Hoping that it will find you and your family well and safe, it is with much joy that we, SOS Children's Village Harrar family, send you this news letter. It is a great pleasure for us to keep you up to date with the developments in our village. Your presence in our family makes us always happy.
The process to have the building permit of our village from the government office is underway. Thus, we are planning to start the construction when the process is completed.
As we hope to reach more abandoned and destitute children, we have managed to admit 15 children to our big and warm SOS family. These children were brought mostly from remote and poverty stricken areas and they were highly malnourished. They soon were given medical check ups and provided with proper diet. Now they are in a more comfortable and peaceful life in the village. They are coping up well with the way of life and integrating with the village community.
Our village celebrated "behavioral role model day". The aim of the event was to reward children who can be role models in their behavior and to motivate other children learn from them. The social worker and mothers took the task of selecting children from each family house. Qualities of good personality were also explained and the selected children were awarded with different school materials. These children also got the chance to participate in the national celebration of nations and nationalities day held in Dire Dawa, 50KMs away from Harrar. On this big national event the children saw people and cultures from different parts of the country. The children themselves also wore different cultural clothes.
In a similar development, our village also celebrated a lively culture day. On the occasion all the village family gave color for the day with cultural clothes. Children from different clubs presented their programmes. To make the day brighter, village mothers also prepared divers cultural food and drinks of different parts of the country. The children thus enjoyed the various cultural foods and learned more about different cultures. Other than that, we have celebrated the annual Mothers' Day with a motto of "Motherhood is all about loving, sharing and sacrificing". Two children representing the child parliament of the village led SOS mothers to renew their oath in front of SOS family.
In the completed first semester all the school going children have made remarkable performance compared to previous times. They all exceed with pure pass, and 30.1% of them ranking from 1st to 10th. These achievements have motivated the children and co-workers to work harder. Then after, the village education section celebrated the annual education day under the motto of "Education –your door to the future". It was to encourage all students and award children under the categories of ranking, improved, motivated and supportive students. Children, mothers, aunts, village staff members and SOS School teachers attended the occasion. On the programme, children presented talent shows, poems, music, martial art and drama.
So as to insure all-rounded development of the children and to help them develop their talents, we have hired professional trainers for children participating in different clubs. Children in art and literature club, martial art and circus clubs have started taking trainings in their spare times. Moreover, we are doing the final works for the establishment of language and art development centre. We hope this will help children in finding their hidden talents and build their capacity. Along side, the child and youth development team in our village has launched a series of question and answer programmes to be held on every Friday between children of the same grade levels. And every child in the village starting from grade one is scheduled to participate on the competition. The programme has such a profound importance that it helps the kids to study hard to be on the winning side and get rewarded at the end of each competition.
A total of 194 students from grades 8, 10, and 12 took national exams. Tutorial classes and model exams were organized so as to get the children ready for the exam. On the other hand, our school was represented by twenty students for the third annual "black history month" essay contest sponsored by The American embassy in cooperation with the American Corner Library. Two of the students from our school who completed the contest being 1st and 3rd were awarded. Besides, our school received special award standing first from all the 17 schools participated. In addition, staff representing the USA and Turkish embassies had visited our school.
Students also take part in different clubs. The charity club organized a fund raising programme and fed a number of street children on the eve of Easter. Question and Answer club organized competition among students. Music club also presented music and dance shows to the school community. The parents' committee purchased school media equipments and donated to the school so that the entertainment club uses it. The club members thus strongly continued their programmes using the equipments to entertain and educate each other. The Student council election was also conducted. Three candidates put up their election campaign for one week and finally, the election process took place and the winning party was announced.
Annual Ethiopian Chemistry association conference was held in Haromaya University and our School was the only Private school attended the conference. Besides, we conducted training to primary government schools teachers with the objective of giving an introduction on how to use science laboratories.
Currently our nursery has continued providing its services to the total of 195 children. 52 of them are from the village and 143 are from the surrounding community. Though teaching and learning takes place in the new compound we have been working to complete things on the play ground, by now it is all over and the children are also fully enjoying the playground. Apart from this, the Nursery leader has attended training on management and team spirit building.
We once again would like to mention our deep appreciation for your devotion and commitment to help our work. We hope to witness many achievements and success in our children's future together!
Tsegaye Dejene (Mr.)
Village Director, Harrar