SOS Children's Villages Eswatini

Hermann Gmeiner’s Day/SOS International Day

The SOS Children’s Villages International Day was celebrated but in a different style.The children, youth, mothers andother SOS staff celebrated this day with members of staff from various corporate companies. The main objective was to bring the companies closer to SOS Children’s Villages in order that the companies are more aware of whom they give back to and also to create rapport between child and supporter. Companies present on the day included Swaziland Water Service Corporation, Swaziland National Sports Council, Swazi Television, First National Bank, Lidwala Insurance Company, Royal Swaziland Police, Inyatsi Construction and Macmillan Publishers. Each companywas invited to enjoy the day with a family by sharing love and warmth in a family house. The SOS family was overwhelmed by thepositive responsereceived as participating companies forwarded theirkind gesture in various forms of donation which included toys, food, clothing and bedding. The Swaziland Beverages also contributed towards this day by giving beverages. In an effort to enhance child participation, the programme coordinators of the day were children and a youth who role played as a fundraiser highlighting the financial needs of the organization. SOS Children’s Village international day commemorates the creation of the first SOS Children”s Village in the world, along with the birthday of the founder of our organization Hermann Gmeiner.

Day of the African Child

In June 2013, the programme celebrated the Day of the African Child together with children from other Residential Child Care Facilities around the country. This came after the launch of the same in Matsapha where two of children in our care, Swazi Dlamini and Bandile Mabuza, were select to direct the programme of the day. During the celebration a number of RCCF’s attended with a total of about 500 children who displayed their talents ranging from dancing, poetry to music. The day’s theme was “eliminating harmful cultural activities”. Through various forms of art such as recitation of poetry and drawings, the children were able to convey messages that are stressful to children and those of hope.

Helmut Kutin’s Visit

The National Association was blessed by the visit of theHonorary President of SOS Children’s Villages Dr Helmut Kutin. During his stay he visited all three programs.You should have been there to see the excitement on the faces of children, the youth, Mothers and staff. The day spent in eachprogramme was like a whole week especially to the SOS children and youth. During his brief visit DrKutinmade a stopin more than half of the family houses and youth homes. Each day in a programme was indeed one filled with delight, fun and laughter. To demonstrate their happiness the children and youth had different activities to showcase. Although DrKutin has been here before, one would swear it was his first time.

Child Development

Care and support in the life of every child is crucial during the stages of developing. SOS Children’s Villages considers child development as being critical in helping a child build a strong character and to be able to deal with different challenges of life. As such, the organization hosted a capacity building workshop for the children and youth during which several topics were covered. These included stages of development, drug abuse and mental health. In addition, a group of about 120 children attended a psycho-social camp at Mlawula. At the camp, the children were taught through play that regardless of obstacles one may encounter during the journey of life planning and proper decision making are key.

Story crafting

The Mbabane Programme has been facilitating a project on story crafting for kindergarten teachers. Teacher participants coming from various pre-schools, students from Finland, facilitators from the University of Swaziland (faculty of Sociology) and Turku University of Applied Sciences participated in the Narrative Research Method course. Part of the training was on basic grammar mainly used in analysing stories (verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives and reported speech)for teachers to better understand children’s narratives and the use of initial open ended questions, intermediate and ending questions while carrying out children’s Since companies have stricter regulations on what they can spend your premiums on there is less incentive for them to inflate rates. day to day activities. Approximately, one hundred pre-school teachers have been empowered on the basics of this method. The story crafting method yields quite a range of learning outcomes in developing vocabulary, language and oral skills. Children listen carefully in large and small group situations and talk about their experiences. They use a growing vocabulary with increasing fluency to express their thoughts and convey meaning to the listener. They develop the love of books through listening attentively. This enables them to respond better to stories, songs, poems and nursery rhymes. Children are often seen improvising their own stories and/or taking part in role plays. Story crafting also promotes the child’s communicative and interactive skills as well as boost the child’s self-esteem and confidence. Children who get used to telling their own narratives also learn to demand for attention and participation. They become courageous enough to be spontaneous and take initiative.

Community Empowerment

Community participation is key in driving the aims of the Family Strengthening Programme. Communities that we work in; Sidwashini, Msunduza, Mahhwalala, Mpolonjeni and Bahaiengage in a number of income generating projects in a bid to sustain themselves financially as well as create employment. In July, the Msunduza group was able to register as a formal community based organization under the Ministry of Commerce and Industryand were awarded their certificateby the Commissioner of Cooperatives. Registration of the CBOfollows a two year training programmein Financial Management, CBO Governance and Management which was offered by the Ministry. Family Strengthening Programme is the other SOS programme that supports children who have lost parental care or are at risk of losing parental within their families of origin.

Caregivers from the Mahwalala and Mpolonjeni area participated in the 2013 Trade fair to exhibit their produce with the aim of marketing themselves as well as to establish market for their products. The communities apart from engaging in income generating projects also boost of child care centres where children receive education and food. Recently, the Sidwashinicentre got an upgrade financed by the Rotary Club.

OUR STORY BOOKD E C E M B E R 2 0 2 1 • V O L . 1

A chronicle of the triumphs and success stories of SOS Children's Villages interventions in Eswatini.

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