We are now about to close the year 2011 and amazingly, we are also about to close the fifth year and celebrate our fifth Christmas since SOS Children’s Village Dar es Salaam started to operate. Time is flying by at an incredible speed and so is the growth of our Village, therefore, it is most appropriate that we once again send to you both our heartfelt greetings and an update of your beloved SOS Children’s Village Dar es Salaam.
The Mainland part of the United Republic of Tanzania, is celebrating 50 years of Independence and the climax is on December 9 this year. It is a momentous event for the people of Tanzania Mainland as we rejoice our achievements but also strategically look into the challenges on hand including inflation, power shortage, rapid population growth which increase number of people living in poverty overwhelming already fragile social service systems, poverty as we are not on track to achieve Millennium Development Goal to halve the population living on poverty.
This year Dar es Salaam like several other places in the country has been blessed with a longer short-rain season which has been giving our Village natural greenery, very appropriate for the sense of serenity that we always aspire to maintain for our 124 children.
We started this year with two major events which both set the tone for the Village community in January. The first was a stress management workshop for staff which gave our staff a new vigor with which we entered the year. But before the end of January, we had another morale booster; a visit by the Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania! Moved by the work that he saw, the Prime Minister made a promise to support our bid to obtain land for the construction of a school and contributed money towards establishing a computer laboratory in our Kindergarten.
This was a very fitting beginning for the year that we have been celebrating 40 years of SOS Children’s Villages work in Africa. Our village resolved to keep this pace through-out the year, as opportunity to build stronger awareness of our work in the local community. Gracefully, the local media outlets responded in kind by giving appearances in radio, television and newspapers. This was capped by the visit of the Retired President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Al Haj Ali Hassan Mwinyi in September. During this visit, the Retired President who in the 1980s was instrumental in bringing SOS Children’s Villages to Tanzania accepted to be the Goodwill Ambassador of SOS Children’s Villages Tanzania and Zanzibar. He also officially launched the Village’s 20,000 liters Water Tower donated by Rotary Club. All visitors were visibly impressed by the dazzling talented performance of our children in choir, poetry and mock fashion shows.
In the local community, the Village has continued to enjoy an increasingly strong support, evidenced by the generous donations that we have continued to receive. On the SOS day (23rd June), the Village Community was hosted to a beach party, the cost of which was all donated by local friends, some giving food and drinks, others giving tents, a public address system as well as some portable toilets! It was a very joyous occasion. Our children have also been participating in the local ward community children forum, where they discuss issues affecting their lives as children hence practice their participation right. Strong evidence to the growing stature of our facility in the public image is the fact that both the chair and secretary of ward children forum, who were democratically elected, are children from our village.
Towards the end of October, our Village was invited to send two girls football teams for the festival to mark the conclusion of a FIFA facilitated girl soccer seminar; to the amazement of the organizers, our girls clinched both the first and the second awards, a fact that was broadcasted on national media outlets including a prominent TV channel.
SOS Children's Village Dar es Salaam