10 places were available in the family houses and we have filled them with 10 new babies, bringing the total number of children in the Children’s Village from 120 to 130. It is always a joy to see these young children whose lives seemed desperate before, getting a home and family to belong to. This would not be possible without your support. The 10 babies are aged between 1 year and 5 years. It was fun to see the older children welcoming the new babies into the Children’s Village and they have all settled in well. The mothers also congratulated each other upon coming home from the “labour ward” which is what they call it. One of the mothers actually got twins and that is an honor in Uganda. A twin mother in Uganda is accorded a lot of respect and has a special name, “Nalongo” which means “…Mother of twins…”
Children’s Village updates
The construction of various entities at the Children’s Village was finalized and thereafter the new facilities handed over by the contractors. These include the Youth Home, Mother retirement houses and the Social & Medical Centre.
Following the completion of the youth house, it was finally occupied by ten young boys aged 14 and above. A transitional party was organized for them at which elders (mothers, Village Director and other child care co-workers) gave them advice on how to behave and briefed them on what to expect in the youth house. The few months they have lived in the house have been both fun and challenging. They have learnt to take on more responsibility and programs have been tailored to boost their personal growth and development. The youth home is a transition home for them from child-hood to adulthood so they get to enjoy semi-independence which at their age as teenagers, they enjoy.
SOS Social and Medical Centre
The long awaited opening of the medical centre is finally a reality. As a result, 5 new staff joined our team and they are working hard to ensure that the Medical Centre offers quality services to both the SOS community and the wider community in which we live. The public has welcomed this facility in a big way because we plan to offer the services they need including sensitization of the community through outreach programmes, antenatal check-ups, laboratory services, immunization, antenatal check-ups, general preventive and curative treatment.
Owing to demand from parents in the community for a day-care facility, this year our nursery has grown to include a day-care facility for 20 children, which also doubles as a resource centre for all the children. The facility was equipped with books and computers donate by parents. It is unfortunate that we do not have enough room to take more children because demand for our services is high. This facility has greatly helped working parents who have no one to leave their young children with. They trust that at SOS Children’s Villages, their children are well-taken care of till they pick them up in the evenings. We also anticipate that the children in the Day-care facility will eventually join the nursery.
This year we also have a total of 14 children seating their Primary Leaving Examinations which will qualify them to join Secondary (high) school next year. We are praying for them and believe that they will perform well.
SOS Family Strengthening Programme
The Family Strengthening Programme has continued to support children and their care givers in a bid to strengthen their families and prevent child-abandonment. Some of the beneficiaries have been enrolled in vocational schools so that they are equipped with life skills. Five youths were enrolled in a vocational school to do courses in Hair dressing & Carpentry. One girl graduated and was awarded a certificate in hairdressing. We have supported her to start up a saloon to enable her earn money and help her family since she is the family torch bearer.
Adult education classes were introduced to help care givers who did not go to school gain some knowledge so that they can help their children with homework and be able to manage their businesses. This programme has been successful in that a number of the care givers who initially could not even write their names can do so now and have even learnt how to bank the little proceeds from their income-generating activities.
SOS Children's Village Fort Portal