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Child Sponsorship Report 2011, from Kayonza, Rwanda

Children dancing at SOS Children's Village Kayonza
Children dancing at SOS Children's Village Kayonza

A child sponsorship report from the new SOS Children's Village Kayonza in Rwanda. This charity report is from the end of 2011.

Dear sponsors,

We take this opportunity to send you all our warmest greetings and tell you news about the SOS Children's Village, which is the SOS Village in its first year of existence.

The SOS Children's Village Kayonza is situated in the Eastern Province, Kayonza District, Nyamirama Sector, Cell Rurambi. It‘s construction work lasted for 2 years. It is the 4th SOS children’s Village in Rwanda.

SOS Children's Village Kayonza began its work at the beginning of this year 2011. 60 children were admitted and found the 12 SOS Mothers who had begun to familiarize themselves with the professional work of being the SOS Mothers. The first 54 children arrived at the SOS Children's Village Kayonza on 4th March 2011. The other 6 children joined them later on 20th April 2011. In the middle of the year, we welcomed two babies (girls), respectively, 4 months and 6 weeks. The Village currently has 62 children including 30 girls and 32 boys.

The beginning is always difficult. The delays in the work of construction influenced the admission of children in the SOS Village. The major problem that existed was the water supply for the new SOS Children’s Village, which is always a prerequisite to a daily healthy life. The water available in the vicinity of the Village could not suffice to the local population and at the same time satisfy the needs of the SOS Village.

The children and their SOS mothers occupied the homes of SOS youths up to the eve of the inauguration of the new SOS Children's Village Kayonza. The children who had been housed in SOS Children’s Village Kigali and Gikongoro SOS Children’s Village Kigali arrived in their new SOS Village on 03rd May 2011 while those who were in Byumba entered the SOS Village on 04th May, 2011.

The very important date and unforgettable day was on 6th May 2011 when the inauguration of the new SOS Children's Village of Kayonza took place. This great event, assembled the Her Royal Highness, Princess Benedict of Denmark and a large team of delegates composed of donors, the highest authorities of the country composed of the Minister of Education and the Minister of Gender and family Promotion, the high authorities of the Eastern Province, authorities from the Kayonza District, the administrators from the local Village, those from partner organizations and friends of SOS Rwanda as well as the staff of SOS Children’s Villages and the SOS emancipated youths.

The SOS Village also inaugurated 12 family houses, a house of aunts and a Social Centre, a Medical Centre, the SOS Village administration premises, the guest-house, the residence of the Village Director, a multipurpose room, the SOS Nursery and SOS Primary School.

During this first year, each family home hosted 5 children except the houses 8 and 10, with 6 children in each house. Among these children, 32 children attend the SOS Nursery and 23 study at SOS Primary school. The children perfectly adapted to the rhythm of life at SOS Children’s Village.

Concerning the academic performance, the results have been satisfactory despite their late arrival in SOS Primary School & SOS Nursery, where they only studies for two terms. Among children studying in Primary, there are even some who had not yet started school before their admission to the SOS Children's Village Kayonza. These children had learning difficulties and will repeat Primary one.

The day of the African Child was celebrated in collaboration with the authorities of the District of Kayonza and other schools in the District. In August, the forum of the developing partners of Kayonza District organized the open day in favour of the population. All units of the SOS Village exposed in their stands the salient points of their action.

With the donation of Ms Ellen and the support of the Ministry of Gender and the Family Promotion, we have launched a project of raising dairy cows. In the month of October, we planted the grass forage for the cows and at the beginning of November 2011; we bought a cow for the SOS Village.

The Family Strengthening Programme (FSP, in acronym) which has overtaken all other programmes to launch its activities of Kayonza evolved well. It started with 300 children from 123 families. In one year, FSP has been able to pay the school fees of children studying in SOS Nursery, Primary School and the senior secondary school.

Training on Children Rights took place in favour of the beneficiaries of the Programme, the surrounding population and the local authorities. In collaboration with the local authorities, 540 children were registered at the civil status after the official marriage of their parents because they previously lived in an unlawful marriage. The Family Strengthening Programme has also provided financial support to 60 families by the provision of micro loans to support their small activities that generate income. It has, in addition granted 5 dairy cows to 5 benefiting families having expressed such a wish and whose prior investigation showed their ability to manage such a project.

The primary school and the SOS Nursery of SOS Children’s Village Kayonza opened the doors on 24th January, 2011. The primary school accounts in total 198 pupils (91girls and 101 boys) among whom 23 pupils are SOS children, 70 children of the FSP and 105 children from the surrounding population. The SOS Nursery is frequented by 74 children among whom 32 are from the SOS Village, 23 from the FSP and 19 from the surrounding community. 3 clubs exist in the primary school: the anti-HIV AIDS club, the Children Rights club, the Environment club. The Children Rights Club was classified 2nd at the sector level and received a price composed mainly of material which the club will need in the next meetings.

Hermann Gmeiner Medical Centre SOS hasn’t until now yet opened its doors due to lack of medical equipment. The doctor of the SOS Medical Centre in Kigali and his laboratory assistant often come for consultations within the Children's Village of Kayonza. In other cases, the children are brought at SOS Kigali Medical Centre or in the other hospitals or medical clinics. The surrounding population, the staff of the SOS Village as well as the children anxiously await for the SOS Medical Centre Kayonza.

At the national level, the month of October was chosen for the activities of support for the promotion of the family and the protection of the child.

Dear sponsors, we present to you once again, our deep thanks for your dedication to the education of children in our SOS Village. We also benefit from this opportunity to wish to you our best wishes for the forthcoming Christmas and New Year 2012.

SOS Children's Village Kayonza