Dear Friends and Sponsors,
A special greeting from a warm, sunny Nhlangano.
It is once again a privilege for us to update you on the progress and planned development of the children and facility for the New Year. Regardless of the global financial challenges that we faced, the team has remained constant in their commitment to ensure that the children receive the best care possible.
SOS Children’s Village, Nhlangano Programme has continued to build families for children in need, helping them to shape their futures and sharing in the development of the children’s communities. The programs main focus is child development in a caring family environment. The five hundred and ninety children and youth living both in SOS families and families of origin have continued to receive quality care through the programmes interventions which are care, health and education.
There have been a number of activities during the year in the year and children have always displayed different talents. During the SOS founder’s day 23 June, (which was also celebrated with the “Forty years in Africa”) children and staff demonstrated a number of skills, especially in art. The materials produced for this day have been compiled into a booklet for visitors and sponsors viewing.
Four children were admitted into the children’s village replacing those who were promoted to the youth facility and have adapted very well to the village life. These children were also registered with the sponsorship office and have since received sponsorships. Three family houses are being constructed in Nhlangano and have been paid for by three sponsors from Norway. These houses will accommodate thirty more children into the village when fully functional.
One of the youth girls was chosen to represent the country in the Southern African Development Community children’s Parliament in July and the SOS Children’s Village flag flew even higher when she tabled the issue of children’s property being taken by relatives (property grabbing) something which the African continent needs to address as a matter of urgency. Child participation in this matter remains important.
The SOS Medical Clinic has continued to provide services to the target group (children at risk of losing parental care and those who have already lost it) and the larger community. Counseling services are also offered to all clients and the clientele has increased in the counseling department.
SOS Children’s Village, Nhlangano has continued to work with families of origin in the target communities providing services according to the Family Development Plans. All school going age children were enrolled, the pass rate has improved from 75% to 77% and seventeen youth were admitted into institutions of higher learning. A study monitoring tool was developed and introduced to the management, staff and children. The children are now using the developed study tool which is seen to be yielding good results. Three children sat for the entrance examination in the Distance Intervention Programme conducted by Herman Gmeiner International College in Ghana and were admitted. The Grade sevens, form three’s and fives are busy writing their end of year exams and are expecting good results since they have had the opportunity of attending extra lessons organized by the volunteers from University of British Colombia and local teachers. The nursery has continued to attract a lot of parents, including those who live more than forty kilometers away.
Thirty children attended a psychosocial support camp where they were taken through a programme on how to build resilience and help each other with coping mechanisms. A Child protection workshop was conducted for community leadership to help them effectively protect and care for the families and children. A psychosocial support workshop was also conducted with the caregivers. The objective was to provide an environment where caregivers can help each other deal with loss and grief so they can assist children deal with such and equip each other with bereavement counseling.
Families of origin were assisted to meet their children’s needs by encouraging them to engage in income generating projects as individuals and as groups. A vision building workshops for Caregivers Association was conducted to help them come up with a clear vision for their Associations. The Associations have also been linked with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry – Cooperatives department to help them run their associations. This will also help them to be registered leading to more funding. The Programme Management Committee is still responsible for the day to day running of the programme. Community leadership is part of this committee.
More attention was given to staff development this year. The Family Strengthening and Family Based Care coordinators attended a management course. Caregiver, Senior Mothers and the Social worker also attended trainings at different levels and this was in response to the skills audit that was conducted a few years ago and also the performance appraisals that were conducted the previous year. SOS Children’s Village, Nhlangano would not have achieved anything without the kind support of sponsors and friends. The children and staff extend their appreciation.
May the holiday season bring only happiness and joy to you and your loved ones.
SOS Children's Village Nhlangano