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SOS Children's Villages began caring for orphans in Burundi in 1977, and following the outbreak of civil war in 1993, launched an emergency aid programme in the Muyinga Province of Burundi, for war orphans. This became the third permanent Children's Village, of four today. … more about our charity work in Burundi

Child Sponsorship Report 2010, from Gitega, Burundi

Children from SOS Gitega
Children from SOS Gitega

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

Dear Sponsor,

On behalf of the SOS community, the surrounding population and on my own behalf, I present you our warmest greetings. I reiterate our deep gratitude for the support you never cease to provide to the beneficiaries of SOS Children's Village Gitega.

During the first semester of the current year 2010, our SOS Programmes staff has as usual worked with courage and commitment to help our children build their own future and to participate to the local community development.

In terms of family education, child rights were put forward. Convinced that the welfare of a child cannot develop without full knowledge about his identity, investigation about the origins of SOS youths and children was conducted. Thus, four children and youths could find traces of their origins. Three of them were recognized by their biological families and the Director of SOS Children's Village Kigali (Rwanda) was requested to help in identifying traces of one of them. A process of identification and registration at the Registry over 51 children/youths who had not benefited from this right before their admission to the Village has been initiated. Four SOS youths have been supported in the pursuit of the property left by their parents and whose spoliation by some members of their families had already begun.

In order to promote games and entertainment of SOS children and youths, two afternoons per week are spared for their socio-cultural supervision with the involvement of SOS mothers and youths educators. Two cultural groups have been initiated, namely a group of modern and traditional dances and a drummer group.

SOS mothers and their former children were encouraged in their parent-child relationships. Thus, two family houses organized celebrations with the participation of SOS youths and adult. An SOS mother took part in dowry and marriage ceremonies of her daughter and another accompanied her former SOS child in ceremonies marking the birth of her first child. Another family house is actively preparing dowry and wedding ceremonies of their former SOS girl due on June 25 and 26.

Statistically, the Village supports 263 children and youths among whom 130 in family houses, 109 youth homes and 24 reunited.

Regarding education, the SOS Nursery registers 82 children including 42 from the Village; and 419 schoolchildren attending the SOS Primary School among whom 71 from the Village. The success rate in the second term was 99% for the whole school and 95.15% for SOS Children.

Our schools hold good partnership relations with other public and private schools from the surrounding community. These include ‘Future Hope School’ with which we exchange nursery training and coaching Programmes; the International School of Gitega and the School ‘Les Hirondelles’ (Swallows) with which we organize hand in hand all the preparation tests to the National Exam, along with 4 public schools to which SOS primary school provides material support for their functioning. SOS primary school also pursues its child rights promotion Programme through the supervision of the club ‘Stop AIDS’ and the club for child rights promotion and protection.

With regard to community development, the Family Strengthening Programme supports 500 OVCs divided up into 190 households. Every household is followed up through a family development plan. In the course of the first half of 2010, the Family Strengthening Programme has analyzed and submitted to the SOS National Office 28 micro projects for approval. The Programme also organized a training session on the development and management of micro projects in favor of 103 tutors; trained 41 members from rights defense committees about the approaches and procedures of reporting child rights violations; and strengthened the capacity of its social staff on techniques and methods of action- training, of functional literacy and counseling. It also hosted three workshops to raise awareness about child rights in favor of members from three hills in its area of intervention.

The medical department has made 3,225 consultations, 5,484 laboratory examinations, 25 child vaccinations, 20 prenatal consultations and recorded 124 cases of voluntary HIV/AIDS screening. The medical Centre has also signed service provision contracts including medical care for their employees with the following organizations and services:  Innovative Life Insurance Company (SONAVIE), the IRCC, the BCB-Agency Gitega, interbank Burundi, an association for the defense of women's rights (ADDF), Terre des Hommes and the company ROBCO.

Dear friend, we thank you again for your support without which all our results would be unattainable.

May God bless you and all those you cherish forever.

Libère Ndayishimiye

Director of Gitega SOS Village