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Child Sponsorship Report 2010, from Cibitoke, Burundi

Mother and child from SOS Cibitoke
Mother and child from SOS Cibitoke

A child sponsorship report from Cibitoke in Burundi. Written in 2010.

Dear Sponsor,

The occasion falls to us to send you our warmest greetings while the first semester draws to its end. You have shown a firm spontaneity to assist our young SOS Children's Village Cibitoke and it has left a deep mark on our heart. We sincerely thank you for that.

Today, the Village is house to 91children including 46 girls and 45 boys. We are planning to admit 29 new children to reach the ceiling capacity of the Village; that is 120 children to divide into twelve family houses. The school going-age children are 73 among whom 31 attending Cibitoke SOS Nursery and 42 going to SOS School. 18 children do not have the school going age yet.

Our schoolchildren are divided up in classes from grade 1 to grade 3, which shows how salutary the opening of Cibitoke SOS Children's Village has been for the community of the locality where the lack of school infrastructures is critical.

Regarding school results of SOS children attending primary school, we registered a success rate of 84.5% in the second term against 82.73% in the first term of the school year 2009-2010. However, two children in total are badly performing especially in french, arithmetic and the milieu-focused study. Their SOS mothers and aunts are doing their best to meet this challenge. As for the SOS children attending the nursery, they have adapted very well to pre-school.

At the socio-economic front, situation is not favorable at all. In fact, the scarcity of essential commodities on the local market makes us accomplish long distances from our Village for procurement at high prices.  The increase of goods and service prices negatively affects household living conditions.

In addition, the Village is located in an area where drinking water is rare especially during the dry season. To face the situation, we have availed 12 tanks each with a capacity of 120 liters. The Village is not connected to a grid service and the use of a generator requires power cut off to reduce the bill, and this shortens lighting duration in the family houses.

The spiritual dimension has not been forgotten as festive occasions are common in our Village. In this aspect, April 25, 2010 was marked by the baptism of little girls in the family house Rukundo. When church ceremonies ended, everyone headed to the Village and sharing a glass and meal highlighted the party. The community surrounding the Village joined us to share the joy. All children in the Village were jubilant.

As regard blossoming, we have been cherished. Indeed, a large delegation from the National Office and Bujumbura SOS Children's Village, led by the National Director himself, paid us a visit on January 16, 2010 in order to strengthen our integration to the community of Cibitoke province. A basketball match opposing the team from Bujumbura and that of Cibitoke was played.  It resulted in a score of 39 against 23 in favor of the visiting team.

After the match, a reception was organized in order to share a friendhip glass of beer. Through his speech, the National Director emphasized the importance of the SOS mothers’ role in the Village life. This escalated the mothers' determination to the fulfillment of their mission. The visit also led the local community to adhering to the Association of Support to Cibitoke SOS Children's Village.

On April 17, 2010, our Village supported by the community played a return match on the playground of Bujumbura SOS secondary school. The match ended with 55 points for each team.

On the capacity building front, the SOS mothers in Children's Village SOS Cibitoke have already attended two trainings. They are now preparing for the third training sequence, which will surely further improve their capacities and work adjustment.

Regarding school homes in SOS children’s Village, the Nursery registers 75 children including 39 boys and 36 girls. The SOS primary school manages 206 schoolchildren among whom 99 boys and 107 girls. The school results are satisfactory and were improved at the primary school. In fact, the success rate was 91.7% in the second term against 80.7% in the first term.

It is worth noting that 23 children coming from vulnerable families in the community benefit from scholarship awards from our organization including 3 in pre-school and 20 at the SOS primary school.

In June, the SOS Medical Centre of Cibitoke opened and has been a very important event for children, SOS co-workers and the neighboring community under the malaria threat which is an endemic disease in the region.

Reiterating our deep appreciation for your unwavering support to our Village, we wish you, dear sponsor, and sweet holidays with yours.

Nicodème Barampama

Village Director