Half the year is almost gone and we are so glad to share with you some of the activities that took place in our SOS Children's Villages programmes in Bakoteh. Our children and mothers have added unforgettable memories to their book of life; memories full of emotions and love, successes and hopes as it is natural of some not so successful moments. All this was only made possible thanks to your generous support and the commitment of dedicated co-workers. We can be proud of our joint success and once again we say a very big 'THANK YOU'!
SOS Children’s Village and Youth Home Bakoteh
The SOS Children’s Village and Youth Home Bakoteh have a roll of 121 registered children and youths. The first ever camp fire in 2012 was held in the village on Friday 24th February. The activities that brought the whole village in a very merry and joyous moment included singing, dancing, drama, jokes competition, and friends and partners like the Presidents International Award Scheme were invited to join the village community. The Project Manager of West African Export, a charitable organization based in the USA - Minnesota, (founded in 2007) and Momodou Lamin Bah the SOS Goodwill Ambassador fondly called Egalitarian visited the village and made donations of valuable items. The 2nd Edition of Traditional Wrestling Competition for Lower Basic School and the flag named after the President Yahya Jammeh this year took the form of a Regional and National Levels. The Regional competition for Region 1 took place on 28th April at the Serrekunda East Mini Stadium. The programme drew the attention of Lower Basic Schools in region one and SOS Lower Basic also participated This is the first round of the competition and the second round which was held on the 12th of May brought together all the winners at regional level to crown the champion. A workshop on sponsorship was held in the village to deliberate and highlight the general sponsorship work and the way forward. As part of celebration of 30 years of existence in the country a series of activities took place amongst which a weeklong exhibition of the handy works of the various projects were which put on display at the SOS Children’s Village. Competitions in various games and a fun rising gala dinner are also in the pipeline.
The Youth Home continues to collaborate with the Administration of the SOS Children’s Village in implementing youth work. The overall Examination analysis reveals that the majority can do even better if they stay focused. 4 of our youths wrote the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination conducted by WAEC .A youth girl and a youth boy sat the GABECE and are now attending SOS Technical Senior Secondary School in grade 10. 3 youth boys have been mainstreamed into the vocational training at the SOS Training and Production Centre for Capacity Building. The Youth Supervisor and the Youth Leader participated in workshops in the areas of sponsorship reporting methodology, E-Learning / Inter connectivity and Disaster Management. The Youth Ambassadors of Peace organized a camp which brought together young people and to which our youths participated.
The SOS Nursery has a roll call of 249 pupils (123 boys and 127 girls). School reopened on 9th January to mark the beginning of 2nd term. On 2nd February, a PTA meeting was held to inform parents of all the activities that will take place during the second term (i.e. excursion and Common wealth day celebrations). A new PTA committee was also elected to replace the former one. Pupils in group 3 and their educators went on an excursion to Gampost, Gambia Groundnut Cooperation and Foam Manufacturing Gambia Ltd. The school observed Commonwealth day on 8th March, Early Childhood Development March Pass on March 10th and held their inter-house sports competition on March 27th to help the children develop and display their talents. An internal workshop for educators was held on 28th March to review the 2nd term work and to pave the way forward for the 3rd term. On 26th March was nurseries’ open day and parents came to sign their children’s report and discuss with the educators on issues affecting their children.
SOS Lower and Upper Basic Schools, Bakoteh
The school roll call stands at 856 pupils (401 boys and 455 girls). There are 421 students in the morning shift and 435 students in the afternoon shift at both levels. The school continues to operate within the framework of the SOS Child Protection Policy framework thus instituting Child Centered Approach in its strategies and activity implementation programmes. Information sharing continues to be a main stay in our collaboration with authorities in our efforts to educate and shape the behavioral patterns of the children. Staff performance continues to be regularly monitored and staff development and motivation is given due attention. In preparation for the National Assessment Test (NAT), the school has conducted a trial test for Grades 3, 5 and 8 in March and April respectively. The general performance of the students during the second assessment was encouraging. To enhance environmental sanitation, the school continued to carry out its monthly internal and external general environmental cleansing exercise within its perimeter. We continue to collaborate with all our partners who have helped us make our extracurricular activities meaningful and successful and we have been able to constantly improve on the school’s image.
SOS Technical Senior Secondary School, Bakoteh
The school roll call stands at 1015. This achievement is in line with our drive to support The Gambia in its Millennium Development Goals (MDG) standard ... The school made significant gains in curricular and extra-curricular activities during the year. Staff of the Language Department attended a workshop on story writing organized by 2 British Nationals on behalf of the media group of the United Kingdom. 12th grade Geography students went on a field trip to various places to fulfill the continuous assessment aspect of the external examinations. The school participated in various activities like inter Senior Secondary School Quiz competition and captured the 2nd position. SOS Senior Secondary School was invited by the American Embassy in collaboration with the University of The Gambia to give a presentation on selected topics which were debated on. We secured 2nd position in the PowerPoint Presentation and 1st position in the debate. 2 SOS students who participated received a trophy and were offered 50% tuition into University provided they gain entry. To commemorate the Women’s History Month, the American Embassy organized a 3 weeks programme to which 2 of our students participated.
SOS Training and Production Centre
At the beginning of the 2011/2012 academic year the SOS Training & Production Centre had a roll of 69 students but 3 left and now the roll is 66. The graduating students are on industrial attachment with various companies and workshops. For the year 2010/2011, out of the 17 students who graduated all are working of which 2 are on apprenticeship at the Centre. This year 11 of our final year students, 1 second year student and 5 former students registered for the Gambia Skills Qualification (GSQ) Examinations conducted by National Training Authority (NTA). 5 support staff underwent an in-service training and are qualified to sit to the GSQ examinations. They have also registered for the GSQ Level One examinations. On the whole we registered a total of 22 candidates for the examinations. 5 of them are sitting to both Levels One and Two, 2 to only Level Two and 16 sitting to Level One.
SOS Mother and Child Clinic
In the strive of meeting women’s primary health need, SOS Mother & Child Clinic has increased the scope of reproductive care it provides to the community and has tried to integrate them in a way that any patient who consults our clinic receives a comprehensive package of care in a single visit approach. This year we have gone beyond our ordinary reproductive health care service by introducing cervical cancer prevention to women of our communities who are between 25 to 50 years old. As an illustration of this integration, women who come to the clinic for pregnancy follow up are offered counseling on HIV and are tested and positive ones are given treatment to prevent their children from getting infected. That coming for Family planning or other reproductive health complains are sensitized and educated on the prevention of HIV and cervical cancer. 90% of women accept to be tested and those who are found positive benefit from free treatment. To increase community awareness of our program on cervical cancer prevention and to meet most at risk women who may not consult the clinic, we are working with the SOS Family Strengthening Programme in the communities in which they offer services in collaboration with the support of the community peer educators. This programme has been timely introduced because now women are aware that it’s not only HIV Aids that is deadly but cervical cancer as well. From January to March, 163 women have been screened for cervical cancer and 3 of them were found with signs of precancer or early stage of cancer and have been treated successfully. From January to March 2012, the clinic has received in total 7329 patients who have been offered various services.
Family Strengthening Programme
We are now in the 2nd year of the programme with 587 children from 168 families. We held a training on skills and for enterprise development and management for 85 caregivers and provided second hand clothing for 179 children most in need. 85 care givers were supported to start and / or strengthen their individual Income Generating Activity. Educational support was given to 147 children. Food package were distributed to 93 children from 27 families for 3 months.
On behalf of SOS Children’s Villages The Gambia Trust, we thank you immensely for your continued support and collaboration in our strive for the protection of humanity in general and the orphan and vulnerable children in particular.
SOS Children's Village Bakoteh, Gambia