Portrait of a giraffe - Nairobi, Kenya…
A young leader in the making
Portrait of a giraffe - Nairobi, Kenya
A young leader in the making
Eunice Oyosi, the educator at SOS Children's Village Mombasa, is moved and inspired by a recent arrival.
Jacob is a recent arrival at SOS Children's Village Mombasa, at three years of age. At the time he did not know how to express himself but has now adjusted and can speak a few words in English and Kiswahili. Each day when he comes home from the SOS Kindergarten, which he loves, he is eager to teach his mother and the rest of his siblings what he has learned. He says "Excuse me" and "Please give me" to show off his mastery of the English language.
Jacob has adjusted well to his new environment and has shown tremendous progress in his development. He now knows all his siblings and can call them by their names. Just by talking to him, one can feel he has settled in well and now enjoys being part of a family which has given him such tender love, care, security and protection. He has warmed the hearts of his big brothers who visit him every day and he especially loves playing with his brother's phone and listening to the ring tones which he dances to.
Jacob loves to play football
Despite a deformity in his legs, Jacob likes playing football and has mastered a few skills here and there.. "This disability has not and doesn't deter him from being his best" says his SOS mother. He plays football with his friends who seem unaware of his condition and tackle him roughly, which he takes in his stride. He loves eating chapatti (unleavened bread) with beans and also spaghetti. Another favourite meal is ugali (cooked maize) and milk which he enjoys because he says he wants to be a big strong boy.
For a boy of only three years, Jacob has shown signs of being a great leader. He is always in the forefront during functions and monitors the rest of his siblings if they are closing their eyes whilst praying. And he always ensures they close their eyes when they pray before meals (even though he might have to open his to check).
A quick learner
Jacob has impressed the village with his loving and tender personality. He strikes one as a quick learner who is very social. He sings me a song that he learnt from church and then tells me to wait for him as we go for prayers together. My time with him did not last even 30 minutes but the bond he created with me and the heartening feelings he has aroused within me of love, care and concern will last a long time..
I feel deeply inspired and moved to know such a charming young boy with a bright future in front of him. He has inspired me to be more aware and responsive to the needs of the people around me. It is no wonder his SOS mother is so proud of him that she takes him everywhere she goes.
Area around Xiengkhouang (Laos)
The sixth SOS Children's Village in Laos, located in Savannakhet, was opened by Deputy Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith, who is also the Chairman of SOS Children's Villages of Laos, on 10 December 2008 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
SOS Children's Village Savannakhet opens its gates
SOS Children's Village Savannakhet in Laos opened its gates on 10 December 2008. Guests of honour at opening ceremony included the Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs of Laos, the provincial governor, the ambassador of Luxembourg to Laos, staff members from SOS Children's Village Luxembourg, SOS Children's Villages President Helmut Kutin and continental director Ms M Shubha. Many local government officials, community leaders and people from the vicinity were present on the occasion.
SOS Children's Village Savannakhet is a happy home to 83 children who are living in the care of 18 mothers. "It's a wonderful environment here and I am living with my siblings and my SOS mother. I met the guests and I am really happy that they are visiting our home," said Chua, 12, who is growing up at SOS Children's Village Savannakhet.
The SOS Children's Village was dedicated to the children of Laos in a grand ceremony which saw 600-700 people attending. The children presented beautiful folk dances and balloons were all around. "We are really grateful to SOS Children's Villages that they came to Savannakhet to help the needy children of this region and I believe a child-friendly environment will be created," said a community leader.
The SOS children, SOS mothers and staff members have moved into the SOS Children's Village Savannakhet in Laos on the first day of March in 2008. "I like the lawn in front of my house where I have a lot of place to play," chuckles Sana playing with her doll.
"I like this flower the most. I brought this flower plant along with me when we came here and now it's on the full bloom," said Phua while showing the plants to one of the guests.
"At present we have 10 families and it will grow further. All children are attending community schools and they are growing healthily," national director of SOS Children's Villages of Laos Soumata Dengchampa said.
The SOS Children's Village is built on 27,000 sq. metres of land and is located nine kilometres from the city centre and three kilometres from the entrance of the city. It consists of 15 family houses, a kindergarten and a social centre. SOS Children's Villages Luxembourg is the promoting association for the project.
The foundation for SOS Children's Village Savannakhet had been laid on 27 December 2006. The strategic highway no. nine which connects Thailand to Vietnam through Laos is passing nearby.
Savannakhet is the capital of Savannakhet province in the south of the country and has a population of about one million people. The second largest city in Laos, Savannakhet is situated on the banks of the Mekong River.