SOS-Kinderdorf

WE BUILD FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN IN NEED We work for children who are orphaned, abandoned or whose families are unable to care for them. We give these children the opportunity to build lasting relationships within a family. Our family approach in the SOS Children's Village is based on four principles: Each child needs a mother, and grows up most naturally with brothers and sisters, in their own house, within a supportive village environment. WE HELP THEM SHAPE THEIR OWN FUTURES We enable children to live according to their own culture and religion, and to be active members of the community. We help children to recognise and express their individual abilities, interests and talents. We ensure...
May 19, 2014

SOS Update: Fort Portal February to April 2014

Enjoying a game of fotball.
Enjoying a game of fotball.

SOS Children’s Village Fort Portal is full of life with the sounds of 111 happy children filling the air. Of these, 35 are in kindergarten, 69 are in primary school, while 7 toddlers stay home with their mothers. This year, under the generous support from our friends, sponsors and funders, our children have continued to receive quality education, better services and appropriate grooming.

Recently, we welcomed two new children into our SOS family; Joab and Junior, two years and 15
months old respectively. There was great joy and jubilation upon their arrival at the village; the newcomers were received with songs and hugs. They have since settled in their household and are doing well.

• SOS Hermann Gmeiner Kindergarten had its very first sports day this year on the same day that marked the end of first term. Our children happily participated in various activities like colour selection, sack race, sorting sizes, potato race, bottle filling, tunnel relay, among other exciting games. At the event the kindergarten headteacher recognized academic improvement in all the children: “In no time, this kindergarten will be celebrated as the best school in Fort Portal, thanks to our professional teachers and devoted children,” she said.

• With term one gone, children had a month to relax and enjoy play time at home. The esteemed Armando play area is now being fully utilised; a series of games have been organized to keep the children busy. As usual, remedial lessons are going on; teachers are already realising how keen to learn our children are.

• Our dear village director whom the children enjoyed calling “Mukaka”, has left the village; it was sad for the children to see her leave for they loved hanging around her. She treated them with so much love. We have recently received a new village director, a man, whom the children now call “new Mukaka”. He has been an inspiration to the boys; and has already bonded with the children in the month he has been with us.

• The Family Strengthening Programme as usual continues to make gains in the community; the programme runs piggery projects, mushroom growing gardens, agriculture, improves sanitation in the homes, not forgetting the now flourishing Village Saving Schemes among our caregivers.

• Students in the Vocational Training Centre have started a new term; they will spend this time doing more practicals in order to enhance their skills. We will soon update you on their progress as the year progresses.

The winning team!
The winning team!
Remedial lessons in progress at the village.
Remedial lessons in progress at the village.
Feb 14, 2014

Lots of fun in the festive season

The children have fun at Christmas! (SOS-Archives)
The children have fun at Christmas! (SOS-Archives)

The children at the SOS Children’s Village Fort Portal received a special visitor, caught up on their studies and had lots of fun over the Christmas holidays.

Making the most of the Christmas holidays

It has been a busy time at the SOS Children’s Village Fort Portal during the last month of 2013 and the first of 2014. Being the festive season the school-going children were enjoying their long school break, which means play time to them. It’s the time the village children enjoy most, eating their favourite dishes, taking part in lots of activities, plus visiting many places where they can have fun.

The fun activities included a visit to a swimming pool, where the children swam, chatted and played around with Father Christmas. He gave them lots of sweets and chocolate, which made them even happier, and told them stories that kept them asking for more. It was a day to remember. 

In addition, the children were privileged to receive a donation of play equipment for their new play area, which they called “Almando Play Area”. Since then play time has got better, thanks to faithful SOS friends.

But it wasn’t all play. The children also concentrated on improving their school studies by attending extra lessons for those who are challenged in some subjects. Now that school has resumed, they hope that it will pay off in good results in their forthcoming termly assessments.

Receiving a special guest

At the end of January the SOS Children’s Village Fort Portal hosted a very special guest, the King of Tooro (Fort Portal is located in this Ugandan kingdom): Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukiidi IV. He said that he appreciated the work that SOS Children’s Villages is doing in his kingdom, including how the organisation had greatly supported and helped the local community to grow. SOS Children`s Village Fort Portal was also thanked for putting children first and providing a loving home for the vulnerable children in this western region of Uganda. The King pledged to give scholarships to SOS children, to support their educational development. He also gave the village food items, including rice, sugar, posho (porridge) and others.

Celebrating the kindergarten graduation

December was also a happy time at the SOS Kindergarten which held its second graduation party in which the children danced, acted, sang and recited poems. One of the little girls in the kindergarten excited the guests when she led the singing of the national anthem. She sang so audibly and confidently that she won much applause from the parents. Such days always contribute greatly to the children’s development.

Finally, the family strengthening programme has also been busy, lifting up the lives of the young people in the local communities. Recently, they launched a ‘youth friendly corner’ equipped with music items, a TV set, sports items and educative materials, with the objective of increasing access to information for young people. The launch was graced by several district and sub county leaders including the chairperson of the local county (LCIII) who was the guest of honour, district councillors, the district health educator and the district community development officer. The youth groups also appreciated the work SOS has done in their region and pledged to raise the profile of SOS Children`s Village Fort Portal in all their programmes.

Young people celebrate the youth-friendly-corner.
Young people celebrate the youth-friendly-corner.
Celebrating the kindergarten graduation.
Celebrating the kindergarten graduation.
King Oyo of Tooro visits Fort Portal.
King Oyo of Tooro visits Fort Portal.
Nov 15, 2013

Report on SOS Children's Village Fort Portal 2013

Children say a prayer to start off the sports day.
Children say a prayer to start off the sports day.

Many hearty greetings from SOS Children’s Village Fort Portal! The festive season will soon be here but before we get carried away by the joyous mood, I would like to share with you the latest news at our location. Enjoy reading!

To date the Children’s Village is blossoming with 119 happy and loving children. 7 of them are toddlers and still stay at home with their mothers while the older children go to school. The kindergarten organized “Donate-a-book week” to mark the end of second term of school for the children attending kindergarten. This activity was aimed at developing children’s reading culture and intellectual mind. We got a very positive response from the parents who donated some reading books for the school library and others pledged to do the same at a later stage. With these, we are hopeful that our kindergarten library will be better stocked with a variety of reading books for the children. At the climax of the week, parents were invited to a concert where the children recited poems, rhymes and also acted out the stories they had read in the books. They staged an art exhibition and parents were happy to purchase their children’s artwork. It was indeed a wonderful week with a lot of learning! There are plans to lobby for more reading materials to further boost the children’s reading culture. A mini library will also be opened up at our Kindergarten and office block to enable children’s access to reading materials.

Early July this year, SOS staff and children jubilated as we commemorated three years since the opening of the Children’s Village. It was such a fun filled day and was well attended by district officials, local leaders, friends and other community members in the neighbourhood. The guest of honour was a high ranking police officer (District Police Commander for Kabarole district). Later in the day, he was seen dancing away with the children. This amused them so much as they have always known police officers to only carry out serious work!

Our Children’s Village lies within the Toro Kindgom. The Kingdom is an ancient monarchy that was abolished in 1967 by the Government of Uganda, but was reinstated in 1993. The current monarch is known as King Oyo who ascended to the throne in 1995 at the age of only three and a half years. He actually holds the record of being the world’s youngest ruling monarch. In September, a big celebration was held in Fort Portal to commemorate the 18th coronation anniversary of King Oyo. The celebration locally known as Empango was well attended by Kingdom officials, all African queens, High profile political and religious leaders, businessmen as well as the community of Toro. Amongst these, was a group of SOS children who took part in a march led by His Majesty and later on, they had the honour of presenting songs, poems and dancing before him. It was such an honour that they still talk about to date. Their brothers and sisters who didn‘t participate always listen to the stories in admiration!

We have continued to support the neighboring communities where we work through our Family Strengthening Programme and are delighted to share with you one of the several testimonies as a result of our work. After a long disagreement between Jack and his wife Dinah on who should support which child of the four (4) grand children (3 boys and 1 girl), they finally agreed to jointly support all their grand children. They arrived at this agreement after attending a gender awareness session for caregivers organized by the SOS Children’s Village. Dinah explains that initially her husband had decided to pay school tuition fees for only one grandchild and his choice was a male (a son of his deceased son). This left the remaining 3 children (2 boys and 1 girl) under the care of his wife. It was difficult for Dinah to meet all the scholastic needs of the 3 children since she dug fields to earn a living unlike her husband who made bricks for construction. The bricks generate way more income compared to digging fields. As a result, the children under Dinah‘s care were always sent away from school due to defaulting school tution fees while the boy under Jack’s care would always pay on time and had all the scholastic requirements.

As already mentioned, Jack had refused to support his 3 grandchildren because they were born of his deceased daughter thus they belonged to a different clan from his (our societies are patriarchal in nature). Furthermore, Jack had his fears of supporting a girl child through school because he viewed it as a waste of time. He was worried that the girl-child could easily get married and drop out of school. Thankfully, from the gender awareness sessions the couple attended, they understood the importance of supporting and treating all children equally since they have equal chances of excelling. It was at this point that the couple agreed to jointly support all their grandchildren. Dinah is now so grateful to SOS Children’s Village for organizing a training that brought peace and harmony in her home since she now seats with her husband to plan for the family. SOS Children’s Villages has plans to continue sensitizing our communities on issues to do with gender such as social matters, violence as well as child rights. More support will also be given to community groups most especially those involved in individual Income Generating Activities so as to enhance sustainability.

On another note, our Medical Centre continues to grow. The number of patients treated grew and we are also glad that patients visiting the medical centre leave appreciation messages for the services being provided to them. Communities neighbouring the centre are happy to have such medical services in their reach unlike back in the day when they had to move several kilometrers to public hospitals in town. We are also grateful for skilled assistance from our health care professionals this year. They have continued to provide on-going medical check ups and consultation. They have also had several outreach activities in the communities where people have been fully sensitized about HIV/ AIDS. We look forward to strengthening our partnerships with institutions that have been used as referrals for some of the children SOS couldn’t support fully like mentally ill cases and counseling. We also hope to reach out to children or caretakers who need support in the area of nutrition. This is because Toro is known to have the highest level of malnutrition cases in the region against the background that we have the potential to produce optimal food to feed our population.

All of this would not have been possible without your generous support. Your belief in creating a loving home for every child has brought us this far and we are very thankful. Happy festive season!

SOS-children dancing on commemoration day.
SOS-children dancing on commemoration day.

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