A portrait of a girl with henna-painted hands at Children's Village Hyderabad,…
The is the update for 2008 sent to the people who are kind enough to sponsor a child at the SOS Children's Village, Hyderabad in India.
A portrait of a girl with henna-painted hands at Children's Village Hyderabad, India
The is the update for 2008 sent to the people who are kind enough to sponsor a child at the SOS Children's Village, Hyderabad in India:
Hyderabad, November 1, 2008 Dear Friend,
A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2009. We express our heartfelt thanks and deep sense of gratitude for your kind continued co-operation and support for the cause of our children. Hyderabad is a heady mixture of history heritage, hospitality and a thriving hitech revolution. The new city was also called bagh-nagar (city of gardens) as it was replete with gardens and groves. The e-world is already here. New economy is everywhere around and city is buzzing the mantra of information technology.
We always feel pleasure to inform you that our children are doing well. It is our way of repaying your kind deeds. It is also a great satisfaction to see them grow happy and healthy.
A Home for Many Children The Village's community has planned an important purpose to achieve during this year to attend more needy children. Five destitute children were brought home during the year. The SOS mothers have done efforts to welcome them by the best way taking into account that children should feel at home. At present 133 (57 boys and 76 girls) children are living happily under the loving care of 12 mothers and 4 aunts. Out of 133 children 21 children are in boarding schools, 101 children are attending outside schools, 8 children are attending SOS Kindergarten and 3 children are at home.
Facilities: We are very happy to inform you that Dell Learning Center has been constructed within the premises with a Library, Computer Room and a Music Room. It was inaugurated in the month of Sep 2008. Children are happily learning computers and music in the center. Apart from this the Children's Village has 12 family houses, a KG center, Activity hall, moderately equipped Clinic, Community and Guest House, three Co-worker residences and a Village Store.
Academic Performance The academic result of the year 2007-08 was quite encouraging. All school going children were promoted to the next higher classes with 60% and above percentage. 29 children passed with above 90% marks. We have engaged regular tutors to help children who are weak in studies. Spoken English classes are organized for children above Class IV with help of a resource person.
The village nursery school has been carrying out its functioning in a smooth way. The toddler stimulation programme was conducted throughout the year and we are starting on the baby stimulation programme. SOS mothers and aunts continue to come to the kindergarten on weekly basis to learn about their children's developments and achievements as well as to get a general understanding of what goes on at the nursery school. As part of their outing children were taken to picnic to Zoological Park where children had great fun watching different animals and birds.
HEALTH General Health check-ups were organized for all our mothers and children. Basic vaccinations and Hepatitis B vaccines were administered to all children. Children are showing signs of healthy growth and development.
yoga exercises for sound health and positive outlook. They also attend music classes weekly once.
Festivals and Vacations: To make children's life more interesting, purposeful and to promote their development, a lot of activities and events are organized within as well as out of the Village. As part of their outing all the children were taken to a Water Park (Jalavihar) where Children enjoyed different water rides and spent most of the time in the swimming pool.
All the regional festivals were celebrated in the village. This year children celebrated Diwali with great joy and enthusiasm. Diwali festival is a 5 day Hindu festival in India which occurs on the fifteenth day of Kartika. Diwali when translated means "rows of lighted lamps" and the occasion is also referred to as the Festival of Lights. During Diwali, Indian homes are cleaned and windows are opened to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Lamps, lights and candles are lit as a greeting to Goddess Laksmi. Gifts are exchanged and sweets, festive meals are prepared during Diwali. People of different nationalities, races, religions and backgrounds come together to share their joys generating a feeling of universal brotherhood and inter-religious harmony. Children burn crackers in the night after the prayer.
Family Strengthening Programme: As a very important part of Family Strengthening Programme, we are continuing our support to the needy mothers and children. Presently, 181 needy mothers and 385 children are getting benefit through this programme. Apart from this Scholarship is also provided to 16 youth. As a part of outreach, a Tailoring center was inaugurated in the nearby village imparting tailoring training to eligible women in the village. Two tuition centers were also started in two villages with the local communities support and 90 children are availing the benefit. SOS also formed partnership with local NGOs to identify the needy children to support their education.
means to improve the job skill to serve children better.
We are very happy about your association with SOS Children's Village, Hyderabad. All the children, mothers and coworkers join me in thanking you for your continuous support. May God bless you and your family. Once again Merry Christmas and Happy New year 2009
Portrait of SOS mother and her oldest son at Children's Village Brandenburg, Germany.
This is an interview with SOS Mother Constanze Lucke Born 8.8.1966 in Germany:
"I was so lucky to have been able to enjoy such a cosseted childhood. Of course, I value that all the more, because I have often seen the opposite during my work in the home and in the SOS Children's Village. My childhood was quite different and perhaps that's why I can pass it on differently. Maybe I can achieve a measure of healing, and perhaps my parents will continue to have effect."
Constanze Lucke lives in Brandenburg an der Havel. Brandenburg is in the former GDR, in one of the "new provinces", as they have been called since the reunification. Constanze and her family were happy during the GDR times. They valued family life and doing things together. Constanze has particularly wonderful childhood memories of the little allotment they still have. The twelve tall chimneys were Brandenburg's symbol in those days. They were the steel works and rolling mill's chimneys in which thousands of people found employment. The steel works were closed after the reunification and the chimney stacks demolished. What remain are an industrial park and a museum. Unemployment was an unknown term in the GDR and suddenly became a huge challenge for many people, and, for some of them, it was their undoing. Many moved to the "old provinces" in the hope of a better life.
The Story of Her Life "We were happy. I think we were contented with the simple things in life." My name is Constanze Lucke and I was born here in the city of Brandenburg. I have a brother and a sister. My brother is one year younger than me and my sister is four years older. My parents, my brother and sister all live in Brandenburg. My dad is a surveyor and my mum trained to be a laboratory assistant and an insurance sales person. I went to school here for ten years and then did a three-year course at the medical high school in nursery education. In the days of the GDR, nursery education was still counted as a medical subject. The training was to look after children from birth to three years old and it included both educational and medical subjects. After my training, I went to work as an educator in a children's home, which housed children from birth to three years of age. Once they were three, they had to move to another home and I always found this problematic. Then the reunification came and I qualified further as a state-registered-educator. I became head of the team on the ward where the youngest children were. Those were the babies from one week old to eighteen months.
Could you tell us about how you lived with your parents? We lived on a newly-built estate. Our flat had two big rooms and two small ones. My parents always went to great efforts to ensure that, as children, we had our own rooms: not just free space but our own actual rooms. They went without so that my sister and I could each have a room of our own. There was a divider in the big room so that my brother also had his own area. There was a playground right outside the house and we spent a lot of time there, playing with other children from the neighbourhood. I didn't go to either a crèche or a kindergarten, because my mother managed to organise her working-hours to work in the evenings. She was a laboratory assistant, and then retrained to sell insurance so that she could manage everything at once. She went to work after my father came home in the evenings, so there was always somebody at home to look after us. It was a safe and wonderful time. In general, I can say that we were a happy family.
I have very strong ties to my parents. I have such a warm feeling in my heart, but I can't express it properly. I was so lucky to have been able to enjoy such a cosseted childhood. Of course, I value that all the more, because I have often seen the opposite during my work in the home and in the SOS Children's Village. My childhood was quite different and perhaps that's why I can pass it on differently. Maybe I can achieve a measure of healing, and perhaps my parents will continue to have effect.
Could you describe your mother to us? What did she give you on your way? I think my mother is a strong woman for whom the family is very important. She was always there for us and made everything nice for us. I took this dependency, safety and security for granted, because I didn't know anything else. What I found so wonderful was the harmony between my parents. When we left for school, mum would always stand at the kitchen window and wave to us until we were out of sight. It was the same every day. Basically, she put her interests second to those of the family.
And your father? Please tell us a little about him. He's still working for the city in the land registry office. My father is a quiet, lovely man, who has an incredible affiliation with nature. He spends time in his garden every day. Since the early 1970's we've had a small allotment with a summerhouse. It's right by the river and that is his great hobby. He mows the lawn, puts out food for the blue-tits and prunes the apple tree, puts (in a pond and everything. All year round he comes here to the allotment to have a change. I can say that he was always there for me and made lots of things possible for me too. We had great fun there as children because it was pure nature. You could say, I went to bed when the ducks were calling and woke up to the sound of the great crested grebes. It was obvious that I would gain an interest in ornithology. I joined the young ornithologist's club when I was twelve and that was very exciting. Later, when I started to work shifts at the children's home, I didn't have time for it anymore. I opted for the children and my career, and the birds have remained my hobby. Now, when we're sitting outside in the SOS Children's Village, I can say, "That's a starling and there's a buzzard." The children are impressed. They are getting a feel for it too and I like that.
Perhaps you could tell us something about your grandparents? My father was an only child and was born here in Brandenburg. My grandparents ran a health-food shop. After having to give up the shop, my grandfather got a job in a banana-ripening factory. Yes, in those days there was such a thing! I can still see it now: there was a huge hall full of green bananas that were ripening. My mother's parents come from Laubusch, on the way to Dresden. My grandfather was in the mines and my grandmother was a kindergarten teacher. When I think of my Laubusch-grandmother, I go all warm inside. She was just the sort of grandmother I'd wanted. She was kind and generous. If you wanted another helping of the wonderful pudding she'd made, you'd always get one. It was always fantastic when we went to our grandparents in Laubusch. It was really cosy and old-fashioned in their house. If you wanted to go to the toilet, you had to go across the back yard to an earth closet. There was an orchard where we'd climb the trees. And I'll never forget the smell. There was always a whiff of coal in the air from the mines. I can still smell it today.
Were your parents born during the Second World War? Yes, they were both born in 1939. They were children during the war. We used to talk about it a lot. I remember how my mother said, "When Dresden was burning, you could see the flames in Laubusch." And she would tell of the sirens and how they had to take shelter.
How was it for your parents when the GDR came into being after the war? As funny as it may sound, the GDR times were good times for us. We weren't badly off. Family life was very important to us. We had a lovely flat, did a lot together and had our oasis at the allotment. We were happy. I think we were contented with the simple things in life. I don't need carrots that have been washed. There was sand on the carrots, but we washed it off. All right, we couldn't travel, that really was the case, but personally I never felt the need to travel. If we did, we just went east, to Moscow or Kiev.
And when the reunification came? When the reunification came, on the day they opened the borders I sat quietly first of all. I thought, "All right, that's how it is now." A lot of people drove to West Berlin in their Trabis that night. I thought to myself, "It won't run away," and so it was a fortnight before I went to the other Berlin for the first time. I went to a supermarket, where there was a mirror behind the display of fruit and vegetables, and nearly had a fit! I couldn't tell where the fruit ended and the mirror started. I thought this excess of goods on offer was just dreadful and quickly left the shop again. I'll never forget that fruit and vegetable display and this misrepresentation of the facts.
Do you have a good friend, with whom you can talk about things that are important to you? Yes, I have a good friend and I don't know how I would have managed to get through some situations without her. She's an SOS mother too, in SOS Children's Village Lippe. We trained together in Mörlbach and we became very good friends. We visit each other regularly and our children, that is her foster and my foster children, get on well together too. If things start getting difficult here, I can call her at any time of the night or day.
Did you ever think about starting a family of your own? It's strange, but, because I was working in the children's home and had such close contact with the children there, I never felt the need for a family of my own. I always thought, "If I'm going to have children then I want foster children." I heard about SOS Children's Villages and that's when it became clear to me that this was the path for me: to be there for foster children.
What do you like to do best when you're not working? If I take the time, I like to sew or make things. I design little flower children, made from natural materials. That's something I learned in Mörlbach. I finish a little doll every two or three months. I also like to go for walks in the woods. Those are the two things I do when I need a change. On my days off, I visit my friends and relations.
What do you think are your particular strengths and talents? I think I'm a quiet, well-balanced person who can listen well. My particular strength, I think, is that I can put myself in somebody else's situation well. I have got sensitive antennae for other people's situations. I also enjoy doing housework and I don't find it a problem to cope with everything: running the household, the family tasks and my private life. To find a balance, so that I can be content.