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Child Sponsorship Report 2011, from Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories

Child Sponsorship Report 2011, from Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories

A child sponsorship report from Bethlehem in the Palestinian Territories. This charity report is from the end of 2011.

Dear sponsor,

A half year passed and it is a great pleasure to greet you again as a valuable and important member of our worldwide family whose kind support helps us to provide a better environment to your sponsored village.

SOS Children’s Village- Bethlehem (SOS Bethlehem) ended the year by having 117 children, out of 54 families, we have now 56 female and 61 male, as per our national plan, we are to have a total of 120 child as full capacity at our village. Besides helping additional children through our FSP in both the West Bank and Gaza. There are two SOS Children’s Villages (Bethlehem & Rafah) with 8 facilities including the followings:  3 nurseries, 2 Schools Primary and Secondary, 2 FSP Locations, 6 Youth Houses, 14 Semi Independent Youth, 6 Social Centers and 1 Psycho-Social Mobile Centre.

SOS Children’s Village – Bethlehem

On the beginning of August and as per our development plan, we moved our teenagers aged 14 years old from the village to be joined at the Youth Houses, this year a total of 7 boys and 4 girls were able to join these houses, after attending several activities and recreational activities and lectures of the this essential joining, and enable them to be familiar of getting independent step by step.

Our SOS mothers and aunts participated in several activities at the village, weekly meetings with the development team, to discuss the development plan of their children, teachers meetings and follow up.

We were able to admit 88 children at our SOS School, 17 children at the nursery, while 9 children at private schools for slow learners, and lasting 3 of our children are under the age of 3 years old, that stay with the mothers at home.

According to admission criteria, all new children were visited several times before bringing them to the village, and were often brought to the village for a visit (geographic proximity permitting) before making the transition to live in the village.  Each child also received an academic assessment, IQ Test, psycho-social and physical health review upon arrival, and creation of an individual development plan (IDP) in cooperation with their SOS mother and counseling office.  Also some children have been admitted to SOS Nursery, participating in activities at the village and outside it.

Annual events were held in the village including, Mother’s day celebration, National reading week (hosted in partnership with Tamer Institute for Community Education), Open day, Graduation party for children moving to youth facilities, Eid Al-Adha, Eid Al-Fiter and will be celebrating  Christmas.  SOS Children were invited to the Palestinian Child Week (hosted by the Minister of Social Affairs). SOS Palestine signed MOU with Khotowat (Steps) Association, to develop children’s athletic skills.  Moreover, many activities were done such as: traditional games with Save the Children, tumbling games with Caritas Hospital, local games were played with Right to Play organization, summer camp combined many of local institutions, deep breathing meetings were held with YMCA.  Many occasions were celebrated at SOS: Open day, engagement for couples of former SOS children, marriage for one of former SOS child.   The children participated in various activities such as drama workshops, swimming, football, music lessons, Aikido, Karate; the village also took several field trips throughout the year to nearby recreational parks and local theaters. Mother training and workshops on safety and fire prevention, entertainment activities, Yoga training, debriefing course, and course about methods for dealing with early childhood.

SOS Youth Homes: Bethlehem

There are four youth houses, two boys houses and two girls houses, they are living in rented houses in the city of Bethlehem, at the beginning of the year 2011, there was 43 youth (19 boys, 24 girls) until the beginning of August of the same year as the number became 39 youth (23 boys, 16 girls) this number includes those who have moved from SOS village to youth houses (7boys and 4 girls), they share together preparation period before one year of moving.

SOS Nursery

At the end of the 2011 school year the nursery had a total of 69 students enrolled. When the new school year started in the fall the student count was lowered to 66 children. This decrease was the result of one of the nursery classrooms being used by the school for primary classes. 

SOS School

SOS School had a total of 412 students from the first grade up till the 10th grade; the number of students increase, fall 2011 school year began with 442 Students with a new class 11th grade. This increase is related to excess demand for the school for its good reputation, and our school became one of the Modern Schools in the area.

This year SOS  school has won the competition of E- learning organized by the Ministry of education as the first level.

SOS Psycho-Social Centers’ changes and achievements:

SOS Psycho-Social Centers employ the concept of mental health and psychological treatment through awareness-raising through local institutions, associations and schools, aiming at providing safe and healthy environment for child care and by improving the concept of psychological treatment to families and community.

Family Strengthening Programme Bethlehem & Gaza

FSP Bethlehem is currently supporting 1040 children within 229 families. While at  FSP Gaza is currently support 939 children (447 females & 492 males 0-17 years old) and 298 caregivers within 216 families. The programme's activities are designed through FDP’s for each individual family to meet their essential needs to achieve their self-esteem and wellbeing.

Children have involved into activities that improve the quality of their life like; Nutrition, health, educational and psychosocial support, vocational training, shelter, legal and recreational activities.

I would like to thank you for being all these years together with us, for helping and supporting. Your help is really important and needed.

SOS Children's Village Bethlehem