Thursday, June 19, 2008

New children's village on course to ready by September


The construction of the new village is nearing completion. According to the site engineer, it will hopefully be handed over to SOS Children’s Village Gulu in September 2008. Workers are busy fixing tiles inside the houses, installing electric fittings, painting both inside and outside and many other things. The planting of grass and hedges around the boundary has also started. There are many and various tasks being performed simultaneously. The village has already taken shape and it is evident that by September it will be ready for occupancy.

We have, on the other hand, embarked on a kindergarten development plan, which will focus more on the staffing pattern and plan, children’s enrolment and budgetary needs. All these have to be done expeditiously to ensure that the SOS Kindergarten becomes operational by January 2009.

On the side of the children, there is burning hope and desire to move into the beautiful spacious houses. Besides, the mothers and other co-workers also feel good about the developments. Indeed it is going to be a nice place to live in, a place that is already being admired by many people.

Friday, June 13, 2008

FAMILY STRENGTHENING PROGRAMME SUPPORTS CHILD RIGHTS CLUBS IN SCHOOLS

Being a child focused organisation, SOS Children's Villages cannot leave out issues pertaining to children’s rights in its operations. Sensitisation on these issues has always been a policy for co-workers and children within the project. This time round SOS Children's Villages Gulu through the Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) has embarked on a serious programme to sensitise pupils and their teachers on child rights and child protection in all schools where the FSP beneficiaries study. This has been deemed very important particularly in northern Uganda where most children have been most abused during the 20-year civil war and are still vulnerable to more abuse.

Since April, FSP social workers have helped to form child rights clubs in four schools. They gave out t-shirts and posters to the clubs, on top of carrying out sensitisation sessions for the club members. A comprehensive work plan that covers many areas of intervention was made, targeting both teachers and pupils in schools. This intervention will go a long way in helping many innocent children to become aware of their rights.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

FSP FAMILY BECOMES SELF-RELIANT

Luka (not real name) is one of the many people that benefited from the SOS Community Outreach Programme, which started in 2002, when SOS Children's Villages started its operations. He attributes his ability to becoming self-reliant to SOS and talks well of the organisation.

Owing to the twenty-year LRA insurgency (Lord’s Resistance Army), Luka was displaced to Unyama IDP camp (Internally Displaced Persons). As if that was not enough, his daughter passed away when giving birth, leaving him with a baby. He was helpless and confused without any plan on how to continue living with his family. He moved from organisation to organisation looking for assistance in vain. Later, after moving to Pece division, he was advised to come to SOS and his family was registered in 2003 on the VGS program with two children becoming primary beneficiaries: the orphan and his youngest biological child.

The family started receiving every month milk, beans, posho, sugar and soap. SOS also paid school fees for the boy, who is currently in primary two. The orphan now attends the SOS Day Care Centre.

When SOS started realigning VGS to FSP, the family was found to be strong and direct food aid was stopped. But SOS continued to support the family in education, health and strengthening it with entrepreneurial skills. Three high breed goats (a male and two females) were given to the family to begin livestock farming. The family was also advised to diversify and buy piglets. Luka now earns his living from pigs, goats and maize. He recently told SOS that he has been empowered to take care of the family without any external support. He genuinely wants other families to benefit from the same programme like him. He is now a happy man, a man that is full of praises for SOS Children's Villages.