The New Year started well, we are glad that there has been a slight decrease in prices of essential consumables although prices of some food stuffs have remained high. Nonetheless we have managed well with what is in our reach. We also experienced a very long sunny and dry season from towards the close of last year till early April when the rainy season set in. We would like to share with you some of the latest happenings since the beginning of the year.
SOS Medical Centre
At the beginning of this year, the medical centre made plans to continue supporting government plans alongside its routine tasks. As usual, in April every year the country makes a first annual round of ‘child days’. During this time, children below five years who missed the opportunity during routine schedules receive catch up doses of those antigens to boost their immunization statuses. Children ages 1 to 14 years are de-wormed and those below 1 year are given Vitamin A supplements. Girls at puberty/adolescence receive doses of tetanus toxoid. They also engaged in a mass measles campaign during this same period. This promotes the health of the all children living in the neighbouring community.
The medical centre will as well engage the children in transforming their own community through the school health programmes where they will be taught preventative health aspects either in health clubs or as agreed with school authorities. To begin with, there will be a focus on hygiene and sanitation. A few children identified will be followed up for a specified period to see if any changes would be realized for the better. In this initiative, children would also be empowered to be ambassadors of health in their own families.
Nursery and primary (elementary) school expansion
The nursery has kept the promise it made to the community in the year 2009! They promised to provide high quality early childhood education to the children in Gulu. Currently, the school has become the pride of Gulu as every parent desires have associations because of the high quality and standard of education. This year 2012, the school opened a new class i.e. grade two. Additionally, nursery is building is under construction and it is in its final stages. The construction has motivated the parents as they now know that their children will have a better education both at nursery and primary (elementary) level in a good facility.
The village was in jubilation early this year when the results of the seventeen (17) pupils who sat for their Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) last year were released. Their performance was fairly good. As a reward, they were taken out for dinner and were accompanied by two of their teachers and mothers. The educator took the opportunity to talk to the children/ youth and advised them on what lies ahead of them especially those who will be joining boarding schools for high school studies.
Further to the above, another group of good performers (i.e. grade 1-6 pupils) were also awarded at the end of last year. They were then taken for a tour to Fort Patiko, one of the cultural heritage sites in Gulu. They enjoyed the outing and promised to maintain good performance during the New Year- 2012.
Children’s village/youth updates
We are in the process of preparing five (5) of our children who had become youth by the end of last year for transition into the youth home. As a practice, they are having sessions on the youth care policy Guidelines, filling the assessment form and the Youth Development Plans. They will be graduating to the youth home soon.
SOS Family Strengthening Programme (FSP)
We are proud to inform you that FSP got into a partnership with another organisation known as Associazione Volontari per il Servizio Internazionale (AVSI). Under this partnership, FSP has been able to reach to a much bigger number of needy families in the community. The key objectives dwell around economic empowerment, food security and nutrition, child protection and legal services. The staff were also trained so as to boost their ability to effectively implement the project. With their new knowledge in nutrition, the staff will be able to sensitize the community on acute malnutrition which is a common ailment in the communities. Backyard gardening was also initiated as a cheaper way of providing sustainable fresh food supply to an average family. This project will operate for a period of five years during which they believe these households will become empowered to provide for their children in a sustainable way.
As we close off, we once again wish to thank you for standing with us at all times. We truly appreciate!
SOS Children's Village Gulu