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Child Sponsorship Report 2012, from Mzuzu, Malawi

Child Sponsorship Report 2012, from Mzuzu, Malawi

A child sponsorship report from Mzuzu in Malawi. This charity report covers the first half of 2012.

Dear sponsor,

Mzuzu SOS Children’s Village is operating at full capacity providing a home to 151 children. The gardens are green because of recent heavy summer rains. Most of the fruit trees, planted some years ago, are bearing fruit and our children have enjoyed guavas, oranges, avocado pears and loquats from trees around their homes. Each family house has a maize garden and other crops which are doing well and will supplement food each families meal.

In March children planted 300 trees which will act as a wind break and mark a permanent boundary for our Village. Mahogany trees were chosen because in the future, they could provide planks for maintenance work and help generate income for us.

In an effort to improve our children’s performance at school, several activities that promote children’s attitude to learning were adopted. Quiz and debating competitions were organised on Friday evenings where winning teams won prizes. During the week evening studies were held and we also assisted slow learners with their home work and during school holidays special lessons were held.

During weekends cultural activities, dancing competitions and sporting activities like soccer and netball games were arranged with teams from the neighbourhood. This has helped to integrate the SOS children into local communities.  In addition, the sporting In our two youth houses 39 young folks, either at secondary schools or attending tertiary education in and outside the country, live.  We expect them to be full by the end of this year, providing a lovely home to 48 young adults. These young people took part in the tree planting programme too and started a poultry project which will enable them to generate income and also learn some animal husbandry practices. They started with 50 chickens which will provide eggs for their meals and any excess will be sold to generate income.

Family Strengthening Programme:

Mzuzu Family Strengthening  Programme (FSP) continues making significant progress in order to enable children at risk of losing parental care to continue growing  in a caring family environment. There has been growth in community capacity building and networking with other service providers in order to provide comprehensive support towards care and protection of children.

We have enabled 133 children to attend primary, secondary and tertiary education Improvement was evident in the final standard eight mock examinations where all four learners passed the primary examinations.

Vocational skills trainings for 28 youths were provided with start up materials in order to start their business. All are currently working and make economic contributions to their families.

The four mother groups have started bearing fruits.  Some girls who dropped out of schools due to early marriages and pregnancies have been brought back to school and are doing well in class. The mother groups are mouth piece for girl children. They also provide counseling to caregivers so as to appreciate the importance of education in order to encourage their children. There is now also a child parliament where children can claim their rights from respective service providers.

Forty-nine Village Savings & Loans Associations which were supported with trainings and operational tools and 90% of them have now shared their money and started again. These associations aim at mobilizing local financial resources so as to promote a saving culture within communities. Participating families access loans within these groups for promoting their respective businesses. This translates into improved income levels and livelihoods for families.

The tiny tots:

Our nursery activities are divided into two categories.  One held in classrooms, Group Room Activities, while another is done outside, Outdoor Activities. 

Group rooms are the play areas that promote stimulation which is done especially during free play time.  Themes related to the various seasons especially the current rainy season, so that older children, especially, get a better understanding of the world around them.  Most of the nature items which include leaves, stones and pods were collected by the children for their nature corners.  Such objects help children in sorting and classifying what they have collected.

Children also eat their meals in the group rooms during break time.  Children rest after the main meals and a heavy day’s work to freshen their little bodies which the children enjoy as they sleep on well spaced mattresses.

During outdoor play, children enjoy the sand pit and just playing around the school premises which have all sorts of play equipment especially for their enjoyment.

Our Primary School:

Besides academic activities, at Mzuzu SOS primary school we try as much as possible to encourage our students to participate in sporting activities like netball, football, hockey and junior volleyball which have just been introduced where our school team has recently played two matches and won both!

Of the 356 Standard 8s who sat for the zonal mock exam,169 passed, but from our school we had only 50 participants and 49 passed with one needing support.  We are rather proud of ourselves.

We believe that a healthy environment will always reduce the spread of various diseases. Our learners are trained on the proper use of the toilets and rubbish pits. 

A special thanks should go to the FSP for their support rendered to our primary school by giving awards to the best exam performers. Learners from standards 1-7 also received awards from our Parents Teachers’ Association.

SOS Children's Village Mzuzu