We extend warmest greetings in time for Christmas and New Year. We send you this letter wishing you all the best for the holidays. Using this opportunity, we would also like to update you about activities that took place in the past six months.
Continuing to be a loving home for many children, our village is working on the wellbeing of children under its care and helping the surrounding area through the different projects. Our village is currently functioning with its full capacity in all the family houses. Children are living as happily as always leading their normal life.
To develop mothers’ overall performance, they were provided with different trainings on child bearing. Some of the lessons include the transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS, Amharic and English language lessons and others. In all the trainings mothers were happy of their participation and it was found supportive to their daily activities. Related to this, to the village’s dismay, in the past half year time a mother has resigned for personal reason.
To supplement sustainable food for the families in the village, a poultry farm is launched. It recently has started its production with the purchase of hens and cokes. In no time the farm has showed its effectiveness with sufficient egg stock for all the family houses. Recently a football field which is about 80m x 40m was cleared and leveled. The grown up children participated in the leveling process and it has now become comfortable for the children to play.
Currently we have 84 school going children and 39 nursery students. With everyone’s effort all the school going children score passing grades and promoted to their respective grade level.
During the summer time tutorial program was provided for all school going children. It was intended to fill their gap and make them competitive in their respective grade levels. The monthly question and answer competition has also been taking place and it has helped a lot in creating a great sense of competitiveness among children and families. In addition, mothers and the village Educator closely followed up children’s education performance. These resulted in improving children’s academic output.
Members of the child council have continued with their involvement in the day to day activities of the village. To help them execute their responsibilities, two members of the club got the chance to attend a leadership training.
Two others went to SOS Children’s Village Bahir Dar, located around 1700 kilometers from Gode for the annual child parliament summit. Participants discussed on the annual operation of the children parliament and outlined their objectives of the coming year. By getting together the children also shared each others experiences.
To adopt changes that came with age, 16 children were given a lesson on developmental psychology. Participants were children in their teens and the lesson seems to enhance their understanding.
On the other hand, ten children took a short dancing lesson on two famous Somali traditional dances. “Jarile” and “Buranbur”. The children enjoyed the whole experience and now they are in turn showing their fellow SOS brothers and sisters how to dance.
In related stories, 22 children went to their birthplaces during the long summer vacation. The purpose of the trip was to integrate the children with their relatives. We believe this has helped the children to better understand their roots.
The total number of children attending the school has increased to 275, receiving additional children who graduated from the nursery in the past academic year.
Continuing its support to the community the school has donated school material for disadvantage children in the neighborhood and has also granted ten scholarships.
To better the quality of its services the school involved students to evaluate its overall performance and plan for the year 2012. Students actively contributed their ideas and their thoughts will be reflected in the objectives and activities of the new academic year.
Parent’s day was one of the biggest happenings in the school compound where it was celebrated colorfully. On the occasion parents and the whole village community were present. As part of the program, high achievers from each grade level received award from the school principal. The funny educational drama which was presented by drama club members was the highlight of the day.
Our nursery has continued to provide education both to the village and community children. The past year 97 kids graduated from the nursery. To enhance the quality of lessons the nursery leader together with one nursery educator went to SOS Children’s Village Harrar, SOS School to attend an experience sharing program for five days. The program focused on how to create the best learning environment and discussed about different child development issues. According to the nursery leader the training was practical and very helpful in the day to day activities of the nursery.
Family Strengthening Programme
Family strengthening programme has continued giving its services to 638 right holders, where 500 of them are children while the remaining 138 are caregivers. The program is doing multifaceted activities for the best interest of the needy.
As part of the programme local houses made of mud and straw was constructed for selected needy families. In addition, 152 children have been provided scholastic materials in the previous academic year. For the new academic year, school uniforms and stationery are distributed for 340 school going children. Medical support is also provided to the children and caregivers.
With regard to the food support, rice and cooking oil were distributed to most vulnerable families with children. Working on self-sufficiency, in conjunction with two irrigation cooperatives that have 45 members all programme beneficiaries were organized in five saving and credit cooperatives with ten members each. With these cooperatives members are believed to increase their savings and enhance their income.
Our medical centre is ensuring that mothers and children receive better health services. Hence, 8,332 mothers and children have received medical service during the year. To empower the staff, training on basic obstetrics care was given for nurses and midwives not to mention the ongoing on job training. Lack of some drugs, interrupted telephone communication and staffs nonappearance either for leave or summer education have been among the challenges encountered.
Responding to Drought in the Horn
The current drought in the Horn of Africa is affecting most of the Somali regional state. According to the Ethiopian government, 4.5 million people are in need of help. Like other parts of Somali regional state, Gode is characterized by arid weather combined with erratic and insufficient rainfall.
Responding to the need, our village coordinated the distribution of food, water and essential health services to 3250 households in the area. Projects are still underway to further extend the support.
We are glad to inform you that all SOS villages including SOS Children’s village Gode, are safe from the impact of the drought; but our hearts goes out to the children and families who are affected by the drought.
Finally, we thank you for enabling us to carry out such wonderful activities. May you have the merriest Christmas of all times and a very happy New Year!