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.
Children’s Village updates
The year 2012 began on a good note for all the lovely children at SOS Children’s Village Fort Portal. They went on a trip at a neighbouring farm known as Kluges Guest Farm and while there, they also had a chance to enjoy a refreshing moment in the swimming pools. Because it was a first time experience for most children, they were very excited about learning how to swim and playing in the water. Most of them had never stepped in water so deep and wide so this was a story to tell! They also shared a good meal –“pilau” (a combination of well spiced rice and beef cooked together) accompanied by a soft drink. The children feasted till they could not have any more. They were refreshed and enjoyed the day.
In March, eight mother trainees were confirmed to the position of mothers following their hard work and commitment to offer the generous service the entire SOS community. In the same period, four more mother trainees were recruited to boost the workforce. The mother trainees who were good at facilitating shared the skills and knowledge they previously acquired from the professional child care training they underwent in Nairobi, Kenya last year. This activity has not only acquitted mothers with knowledge and skills, but also bonded them emotionally and psychologically.
SOS Medical Centre
The children and mothers have been utilising the services of a hospital and private clinics in the community. As a new development, a medical centre will soon be operational at the Children’s Village. This is all in a bid to boost the health services in the community surrounding the Children’s Village. Currently one of the buildings is being set up for this purpose and hopefully by end of May the medical centre will be functioning. We all look forward to enjoying quality services as well as seeing an improvement in the general health standards of the neighbouring community.
The nursery continues to buzz with activity. All one can hear are the beautiful voices and laughter of children who seem to be enjoying their lessons. In February, the nursery enrolled seven (7) children from the community. The children interact well and share with their friends. Parents of these very children from the community have encouraged others by publicizing the nursery giving hope for a bigger enrolment next year.
SOS Family Strengthening Programme (FSP)
Late last year in November, FSP introduced a community programme for Income Generating Activities (IGAs) called Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA). It was done in partnership another organisation based in Fort Portal. It trained care givers in savings and accessing cheap loans. They have since learnt to save and access cheap loans from the money they generate. Each care giver saves a minimum of one thousand shillings (equivalent of fifty cents) per week. The groups’ members range from 15-30. The group that has managed to save the least amount which is approximately 300,000 shillings (approximately USD 120) with an average of each person saving 45,000 shillings (approximately USD 18)
Additionally, these savings (including interest) are shared at the end of the year. Through this, care givers have now got money to pay tuition fees for their children and buying seeds to plant during the rainy season. One of the caregivers has managed to access a cheap loan to pay school fees for her three children. She has also managed to buy seedlings to be planted as a supplementary supply of food to her family.
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 Fort Portal