In a country where child abuse and abandonment is rife, it is vital that the children are valued and protected properly â€“ and that everyone understands what amounts to child abuse and neglect. This was one of the aims of Child Protection Week that took place last week. It has been said that the psyche of a nation is revealed by how they treat their animals, which indeed shows how much compassion is around. Perhaps even more so how children are treasured reveals how we feel about ourselves, and how connected we really are to our own hearts, or not.
Non-profit organisation, SOS Childrenâ€™s Villages has, since inception, been committed to the â€˜Prevention of Child Abandonmentâ€™ and have often set the benchmark in terms of safeguarding the rights of children and youth in South Africa, but also internationally.
SOS Childrenâ€˜s Villages is an independent, non-governmental, social development organisation that provides family-based care for children in 132 countries and territories. They advocate the concerns, rights and needs of children, especially of those without parental care. More than 73,000 children and young people live in 491 SOS Childrenâ€˜s Villages and 396 SOS Youth Facilities around the world. Over 174,000 children and young people attend SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools, SOS Kindergartens and SOS Vocational Training Centres.
supporting vulnerable families
Moreover, SOS Childrenâ€˜s Villages provide vulnerable families with material, psychological and social support. About 450,000 people benefit from these family support services; more than 480,000 people make use of the SOS Medical Centres. In times of crisis and disaster, SOS Childrenâ€˜s Villages help through emergency relief programmes.
SOS Childrenâ€™s Villages help orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children regardless of race, nationality or religion, by giving them a ‘familyâ€, a permanent home and a sound basis for an independent adult life. Each child is assigned to a new mother and a new family of between eight and 10 brothers and sisters, who live in their own house within an SOS Childrenâ€™s Village. Each house is run independently by the SOS mother, who budgets and shops for her family.
There are eight SOS Childrenâ€™s Villages in South Africa (Ennerdale, Mamelodi, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg, Mthatha, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and Rustenburg) and three Social Centres where they operate our Family Strengthening Programme ( Mathanjana, Sekhukhune and Qwa Qwa.)
In 2009 a Child Protection Team was trained up and assigned to supply the communities in which SOS operates with a facility where community members can report all child violations. In November 2010, the National Child Protection Team grew and now comprises of three National Focal persons (those to whom the violations are reported) and two Investigators (the people who investigate the reported violations).
SOS Childrenâ€™s Villages South Africa has been actively involved in providing a loving home to the orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children in our country since 1982.
Help SOS Childrenâ€™s Villages South Africa advocate the rights of children by setting up an interview with one of their experts in order that we may, together, raise awareness around the abuse and neglect of those who canâ€™t protect themselves.
For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Vincent Hlabangana on 011 234 8708 or 078 602 6884 on Vincent.Hlabangana@sos.org.za.
One of SOS Villagesâ€™ youth girls, Chrissie, has been selected to represent South Africa in Australia at the World Goju Kai Style Championships in July this year. What an incredible honourable achievement! Unfortunately, she will not be able to take part in the competition unless SOS Villages is able to raise R35 000 by the end of May.
Chrissie, who has been with SOS Childrenâ€™s Village Port Elizabeth since 1990, has excelled at Goju Kai Karate. She started training at the SOS Dojo in Port Elizabeth in 2001 under the tutorship of Sensei Hezron Essen and his wife Sensei Theresia Essen. After only 6 months of training, Chrissie began competing in the beginnerâ€™s arena, where she won numerous medals. She obviously had a special talent and training began in earnest.
a shining example
She is the first SOS child to have qualified for a black belt in this style of Karate since the inception of the SOS Dojo on 4 September 1996. She was awarded the black belt at a National Championship that was held in Durban in 2010. She was also awarded two gold medals for her performance of the kata (movement) at the same championship.
Earlier this year she competed in Uitenhage and was selected for the Eastern Province Trials and later in Johannesburg, she was chosen to travel to Sydney Australia to compete there for her country, in the World Championships. She also represented SA at the 2009 World Goju Kai Style Karate Championships that was held in Cape Town.
‘Karate has taught me self-discipline, confidence, socializing skills, generosity and motivation. My dream and long-term goal is to one day open my own Dojo and to teach children the art of Karate. I could not have achieved the success I have to date without the support of SOS Childrenâ€™s Villages, my home since I was only 18 months old and now I am almost 22!â€ said Chrissie.
Chrissie has completed her business studies and holds a full time position at MBay Training Academy. “Chrissie is a very talented girl and her hard work and dedication has paid off, it is now up to us to help her reach her goal of participating in an international championship.” said SOS Children’s Village Port Elizabeth fundraiser, Mandy Spies. “We need to raise R 35,000.00 in order to cover the expenses of the trip, including her flights, accommodation and other costs. Any donations will be most appreciated.â€
If anyone can contribute something towards Chrissyâ€™s dream, here are the banking details:
Nedbank â€“ Newton Park
Account Name: SOS Childrenâ€™s Villages
Account Number: 1213008166
Branch code: 121317
Or contact Leigh Swartz, Fund Development Manager at 011 234 8708 or via email.