We hope this letter comes to your home with a white Christmas spirit and brings you sincere gratitude for being with SOS Children’s Villages in Lithuania throughout the year 2011. This time we would like to provide you with a short overview of the events that had taken place in SOS Children’s village community.
SOS Children’s village
We are glad to tell you that 60 children live in the SOS families. This year one SOS mother retired and now we have two mothers - candidates who after the successful practice period will become SOS mothers and will settle in the SOS village.
During the year many seminars and workshops are held for children. Girls are having Image classes, where they discussing topics that are actual for the teenagers; beauty, clothes, love. Children gain cooperation, conflict solving skills in the social skills development classes.
We also give a lot of attention to extra curriculum time activities. Children are attending different clubs in the town and in the SOS village. It is a very good way to develop children’s abilities, skills and knowledge, but also it’s an effective preventive tool. Children are attend music school, sport/ball room dances, arts etc. Different activities are organised for children in the village: basketball, football, handball (and) etc.
Children that usually come to the SOS village are educationally abandoned; poor vocabulary, learning difficulties, dyslexia, dysgraphia or emotional and behaviour disorders influence their mental stability. Accordingly these children receive speech therapists, psychologists, special pedagogue‘s special aid.
Meanwhile SOS mothers have had PRIDE trainings, where children‘s carers have been taught to ensure stability and development needs for the child, how to strengthen relationship and prepare for the upcoming changes. Furthermore, significant trainings have taken place for all SOS co-workers on child protection policy implementation in SOS community. Personnel have been introduced to a special child protection system which helps to prevent or recognise any incidents related to a child abuse.
We are also very glad to have volunteers from Spain, Portugal and Serbia in the SOS village. They participate a lot in organising children‘s leisure time; teaching them English, playing guitar and having interesting and fun activities with together.
‘There is an idea to extend children‘s club (place for extracurricular activities), building for indoor activities next year. It would make possible to organise wider range of activities in winter time or when the weather is bad. Step by step we renovate something every year, after all the SOS village is almost 17 year old now’, shared his plans Children’s Village deputy manager.
Family Strengthening Programme
Family Strengthening Programme continues to perform in Vilnius city and district (Paberžė, Marijampolis and Siužonys).There are over 80 families and 200 children registered with the programme.
In order to achieve the targets of the project and meet the needs of the families, there were cycle of seminars ‘Positive Parenthood’ organised for parents and carers. The purpose was to introduce parents with alternative education methods, positive attitude towards child and his/her upbringing. Parents could learn how to model possible reactions or implement the stimulation system. The seminars were conducted by professional psychologist. Moreover, Family Strengthening Programme permanent psychologists, social workers organised self-help groups during which parents could learn new educational strategies, methods of solving crisis situations.
Similarly, FSP children participated in different educational and fun activities. The inlay classes involved children in to creative activities. They were making the earrings and the pendants from plastic pieces; scrapping - decorated their own photos with different elements and created new stories about it. During the art therapy classes children were drawing in different technics, later the drawings were analysed. Children together with psychologists tried to talk about feelings and the mood expressed in the pictures.
For Christmas time children will bake different shapes of glazed Christmas cookies. They have already started preparing special dance for Christmas party and creating presents for their relatives. ’Although there is no snow in the yard and we can‘t feel Christmas spirit yet it will come suddenly and knock on FSP doors’, - says project coordinator Rimvydas.
71 children attend SOS Nursery. All of them are divided into four groups according to their age. Nursery educators say that for them the year cycle is very important as they live and celebrate holidays according to it. They celebrate harvest day, light day, art, advent, pancakes day, Independence Day, Kaziukas fair and etc.
Educators of SOS Nursery are highly valuated, accordingly many articles in the media had been written with recommendations of our specialists.
‘Development of Children's Emotional Intelligence’, ‘Food and a child’, ‘Three most common mistakes parents make’, ‘Therapy in the sandbox’, ‘Cooperation with parents: how to involve them in the educational process in the nursery’, ‘How to prepare a child for school’ and etc.
SOS Children's Village Vilnius