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Child Sponsorship Report 2010, from Rustenburg, South Africa

Big smile from child in SOS Rustenburg
Big smile from child in SOS Rustenburg

A child sponsorship report from Rustenburg in South Africa. Written in 2010.

Dear Sponsor,

On behalf of SOS Children's Village Rustenburg, warm, sun filled greetings to you. We trust that you, dear friend, are well and that the New Year has proven to be a year of favour and success. The children and staff of SOS Children's Village Rustenburg, one of the proud host cities of the 2010 FIFA Worldcup, are very excited about what this year holds for us as a host country. Thousands of visitors and tourists are streaming into the country to enjoy the soccer and we as an organization believe that we also will be reaping from these festivities and events associated with the world cup fever.

At SOS Children's Village Rustenburg, we have gone through tremendous growth and expansion of our staff, the intake of new children, and new programs designed to further enrich the children and communities we serve. During 2009 we welcomed Mrs Granda Fell to serve as our resident Child and Youth Development Coordinator/Senior Social Worker to coordinate child, youth care and welfare development planning. Thus far she has instituted monthly outings and educational trips for children according to their age groups. Every Friday evening is movie night in different houses according the children ages. During October 2009 we attended an educational and recreational week-end away with the youth. The National Institute for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of Offenders Rustenburg began with the implementation of Life Skills and professional development group for children between the ages of 13 and 18. In addition we have hired two mother trainees and a field worker who is involved in our Family Strengthening Programme.

The number of newly admitted children is growing as well. At the moment we are at full capacity; 41 girls and 39 boys. The newly admitted children adapted very well to the rules and regulations of the SOS Children's Village, Rustenburg. As a way of ensuring that children adjust to their new lives and new family, we provide constant training for our SOS mothers to manage the demands of motherhood and working with children who may have special needs. Through monitoring and evaluation we assessed that the children have bonded very well with their SOS mothers and siblings, as well as with children living in the local community and at school.

Local healthcare providers at the Botshelo Medical Centre, Dr Matebesi (Dentist) and Dr Motlhamme (General Practitioner), have very generously agreed to provide free dental assessments and free health screening for all of our children living in the village. Our children visited the Medical Centre twice during 2009 for dental and health check-ups. Nine of our children have also been seen individually by a Clinical Psychologist (Ms Monki Tsilo) and she has conducted group sessions with 15 of our children. This intervention provided the children with a platform to learn more about themselves and how to face the challenges that face them on a day-to-day basis. We are truly blessed to have such warm, caring and generous community members.

During 2009 the Department of Social Development recommended that three 3rd year Social Worker students carry out their internship at our village and we accepted their assistance with open arms. They were involved with casework; community work and group work with both the children and SOS mothers, and some important recommendations were made for further development of children and our SOS mothers.

Our Family Strengthening Programme supports the development of community-based responses to the circumstances of orphaned and vulnerable children. The programme is established in the disadvantaged community of Sunrise Park, which is 18 km away from the SOS Children's Village Rustenburg. We have 450 beneficiaries (children) and 150 families in this programme currently. Our target is made up of children who are living with chronically or terminally ill parents (HIV/AIDS or another life-threatening conditions); children that have already lost one or both parents (due to HIV/ AIDS or other causes) and children that are living in an orphaned household (households sheltering one or more orphans).

We as SOS Children's Village Rustenburg are very proud and excited over our first grade 12 learner for 2010. She is a 17 year old girl who attends President Mangope High School in Rustenburg. She was admitted to SOS Children's Village in 2009, together with her biological brother and sister. She is a very committed and reliable child and is also the chairperson of the SOS Youth Forum, Rustenburg. We wish her all of the best in grade 12 (the final year of schooling in South Africa) and in her further education.

We are pleased to report that our educational achievement rates for 2009 were 84%. The successes are because of educational schedules that are in place to ensure that children spend adequate time with their studies and also because of the remedial educational assistance for those children in need of assistance.

Ten of our learners received educational awards for outstanding performance in various educational areas during 2009. One of our learners, who received five awards for his educational achievements, is Thapelo from House 29. We are all so proud of him.

Our Youth Forum allows children to participate in discussions and decisions that affect their lives. A functional and effective Youth Forum Committee was established. Members of the committee are Nthabiseng,Abuleleng, Zonke, Ntombi, Levy, and Tshegofatso (chairperson).

During January 2010, one of our top performing local soccer teams, Supersport Football Club of Mamelodi, Pretoria visited SOS Children's Village Rustenburg on behalf of the Tottenham Hotspur Soccer Foundation. During March 2010 Jenifer Barr, Neil Cochrane and Scott Russell from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), visited SOS Children's Village Rustenburg, as part of their
tour to all the SouthAfrican Soccer Stadiums for the 2010 FIFAWorld Cup.

Child Protection has also become a very important aspect of our programs, with staff and children constantly sensitized through awareness programs of how to care and improve this important service. Important measures have also been put into place during the 2010 FIFA World Cup to ensure that our children are well protected and aware of the constant dangers that could be detrimental to their well being.

It is our great pleasure to inform you that our village director, Kerileng Mushi, is the newly appointed National Family Strengthening Programme Manager and is based at our National Office in Johannesburg. All the SOS Children, SOS mothers and staff members of SOS Children's Village, Rustenburg, wish her success and prosperity on her promotion.

Thank you once more for your generous sponsorship over the last season. Your support is not something we take likely and is very much appreciated by everyone associated with the village.

Very Best Regards

Yours faithfully

Granda Fell

Acting Village Director