Monday, September 29, 2008


Six SOS Gulu children were among the lucky few children selected to participate in a student exchange visit programme between Uganda and Trinidad & Tobago. A team of 19 SOS children composed of 6 children from SOS Gulu, 6 from SOS Kakiri and 7 from SOS Entebbe left for Trinidad & Tobago, accompanied by 3 SOS co-workers. They travelled in three groups on 10th, 12th and 14th August for a one month-visit. Prior to their departure, they were involved in a series of trainings especially in music, dance and drama.

While in Trinidad they visited various cultural sites, factories, big government people and many other good places. The small boys and girls were treated like VIPs and they really liked the place. They had the best exposure SOS children in Uganda have ever had. They had a chance to visit big cities and busy airports like Dubai, Brussels and New York. They sat for the first time in very big and aeroplanes. They made friends and each of them came back with small notebooks full of email addresses of their friends, with business cards of responsible people they came across.

The children are changed and will never be the same. Their perception towards life is now quite different. They are so happy and appreciative to us for having selected them. When they returned on 17th September, everybody was so excited to see them especially their mothers and fellow children. They had several days of storytelling to their colleagues. The stories are quite many and I wish to ask them to write them down for our Blog readers to read.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This year two groups of CVAP (Concordia Volunteer Abroad Program) student volunteers came to SOS Children’s Village Gulu. They participated in various activities that included growing crops with the families, malaria awareness campaigns and painting houses for the FSP (Family Strengthening Programme) beneficiaries. Here are some pictures to show what they did.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Using music as therapy at the SOS Children's Village Gulu

Two music therapists - Bethan Lee, from England and Jantina Bijpost, from Holland - have come to SOS Gulu to offer music therapy sessions for children and training for staff. They have been offering clinical sessions to four small groups of children each week. These sessions offer the children a chance to have individual attention in a small group setting and to control what happens in their group. Music is used as a form of expression, exploring themes such as emotions and communication. Through musical games, the children learn to co-operate, compromise and form creative ideas in a safe, non-judgmental environment. The children are very enthusiastic about their sessions, and have begun to form small group identities, learning to respect each other and their individual offerings. They also enjoy the movement and dance that takes place in the sessions, which incorporates their local culture.

The current groups have been running for seven weeks and will rotate after ten weeks. During the next groups’ sessions, some mothers and aunties will be trained to continue the therapeutic work once the music therapists return home at the end of December.

Thanks go to Bethan and Jantina for their contribution to the SOS children. Thanks also go to Nicky Haire, from Scotland, who helped to set up the work in July but has now returned home.