I also take this opportunity to share with you the main results of our SOS programmes achieved during the second semester of this year 2011. But for your contribution, we undoubtedly would not have achieved those results.
258 children and youths (among whom 131 girls and 127 boys) benefit from a very good family based care so far within our Village. Six children among them were admitted into the Village this September. Apart from 7 children who are not of school age yet and one youth who dropped out school on health grounds, all others are attending classes. 23 are in nursery, 93 at the SOS Primary School, 99 attend the general and technical secondary education, 3 attend a vocational training, 24 are doing higher studies and 8 are seeking employment.
The quality of SOS children’s care was improved with the staff capacity building. So, the Village Director, social worker, SOS mothers and youth leaders were trained on trauma and stress management. The Village Director, the social worker and one youth leader took part in a sponsorship national workshop organized by SOS Burundi National Office with the support of the Regional Office. Two newly recruited youth leaders received a one-month career guidance training at the Kigali Training Centre.
With regard to our SOS schools, the results achieved at the end of the academic school year are very satisfactory. In fact, all the SOS nursery children moved up a class in September. Contrary to the 2009-2010 school year, all pupils from grade 6 passed the national competitive exam giving access to secondary education. Therefore, out of 2034 schools in which such an exam was organized, ours is ranked among the nine first schools that registered a 100% success rate at the national level.
In the context of community development, the Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) is assisting 750 Orphans and other Vulnerable Children (OVCs) among whom 140 are not of school age yet. 11 are attending the nursery, 451 at the primary school, 111 at the secondary education (one of them has recently completed his studies and received a diploma of general humanities). 4 are receiving a vocational training. The FSP is still seeking places in vocational training centres for 33 OVCs in the situation of school abandonment. The latter are aged between fifteen and seventeen. In order to prepare families to take care of themselves, the FSP has already financed 7 individual income generating activities and 3 group Income generating activities are being worked out, in order to be financed before the end of this year 2011.
At the SOS Medical Centre, the laboratory department has been opened its gates to the population from 7.30 in the morning to 17:30 in the evening for working days. On weekends and public holidays, it operates from 8:00 in the morning to 5:00 in the evening. Whatever test is requested, the results are given the same day. Children under five and pregnant women are consulted free of charge in compliance with the national policy for children and pregnant women as regards health care.
As important event, we regret the death of the SOS mother of the family house number 5. That death, due to illness, occurred in July 2011. The deceased SOS mother had spent 24 years in that noble mission which she accomplished with much dedication. An SOS aunt who was in very good relationships with children of that family house was promoted to take over at the position of SOS mother so that children cannot be much affected by that death.
Finally, dear Friend, I would like to reiterate once more our heartfelt thanks for your support to the well-being of our SOS children, to our Village and to our community.
SOS Children's Village Gitega