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Child Sponsorship Report 2010, from Mamelodi, South Africa.

Smiling children from SOS Mamelodi
Smiling children from SOS Mamelodi

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

Dear Sponsors,

It is that time of the year again when we remember the warm, caring and generous people who help us to bring smiles to the faces of our children. We are excited about providing you an update on our village and our country's news.

South Africa is currently a hive of activity and focus world wide as we receive and host international soccer fans, soccer teams and visitors during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. 'World Cup Fever', has injected a wonderful feeling of unity throughout our nation. We have been encouraged to wear our soccer shirts on a Friday- this has been a great nation building exercise. Our children are also basking in the spirit that is flowing through our nation, and a new sense of pride and appreciation is springing forth for our country.

SOS Children's Village Mamelodi provides a warm and caring home to 119 children and 34 youth. It is our pleasure to inform you that from January 2010, seven of the village teenagers graduated to youth homes, leaving vacancies in the family houses of which 3 have already been filled. With the assistance of our wonderful and caring SOS Mothers and friendly SOS brothers and SOS sisters in the warmly welcoming houses, the new children are adjusting and adapting very well to life within the village.

A new programme for the youth and teenagers World Teens 2010-has been introduced as part of Life Skills and empowerment. Our youth were invited to one of the workshops held over 13 days. It was a very interactive and informative programme-our youth were provided with more information on HIV/AIDS, teenage sexuality and financial planning.

The academic progress of children in the village is satisfactory and we are doing all we can to maximize our children's educational potential. The Child and Youth Development team which includes our SOS Mothers have embarked on a homework programme, structured to suit the different age groups and grades. We are at the stage of finalising arrangements with the volunteers from the University of Pretoria to help our grade 11 and 12 learners with Mathematics, Physical Science and Accounting. The Kip McGrath educational programmes that assist our children with reading, spelling and writing resumed early in the year. We have also enrolled some of our children at The Christian Progressive College, based in central Pretoria, for extra tuition and lessons. We are certain that with this kind of support and guidance from the team at the Children's Village, our children will strive to produce better results this year.

We are very proud to inform you that we have 8 youth studying at tertiary institutions and 5 sitting to write their matric examinations -the final year of high school. We humbly and sincerely thank our SOS Mothers, SOS Youth Leaders and the support team for their never ending guidance and encouragement in motivating our children to strive for the best. We wish our students every success in their studies.

On the 24 March 2010, as part of staff development, our SOS Mothers attended a refresher workshop on Child Protection and Child Development Plans. One Village Mother Trainee and the one Assistant Mother have attended the Basic Mother Training at SOS Adult Training Centre and both are now back in the village. They have shared their knowledge with the rest of the team-this helps us take better care of our children. On the 13 March 2010 the village had a picnic outing to Zitha Park, close to the village. All the village children and mothers went out to celebrate Human Rights on this day.

Our community development programme, referred to as the Family Strengthening Programme is now reaching out to 606 children from 256 families in the nearby community. Food parcels and other essentials are distributed on a monthly basis to the needy families. Early in the year school uniforms, stationery, and nursery scholarships were provided to the relevant children. We would like to acknowledge the generosity of our local businesses for their support which enables us to take care of our beneficiaries.

Two workshops were held on parenting and wellness management skills for care givers for the quarter. We had delegated our two field workers to attend community forum meetings to have an insight into the challenges children are faced with in the community and to always educate the locals on the Rights of Children and issues of children being in vulnerable situations. We are continuing to ensure that we attend as many community meetings where children's issues are been addressed, we see these meetings as the best platform for the Programme to explain the important role SOS is playing within the community and advocating on children's rights. Since attending such session's people now start to understand and appreciate our involvement in the community.

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 wellbeing.

We are proud to have you as part of our team and family. Thank you for taking care of our children's needs, your assistance ensures that we meet their basic needs and our goals as an organisation.

Yours sincerely,

Soka Matlala

Village Director