Rani - November 2012
Report from SOS Children's Villages, November 2012
Dear Friend, Greetings!
As the year 2012 comes to an end, we take this opportunity to thank you for believing in us. Your support makes a huge difference to the lives of children deprived of the security and warmth of a family. We, at SOS Children's Village sincerely express our gratitude, which drives our effort forward. We would like to keep you abreast of the work that is being done at our village.
SOS Children's Village consists of 14 family houses, a multi-purpose hall, staff accommodation and the necessary administration and service area. There is a playground where children can play around and have fun. The SOS Children's Village has its own sick bay where children, mothers and coworkers can get medical treatment. Most children attend schools in the neighbourhood. Our village is a self-contained unit. We also have a youth facility to cater to the needs of young adults. Once the children get to be a little older and more responsible and independent in taking care of themselves, they shift to this youth facility, to prepare themselves to take responsibility for their lives. We have dedicated specialised people to guide and orient these soon to be responsible. This helps them immensely in building their confidence. We also have a home for our retired mothers.
On the academic front, all our children have done well in their exams. Most of them have passed with very good marks. Children who are week in studies attend special tuitions which helps them grasp concepts better. Students who passed Class X and Class XII Board Examination have been admitted into programs of their choice in various educational institutions, around the city. Two boys from our village have been admitted to the Institute of Hotel Management. Manoj has been admitted to a football coaching program in Bidhannagar Football Academy.
On the occasion of SOS Day, the birth anniversary of our founder father, Dr. Hermann Gmeiner, a cultural program was organised by our children and mothers. The cultural evening began by the traditional 'lighting of the lamp'. A variety of dances, songs and skits were presented by the children. Children who excelled in academics, sports and co-curricular activities were presented with awards and trophies. Earlier in the afternoon, a lunch was organised for everyone in the village. Several corporations and nationalised banks visited our village and organised events at our village. Twelve nurses from Tagore Nursing students visited our village and educated the children on the harmful effects of consuming junk good, and stressed the importance of maintain a healthy diet. They also taught the children on how to brush their teeth and take care of their eyes, ears and basics of First Aid.
Standard Chartered Bank organised a tree planting event at our village, where members of their staff planted 70 saplings, and donated several gardening equipment. Providing adequate medical care is another important dimension of our organisation. Health of mothers and children is of utmost importance to us. To ensure this, we organised regular medical and dental camps. To make sure our kids and mothers do not fall sick often, doctors from nearby hospitals visit our village on a weekly basis. This helps in minimising spread of infections and diseases. Standard Chartered Bank arranged haemoglobin tests for the children in our village.
In 2003, SOS Children's Villages India launched its Family Strengthening Programmes in Kolkata. These programmes are intended to support families at risk of abandoning their children and to encourage families to stay together. SOS Children's Villages therefore works with local authorities and other service providers to support families and enable them to take good care of their children. The Kolkata family strengthening programme provides nutritional, educational and health support as well as vocational training, career counselling sessions and job placement support. Families are linked with existing self-help groups; if there is no group, a new one is formed. The programme also aims at raising awareness of hygiene and child rights and improving people's parenting skills. Presently we have 320 benefeciaries under this program.
This letter is attempt from our side to make you aware about the kind of work we are able to do at SOS Children's Village, thanks to you. It is your faith in our cause that encourages us to carry-out this task and achieve our goals satisfactorily. Without your help, this would not have been possible.
Your continued support has been a source of inspiration for us. It would not have been possible without you.
- Gavin Wright