Today and after some months, we feel really glad to communicate again with you in order to tell you some of the most important advances of the programmes in the west area of our country. The boys and girls, as well as each one of the families living in the SOS Children’s Villages Cali, and the Social Centre –Las Minas-, have taken advantage of all your helpful support from the distance, and every day they have improved their life quality, encouraging the importance of providing a protective environment for the boys and girls, who will grow up with love, respect and security.
Our family-based care programme in the city of Cali has improved its services during the first semester of 2011, and today it provides help and support to 108 boys, girls, adolescents and youngsters living in 14 SOS families; they share their daily life with 4 SOS mothers, 2 SOS aunts, 5 applicants to become SOS mothers, 4 teachers, 1 person working in general services, and 2 people managing the administrative area of the community. They all share the same commitment towards the fulfillment of boys’ and girls’ personal dreams and their family and community objectives successfully.
For the programme it has been especially gratifying to talk to you about the creation of a new SOS household, who lived in the house number 14 in the SOS Children’s Villages Cali; From March 31st 2011, Nelly is the SOS mother of three groups of siblings, who came from different institutions of children protection in the State.
It is outstanding to mention that our protection model was able to fulfill the needs and expectations of these boys and girls to live in a loving environment and stay together with their biological brothers and sisters; the families living in the region of the –Valle del Cauca- have a deeply-rooted cultural identity, which is expressed in some aspects like the music: with some traditional styles like The Salsa Music, The Currulao Music, and The Reggaeton. Indeed, they like different types of rhythms that invite them to dance, and have a lot of fun.
Almost all the boys and girls living in our community listen to the music and dance frequently, while they develop their daily activities or spend some time with their friends in front of their houses. If we talk of Nelly’s family, they share the same musical likes, and together with their SOS mother, they usually play musical instruments like the marimba, the cununo, and the guasa.
These common likes have allowed them to share most of their time together, with no difficulties at all. Nowadays, after some months, they recognize their SOS home as their real home and Nelly as their mother and a model for them to follow. When these children are questioned about the most important for them, while living in the SOS Children’s Villages Cali, they answer: ‘to live with our aunt Nelly in our beautiful home’; these two aspects state their positive adaptation and commitment in their SOS family.
We would like to tell you that last July 1, 2011, we had the opportunity to participate in the re-opening of the park located in the SOS Children’s Villages Cali, which is a very nice-green place that has some slides, swings and other children’s games and a really nice path to walk; this is a very nice place that makes it easier the integration and the interaction of the children with their environment; in this place, it is usual to see the laughter and the happiness of the boys, girls and their families of the neighborhood.
During this joyful day, we had the opportunity to dance some Andean folklore rhythms like the saya. The SOS families and the place’s neighbors participated actively in this activity by making posters and banners with positive messages about the park that they wanted to have. Undoubtedly, it was a joyful event, where the families were integrated, and it was possible to get welfare for them and their neighbors.
We expect to go on sharing with you lots of valuable experiences that show the growing and the strengthening of our programme, our families and each one of the boys, girls, adolescents and youngsters living in our programme. Thank you very much for your lasting support!
The best regards,
Alberto Lema Londoño
SOS CV Director
SOS Social Centre ‘Las Minas’ Director