The SOS Children’s Village Mbabane Programme once again sends its warmest greetings to you. This year has been a time filled with moments of joy as well as challenges which have kept us on our toes in order to ensure that quality service is delivered. The Mbabane Programme currently provides support to one thousand two hundred and one children, one hundred and ninety nine under the Family Based Care (FBC) and one thousand and two in the Family Strengthening Programme (FSP).
Ninety four children enrolled in the nursery. Nine of the children came from the Family Based Care (FBC) programme, five children from FSP supported by SOS and eighty fee paying pupils from the community. A total number of thirty eight children are doing grade zero and it is hoped that they would graduate at the end of the year. A majority of the children that will graduate at the end of the year have secured a place for grade one in Primary School.
The FSP has eleven youth enrolled in tertiary education four of which are females and five are males in colleges while two males attend university. In the literacy school there are twenty four children while seven hundred fifty are in primary and high school. Twenty eight are in pre-school and the rest are either toddlers and/or not enrolled in school. Five of the children who were in college in 2011 successfully completed their education and are currently looking for employment.
To ensure academic excellence, children both in the village and FSP are supported through study sessions and reading programme. The support is made possible by the assistance offered by our partners such as Waterford Kamhlaba College who volunteer their time to be with the children.
SOS Children’s Villages Swaziland is very particular and passionate about holistic development of the children in all its programmes. Children are involved in various activities ranging from life skills activities and sports. A workshop was conducted for thirty youths in the village of which sixteen were males and fourteen were females. In the FSP twenty children (eleven girls and nine boys) and twenty four female care givers were capacitated on the formation of support groups, a forum that aims to help the children and care givers address issues of trauma they have experienced in life as well as HIV & AIDS. In the FSP this workshop also sought to re-energise the existing support clubs.
Two workshops on quality child care were held for the five FSP communities. The workshops were hosted by two communities namely; Mpolonjeni and Msunduza. Twenty five caregivers participated in the first workshop. Participants came from Mpolonjeni, Malagwane and Mahwalala of which twenty three were females and two were males. In the second workshop twenty nine caregivers participated of this number twenty four were females and five were males.
The major thrust of the workshop was on the important role that caregivers need to play in all developmental aspects of children to ensure quality life. Topics of discussion included the various developmental stages of a child, a healthy diet, education and child protection. The workshop was facilitated by SOS staff.
The social aspect, as a major contributor in the growth of children, has not been ignored. Children have been and continue to engage in sports such as netball and soccer. The Mbabane SOS Netball team recently defended the trophy that they won last year after they beat all the 10 zones in Mbabane participated in the tournament. Commitment and engagement to the sport has been rewarding in that the Mbabane Programme netball team. It has been allowed to affiliate to the National Netball Association of Swaziland. One of the girls has been selected by the National Netball Association of Swaziland to participate in the Zone VI under 20 games to be held in Zambia in December 2012 and in preparation for the games she attends training camps.
In the month of March 2012, Education Managers from the three SOS Children’s Villages had the privilege of attending a story crafting workshop on narrative research methods which is in its second phase. Also in attendance were three other pre-school teachers from communities, five students from the University of Swaziland and five students from Turku University of Applied Sciences.
The SOS community clinic continued to provide primary health care services to community members, children in the village and the youth. The nurse visited family houses to monitor the well-being of children. During the visits she conducted oral health, skin health checks, gave guidance to SOS mothers on preparation of healthy diets and provided education on proper waste management. In addition, the nurse facilitated health education for the SOS mothers occasionally. In the communities home based care and health education was provided by the nurse within the FSP programme target area.
Topics discussed included HIV and AIDS, nutrition and dental health care.
In March the programme joined the world in commemorating World Tuberculosis (TB) day. On this day the TB programme under the Ministry of Health conducted a TB campaign at the village to sensitize and create awareness on TB issues amongst SOS children, the mothers and other co-workers. The children also performed a short play demonstrating knowledge they have on TB. A total of one hundred and nine children were educated on the disease. Children were categorized according to their ages.
In Mbabane we have enjoyed sunshine during the past months with relatively warm to hot temperatures. However, this is set to change in the next quarter with the winter season beginning to draw in. Activities in the programme have progressed as planned during the first quarter and continued dedication and enthusiasm is anticipated from all of us that is children, youth, mothers and all co-workers.
SOS Children's Village Mbabane