Siteki Family Based Care is located in a rural set up which makes it unique as it is surrounded by homesteads, schools and churches. It was launched in 2009 by His Majesty King Mswati 111 and named Ekutfokomeni. In that very same year, the village started its operations with six houses; about sixty children were admitted at the Village. Six qualified mothers were recruited to provide quality care and they were trained on Basic mother skills, which is still an ongoing initiative for new mothers. After the completion of the Basic Child Care Worker training, mothers are awarded certificates which also act as a motivation to them. The SOS mother builds a close relationship with every child entrusted to her, and provides the security, love and stability that each child needs. Up to date, the village has increased progressively and reached its full capacity of about 120 children in 12 houses.
A loving home for every child
Girls and boys of different ages live together in houses as brother and sisters, with natural brothers and sisters always staying within the same SOS family. These children and their SOS mothers build lifetime emotional bonds. The house is the family’s home, with its own unique feeling, rhythm and routine. Under its roof, children enjoy a real sense of security and belonging. Children grow and learn together, sharing responsibilities and all the joys and sorrows of daily life.
The programe in family based care provides a holistic approach to these children through the provision of essential services that includes food, education, clothes, psychosocial support and over and above capacity building on child development related issues. Youth empowerment takes place at different intervals and different age ranges. Local qualified teachers offer young people support to complete their education through provision of remedial classes. Capacity building for children focus on children from 9 years-18 years and above. Children ranging from 3years to 6 years are admitted at the SOS kindergarten for early childhood development care. Every year there, are on-going psychosocial support camps, which provides the children with the much more needed space for addressing issues, relating the holistic development, Self-development workshops are conducted to equip children on issues of behaviour, self-esteem and confidence.
Some of the children are enrolled in higher institution of learning whilst others attend primary schools and high schools from local communities under Kalanga umphakatsi. Currently seven youth are enrolled in tertiary and vocational institutions for various courses while four have acquired skills in vocational training and seeking employment. Vocational skills amongst the youth entails sewing, carpentry, catering and secretariat. Four youths are awaiting to enroll in vocational training as they are youth with special needs. The Siteki Programme has 5 youths who benefited from the DHL funding over the year 2014-2015. DHL aims to empower young people for employability by providing financial education support and through employability capacity building workshops.
At Siteki, we ensure sustainable health for children through services offered by our medical Centre. About 110 children access health services as well as the mothers.
From the 120 children admitted at the village over the years, some have been integrated back to the community for re-unification with their families. Part of the child development process includes preparing children for community life. Activities include attending social events in the community, and family visits. SOS families live as part of the community, thus integrating them into the social fabric of the community Those that do not have proper structures, they have been assisted with renovations and construction of houses has been done. Atleast two families benefited through the initiative who are double orphans. This addresses the 2030 strategic initiative for alternative care.
A fully-fledged ICT has recently been launched, June 2017 to empower our youth and caregivers on ICT skills. Through partnership with MTN Eswatini, the resource Centre has 15 computers and furniture. Internet is accessible for students who want to research on relevant topics to their subjects or studies. Basic computer skills have been introduced to our kindergarten children beginning of 2018 and they are ongoing with the help of the community PeaceCorp volunteers.
Children from FBC have started engaging in life skills training initiated by one stakeholder working close with the Inkhundla. Children have been given beads to make necklaces. Children during their spare time do many activities amongst other things African dance, which is done by very talented girls. These girls have recently stole the show in one event where they were invited to show case with their talents. Young boys and girls who exhibits beautiful dancing skill also do ballroom dance.
Family Strenghtening in Siteki
The Family Strengthening in Siteki started in 2008 and through its interventions to support the families and the community of Ka-Langa constituency under Chief Mlimi Maziya has made an impact to the lives of 422 children and 96 families. The target communities covers Langa, Matsetsa and Mangoleni under one chiefdom and inkhundla (Lugongolweni) has supported seven families with the construction of houses ranging from one to two rooms per family depending on the size of each family. The construction of the family houses is an ongoing project since Langa is huge consisting of 18 constituencies and a poverty stricken area due to unemployment. The interventions done by SOS Children’s Village through the Family Strengthening Programme in Ka-Langa has also joined hands with the community leadership and Inkhundla in the construction of a community hall where more than 100 bags of cement and other building material was bought to assist in the building to develop the community.
The entire community of Ka-Langa is now able to conduct community meetings and cultural events in a proper structure. The community leadership is also supporting the SOS Children’s Village initiatives towards the development of families and the communities, two families in the programme were provided with land to build houses. The families consist of granny headed, uncle headed, parent headed and sibling headed household.
Other projects includes income generating projects that have been initiated by the caregivers from the three target communities and supported through the programme includes the peanut butter production, poultry, handcraft, petroleum jelly production and farming. The caregivers committed to a deposit for the peanut butter machine and SOS Children’s Village together with Eswatini Posts and Telecommunications (SPTC) completed the payment which amounted to E13,000. The peanut butter machine is now generating income for Asininakane Matsetsa Multi Purpose Cooperative, this is one of the CBOs that was formulated by caregivers in Matsetsa community. Buhle Bemntfwana Cooperative is another CBO in Ka-Langa that specializes in farming in a land that donated by the community leadership for families to grow different types of vegetables and other crops for commercial and consumption purposes. The CBO uses a borehole that was donated by UNITRANS for irrigation, electricity for the borehole was also donated to enable effective irrigation where each family owns a plot for generating income to support their children. Over and above 32 caregivers are currently and jointly engaged in Credit and Savings Cooperative an initiative that is also supported by the Family Strengthening together with the Ministry of Commerce Industries and Trade in terms of facilitation. Three families have now benefitted through accessing loans from the fund and one family has successfully started an individual poultry income generating project consisting of 100 chickens.
The Family Strengthening provides essential services to children that include food packages on a monthly basis, health care, education, psycho-social support and shelter. The youth is also empowered on job shadowing opportunities in partnership with DHL, while a number of youth is supported by SOS Children’s Village in tertiary and vocational training for life-skills. Some of the youth have completed in Universities and acquired their Diploma certificates and ready for employment. They are also willing to support their families and give back to the community.