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Child Sponsorship Report 2012, from Abomey-Calavi, Benin

Child Sponsorship Report 2012, from Abomey-Calavi, Benin

A child sponsorship report from Abomey-Calavi in Benin. This charity report covers the first half of 2012.

Dear sponsor,

We feel an enormous pleasure to provide you with the latest news about the life of the SOS Children's Village Abomey-Calavi.

The SOS Children's Village Abomey-Calavi has recently received eighteen (18) new children; this has brought the total number of children to ninety-eight (98). In addition to these, there are 67 young people living in youth homes. Among them are some who do wonders. They perform well at school. The SOS Children's Village Abomey-Calavi recently won the county volleyball cup. The players showed self-control and a fighting spirit.

A story of the village we would like to share with you concerns the implementation of by-and-for-production education policy of SOS Children's Villages. This policy calls for the initiation of children in small activities to enable them to learn other things in addition to the theories being taught in class. It is within this context that two projects were launched in the village: the gardening project and the breeding of rabbits.

The rabbit breeding project started in 2009 but not growingly. It has grown from early 2011 with the arrival of Mr. Tchibozo at the head of the SOS Children's Village Abomey-Calavi. Indeed, the latter having attached a special importance to the project has managed to join several village children who have a passion for raising rabbits now. From 3 rabbits at the start in 2010, including 2 females and 1 male, we moved to a population of about 230 rabbits today.

In late 2010, there were 4 cages three of which three were empty. Each cage has a capacity of 4 rabbits. In addition, six other old cages were recovered, one of which has a capacity of containing 16 rabbits and five others with a capacity of 4 rabbits each. Also 40 new cages were made which have a capacity of one rabbit each. After the cages, new feeders, drinkers and food distribution boxes and water buckets were acquired. Furthermore, the breeding surface was quadrupled.

Before 2011, a small group of 10 children were introduced to the project. But these children were not sufficiently motivated. In addition the group's workforce was reduced to four because the other 6 children joined the youth home because of their age. The rabbits did not reproduce enough and the number of rabbits did not increase significantly; this demotivated the children. The mobilization of the children was progressive.

In search for solutions to the problems that prevented the project to evolve, the coordinator of SOS families visited a rabbit breeding centre to discover their key to success. Thus he received advice on hygiene, health aspects and respect of the period of fertility and mating.

This advice was implemented and the results have improved significantly. After seeing the rabbits reproduce a more and more increasing number of babies, the children found a terrific motivation and the number of those interested in the project increased.

The motivation has reached a point where all the children want to participate in the project activities. In the meantime, the boys wanted to exclude the girls while the latter were determined to participate too. In reality, the boys thought the girls' presence could slow down the progress of the project. To counteract the opposition of the boys, the girls plotted to overthrow the boy who was head of the CV’s executive council of children and favored the election of a girl who can better defend their right to participation.

The significant development of the breeding project led to increased activities of gardening which knew a slow-down, because some children who wanted to participate in the breeding activities found an alternative to thrive. Moreover, rabbit droppings serve as fertilizer for the plants of the gardening.

To avoid excluding some children who wish to participate in both projects, they were divided into groups act in turn and alternating between gardening and breeding. Thus all the children come to participate in both gardening activities and breeding activities.

Note that the reproduced rabbits are sold to the SOS families, SOS staff, visitors and others who are interested. Income from these sales is paid into the fund of the village.

Thank you very much for all your support without which we could not achieve our goals. Thanks to your financial contribution, a large number of children without parental care and those who are at risk of losing it, find the love, security and respect in a family.

SOS Children's Village Abomey-Calavi