The home of a family who are helped by the SOS Social Center in Qwa Qwa, South Africa HIV/AIDS prevention programme
I've been reading about two women who are supported by SOS Children's Villages to e take care of orphaned children in their homes. SOS Children's Villages built the houses and the women are supported bu the SOS Social Centre and the community.
The home of a family helped by the SOS Social Center in Qwa Qwa, South Africa, the center offers a HIV/AIDS prevention programme
I've been reading about two women who are supported by SOS Children's Villages to e take care of orphaned children in their homes. SOS Children's Villages built the houses and the women are supported bu the SOS Social Centre and the community. This is what I've found out:
If you visit the Free State Province of Qwa Qwa you can stand in awe! There are sheer rock faces and pastures that stretch as far as the eye can see. You can enjoy watching the grazing cows, sheep and deer as a local rides his hardworking horse up and down the fences to check for holes. If, however, you go a little further and into the village of Makeneng you will meet some volunteer foster mothers who are giving their time, energy and care to orphaned and vulnerable children (OVCs) of the region. This is the true heart of the province! It is a community who cares about sad and lonely children and wants to give them a home and a reason to smile again.
SOS Children's Villages are piloting an innovative form of foster care as part of the SOS Social Centre in Qwa Qwa. Following community standards in the rural village of Makeneng four community family homes were built and equipped by the organisation in 2004. These homes provide long-term family-based care to local children. The carers of these children are volunteer foster mothers from the community.
The location for this pilot project was selected because there is a high number of orphans and vulnerable children according to census data and foster placement statistics; there are limited community resources to respond to the situation of OVCs; there is a degree of genuine community support and commitment to collaborate; and there are basic educational and health care services.
Two foster mothers recruited by SOS Children's Villages are currently caring for five children each in a small but sufficient home in Makeneng, Qwa Qwa.
Emma (39) hails from the Free State where her biological 19-year-old daughter still lives with her aunt. She became a registered foster mother in July 2003. Emma currently looks after five children: Tshidiso (twelve, boy), Thabiso (six, boy), Nthabiseng (five, girl) Tshidiso (five, boy), and Motlalepula (two, boy). Tshidiso and Motlalepula are the newest additions to Emma's growing foster family and came into her care in June this year. They are now attending the crèche a few metres from the house. "They are settling quite well into the family. The only problem I have is that Tshidiso wets his beds at night. Thabiso and Tshidiso (the oldest), also wet their beds. I don't know what I can do. I try to get up to help them to the toilet but sometimes I am too late," Emma sighs. On a lighter note Emma says little Motlalepula can talk quite nicely but will only talk to his new family. "He only speaks if he knows you. If you are a stranger he won't talk in your presence," Emma says.
Emma enjoys staying with the children and likes to sing them songs. In the morning the children like to wake up early and jump on the bed when they don't have to go to school. Emma says the children like school. "Tshidiso especially likes Natural Science and Maths. When he's older he wants to go to driving school and then become a doctor," Emma says proudly. Both foster moms feel safe in the area and say their neighbours are nice. The children play together well with the neighbour's children. "Of course there is the occasional fight. Children do fight and argue, but it's all about growing up," says Miriam.
As life is simple in this rural area the family also eats simply. For breakfast they eat porridge made from oats or bread with tea. For lunch they have plain pap (mielie meal) and for supper they have pap mixed with tinned fish, or cabbage, or carrots, or potatoes. The children wake up at the crack of dawn -- 05h00. They get ready for school, eat breakfast and then leave for school at 07h00. The children come home from school and crèche at about 15h00. When the children return from school in the afternoon they wash their socks, polish shoes, wash lunchboxes, go to play and then they do their homework in the evening before bedtime. They go to bed between 19h30 and 20h30. Miriam wishes she had a television like Emma but says that they go and watch her TV on Saturdays.
It will be Tshidiso 13th birthday in September and Emma plans to buy a cake and cold drinks. This year they will also invite the neighbourhood children to the celebration and there will be sweets for everyone.
Miriam (48) is also a local from the Free State Province. She has three children of her own - two boys in their 20s and a 13-year-old girl who lives with their grandmother in Phutajidjaba, Qwa Qwa. Miriam is foster mom to three girls and two boys. The youngest, a month-old baby named Thabo came to her at the end of July. "I was so excited to get a baby. At the weekend I went to buy as many baby goods as I could. My own daughter is also happy to have a new baby in the family. She can't wait to see him."
Miriam's other foster children are Nnuma (twelve, girl), Lebohang (twelve, girl), Mpho (eight, girl), and Letsie (nine, boy). Letsie is also new and has only been with the family for just over a month. "He is a stubborn boy. He wants to do everything by himself and won't ask for help," says Miriam. Miriam reports that all her children do well at school. To ensure the children will have a bright future the moms save R 100 per month (eleven Euros) for each child in a post bank from the R 590 (65 Euros) government foster care grant per child per month that they receive.
Both moms are saving to take the children on a weekend outing to Durban "by-the-sea". "When it was just Mnuma and Mpho I took them home with me to central Qwa Qwa during the Christmas school holidays. They loved it and keep asking: 'When can we go again?'" says Miriam.
Before becoming a foster mother prospective parents have to complete a two month basic course for foster parents. This course includes the following subjects: basic orientation, requirements of the Child Care Act, child development, working with children, discipline and behaviour management, crisis/risk management, culture, religion and children's rights. The course was conducted by the Free State Province Department of Social Welfare.
As part of the SOS Social Centre the Qwa Qwa family strengthening programme is about to launch services for families caring for orphaned and vulnerable children (OVCs) in the community of Moeding. The programme will be partnering with the local Child Care Forum (CCF), to deliver services. These forums have been established by the Department of Social Development in each ward as part of a local initiative to involve community members in supporting OVCs in their area. The CCF members attended training conducted by senior "SOS staff" to learn more about the organisation's approach to working with beneficiary families, as well as to share their ideas about how the programme should begin establishing its activities.
The training focused on family development planning, a process that aims to engage beneficiary families in their own development. Each family on the programme will develop their own personalised family development plan (FDP), in which they decide on goals for their own development (things they would like to achieve), and outline what they themselves can contribute towards each of these goals. The programme will then tailor its assistance to support the fulfilment of these goals and indicate how long it will provide support in each of these areas. The CCF members, who will work with families to draw-up their FDPs, were very excited about using this tool to promote self-reliance amongst the families. "It was very encouraging to see such an enthusiastic group, taking ownership of the challenges in their own community and working hard to protect and care for orphaned and vulnerable children," said one of the trainers.
The community home is part of the SOS Social Center in Estelí Este, Nicaragua
I've been reading a charming story about a little boy called Alfredo, who is ten, who loves to cook. Whenever he has the opportunity, he likes cooking for his whole family at the SOS Children's Village Tela:
Alfredo would like to share with you one of his breakfast recipes, scrambled eggs, his specialty. Take note of his directions, and you will also have a delicious meal to start your day!
"This recipe is for ten people, just enough for my family. I like doing it on weekends, when I don't have to hurry to school, and we help our mother.
First, you need seven eggs. What I do is take a piece of onion and chop it, as well as a small piece of red bell pepper, and three tomatoes. If you don't put this mix, then you can add "sofrito" [canned spiced tomato paste].
I pour one tablespoon of oil into the "fryer" [frying pan] and heat it on the stove.
When it is starting to sizzle, I put in the spices (onion, peppers and tomatoes) or the "sofrito", and I cook that for a little while.
Then, I pour in the eggs and a pinch of salt. I mix it until it's cooked. And finally I serve it, so that we can all eat it.
Everyone likes it, and you can even add some ham or mortadella, if you want. We usually eat it with bread or "tortillas". By the way, my brother Carlos, who is 14, also makes delicious homemade bread.
My Auntie (family helper) Margarita teaches us how to cook so that when we go to the youth facility in a few years, we will know how to do it and won't have to depend on others. She is very proud because Carmen, one of my sisters who is already living in the youth facility, is the best cook there!"