It is a great pleasure for me to give you recent information from the SOS Children’s Village of Mbalmayo at this moment when there are some important changes in many aspects:
- Talking about human resources, we have the promotion of the former social worker to the post of National Pedagogical Advisor; and her replacement has already taken place. On the other hand, the Village has lost one of the drivers who during his long working period, have never had any issues.
- In the administrative and organizational domain, we have the joining of the six Youth Homes of Yaoundé, which are the extension of family houses for adolescents of fourteen, to the Children’s Village of Mbalmayo.
- Concerning the educational domain, Other Family Accommodation Forms experienced in 2010 with five children have been extended to fifteen new children, giving the total of twenty children admitted in that new programme. Thanks to this programme, children whom biological families could not have human and material capacities of taking care of them during their admission to the village can now go back to their roots. This return is done on the demand of the natural family with the agreement of the child, who continues benefiting from our support.
These changes on the management of the human resource and the organizational structure have an impact on the number of coworkers, which goes from 30 to 35; with the replacement of the driver which is still going on and the joining of the 6 youth homes supervisors.
In the same line, the number of children has increased. So, in the Village, we went from 107 to 113; that is 8 in other forms family accommodation, with the transfer of 3 adolescents to the youth homes, and the admission of 9 new children.
Concerning the youth homes we have 70 children at the moment, including 12 in other forms family accommodation. In all, the SOS Children’s Village of Mbalmayo in its new organizational structure has today 183 children; that is to say, 20 in their natural families (other forms family accommodation), 58 in the youth homes and 105 in family houses.
All these children go to school since the beginning of this new school year, except two of them who are still too young. Our greatest challenge now and in the future is their social integration; that’s why this year, a particular stress is put on vocational trainings which can guarantee them the creation of micro enterprises or a job in public or private services.
We adopted this strategy because of the global economy crises and the town of Mbalmayo in particular; which is characterized at this moment by the narrowing of the job market in the private sector with the closing of many companies; and the recruitment of qualified youth in public services.
Another challenge in short term is the increasing of the success rate for our children which has not been particularly good last year; especially at the secondary level where many of them repeated their classes. Special measures have been put in place in order to achieve this goal in agreement with children themselves.
In the domain of extra school activities, bases have been laid down for a good harvest of medals and trophies. So, we recently acquired a mat thanks to the German cooperation (GIZ); this will help our children to increase their performances in sports such as judo, karate, and wrestling, gymnastics … in which they illustrated themselves in the past by winning many medals that they happily showed to the Continental Director of Africa and Middle East who lastly visited Mbalmayo. Other sports such as basket ball, athletics, hand ball …also contribute to an integral development of our children where they take part in many tournaments in Mbalmayo or out.
It is this culture of excellence and healthy emulation that we are trying to inculcate to our children, so that the generosity you’ve been showing towards them should produce long lasting fruits so as give all of us happiness.