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Child Sponsorship Report 2011, from Bo, Sierra Leone

Child Sponsorship Report 2011, from Bo, Sierra Leone

A child sponsorship report from Bo in Sierra Leone. This charity report is from the end of 2011.

Dear sponsors,

Another year has gone and we are pleased to share with you some of the things that happened in our SOS Children’s Village Bo and programmes in the same location and planned activities for the end of the year.

The political situation in Bo and its environs remains stable despite the preparation of our elections which are dues sometime next year.  There is not much difference in the economic situation as prices on transportation and commodities remain a concern as hike in prices is a day to day event. The price of fuel is unstable and on the increase. However, despite all of the above, the SOS Children’s Villages programmes continue to survive.

The SOS Children’s Village, Bo as at reporting time has a total of 130 children. 29 children were admitted in June this year whilst 11 youths are going through the youth orientation programme for transfer to the youth home.

The children had very good passes as most of them were promoted to new classes and are now performing very well in their new classes.  The SOS Children’s Village in Bo in its sterling effort to the holistic development of their children and youths continue to ensure the children get quality education and upbringing.  Extra classes were organized by the village committee and SOS mothers for weaker children to meet SOS International School standard.

Defence for Children International in collaboration with SOS Children’s Village in July and October this year held psycho-social counseling, seminars and meetings with the targeted groups of youths and children.  Mothers, aunties and also other staff benefited from the above.

To promote the rights of children, the SOS Children’s Village Bo continue to partner with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs and conducted counseling and monitoring sessions in the village to sensitize children and youths on their rights as well as their responsibilities.

In July 2011 two SOS Mothers and an Aunty attended a Mothers Training at the Mothers and Adult Training Centre at the SOS Regional Office in The Gambia so as to empower the mothers and aunties to enhance their work. 

December is the month of joy and festivities and as it draws closer so are the children’s expectations. Plans including family home decorations, birthday parties for children born in November and December, drama depicting the birth of Christ, X’mas parties, picnics, beach outings, and church celebrations are also underway in the village.

SOS Nursery Bo

The SOS Nursery has on admission 230 pupils. Out of this number, we have 31 SOS children, 15boys and 16 girls.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, a team of health workers visited the Nursery on 24th  May and 28th June 2011 to immunize pupils of our nursery aged 5 years and below against polio.  An Annual thanksgiving service was jointly held with the SOS International School, Bo on the 5th of June 2011 at the Saint Francis Church.    It ended with a match pass along the principal street of Bo with the Bo Government Secondary School Brass Band in attendance.  The SOS Nursery joined other children worldwide to celebrate the Day of the African Child June 16 set aside in all African countries to commemorate the hundreds and thousands of children who lost their lives in Soweto, South Africa in 1976. 

In order to assess the academic performance of pupils, monthly tests and term exams were conducted by the school.  At the end of last academic year 189 were promoted to new classes and 15 were asked to repeat.  The school’s Annual Inter-house sport meet took place in March 2011; this attracted parents and well-wishers.  During this activity talents of children were identified and with time these talents will be developed.

Before the closure of school in December this year, the SOS Nursery will undertake the following programs as planned activities for the end of the year,  a quiz competition on spellings between the various groups and  carol singing and practices for drama and a concert relating to the birth of Jesus Christ, followed by a Christmas Party.

SOS International School Bo

The schools roll as at reporting period has 509 children on its roll.  137 out of this number are children from either the SOS Children’s Village or Family Strengthening Programme.  On the 28th January a learning cycle for co-workers was organized in the school in the staff room where the importance of Individual Work Plans and self-evaluation for co-workers, teaching methodologies and the preparation of vital school records were fully discussed with participant sharing ideas on it.

Because of our school’s outstanding performance in national exams over the years, we were invited as one of the pilot schools to expose pupils/students on how to conduct themselves without fear while taking public exams and at the same time maintain self-confidence.   In March 2011, a trial exam was organized by the West African Examination council to candidates preparing for both the National Primary School Exams and the Basic Education Certificate Exams. 

Family Strengthening Programme

FSP in Bo began its support services in January this year with 342 children from 85 children caregivers.  By the close of the year 358 new children were admitted bringing the total number of child beneficiaries to 700 at full capacity from 170 caregivers.  25 caregivers undertook 3 months Adult Literacy and Basic Business Management training towards achieving self-reliance and a graduation ceremony was organized.  IGA support in the form of financial support was given to the 25 caregivers towards their various business initiatives.

A forum of interview panel comprising of the social workers and CWC members interviewed young adults and caregivers on what skill training they want to do and 15 young adults were identified too start vocational skills training in various fields, soap making, gara dye and tie, tailoring and carpentry.

85 caregivers and 280 children benefitted from medical support.  61 children received educational support and 337 children received food support.  50 children received clothing support whilst another 15 gained admission into our SOS International School in Bo. 

SOS Children's Village Bo