponsorship Coordinator