Youth Project from SOS Children's Village Freetown (Sierra Leone)…
Local economic conditions in some countries do not always make it easy to succeed. But with perseverance and hard work, one can only be rewarded. Read about this former SOS youth from Bo. This is a story about Allie, the proud owner of a motorbike:
Youth Project from SOS Children's Village Freetown (Sierra Leone)
Local economic conditions in some countries do not always make it easy to succeed. But with perseverance and hard work, one can only be rewarded. Read about this former SOS youth from Bo.
This is a story about Allie, the proud owner of a motorbike:
When Allie went into the shop to buy his new motorbike, he was one of the happiest men that day. This former SOS youth from Sierra Leone, now 28 years old, has struggled and worked hard to reach his goals but now he can be proud to be a self-reliant young man!
Allie did not find the past five years all rosy.
Allie had resettled with some of his relatives in 2003. Before, he spent two years in Banjul, The Gambia, studying auto mechanic at the SOS Production and Training Centre in Bakoteh. He successfully completed his vocational training and returned home to render his service to his country. Not having any income to be fully independent and just looking for a job, even though SOS Children's Villages helped with some furniture and money at his disposal, Allie preferred to live with distant relatives.
In Sierra Leone it's a cultural thing to contribute to household expenses when you live under the same roof. Allie also wanted to support the children of these distant relatives with their education fees, to give them the same opportunity which he had at the SOS Children's Village, which put some pressure on him.
Striving for self-reliance
On his return to Sierra Leone, Allie went out to search for employment but with no success. However, he did not give up! "Although I did not get a job I decided to undergo further practical training with a garage owner. I enjoyed what I was doing and the little money I was earning. I saved part of it to pay my two younger 'brothers' school fees and to feed myself. It was not an easy task for me," Allie reveals.
Determined as he was to live an independent life, he came in contact with a motorbike owner who was looking for a reliable young man to manage his commercial taxi motorbike, most commonly known as 'okada' in Sierra Leone.
Based on the positive recommendation Allie's new employer got from his former master, he got the job. "I wanted to prove to my new employer that I was a trustworthy worker. I paid him on a daily basis as we agreed and whatever income was left belonged to me. I was saving on a daily basis. In 2006 I had saved 600,000 Leones [200 USD]," he remarks. [Note: In Sierra Leone taxi drivers are often not the owners of the vehicle. The drivers pay the owner a fixed amount of money and what they earn above is theirs.]
With this savings, he managed to rent himself a house and buy some furniture to furbish it. "I was happy that I was finally staying on my own. It really helped me to plan and improve on my financial status. However, every month I still sent some money to my younger 'brothers', to make sure they attended school," Allie discloses.
Hard work pays!
While he was working hard to earn his living, Allie was very serviceable to the SOS Children's Village and the SOS Hermann Gmeiner School in Bo. "Sometimes when they had to make a trip to town, they would call upon me to take them there on my 'okada'. I've always answered to their request promptly and as a result they had confidence in me", explains Allie.
And time came for Allie to reap the benefit of being hard working and self-reliance! Over the years, while he was fighting tooth and nail to be successful in life, the resettled youth department of SOS Children's Villages Sierra Leone had been getting positive reports about him. It was on the basis of these reports that Olatungie Woode, National Director for SOS Children's Villages Sierra Leone, was convinced to extend a loan to him to buy his own commercial motorbike.
Allie is more than determined to repay his loan, within eight months time. "I am not going to disappoint the national director and those who have respect for me," he stresses.
What would Allie say to other SOS youths?
"My advice to all SOS youths is that despite all the challenges you may face in life, do not give up! Continue to work hard towards self-reliance," he concludes.
Allie was admitted into SOS Children's Village Bo in 1987 when he was just six years old, after he had lost both of his parents. He completed all his education at the SOS Hermann Gmeiner School in Bo and opted to pursue a vocational training. Thanks to SOS Children's Villages Sierra Leone and all its sponsors, Allie is now a strong, trustful and self-reliant man!
Children sitting outside, family house in the back at the SOS Children's Village Ndjamena, Chad
NDJAMENA SOS Children's Villages Ndjamena In operation since: March 2005 Capacity: 120 children Inauguration: 13 October 2005 in the presence of the Ministerial President of the Republic of Chad, Mr Pascal Yoadimnadji Facilities comprising the village: 12 family houses, 1 village director's house, a guest house, an aunt's house, a multi-purpose hall, an administration area, a workshop SOS Kindergarten Ndjamena In operation since: October 2005 Capacity: 60 children Facility includes: 2 classes, kitchen, office for the school leader, teacher's room SOS Hermann Gmeiner School Ndjamena In operation since: October 2005 Capacity: 180 students Facility includes: 6 classes, canteen with kitchen and storage area, administration, workshop, a special education room SOS Medical Centre Ndjamena In operation since: September 2005 Capacity: Appr. 7,200 patients a year Facility includes: 1 doctor's room, 1 room for nurses, a surgery, a room for stationary patients, laboratory, storage room, secretariat, adjoining room
SOS Children's Village N'Djamena
SOS Children's Villages's work in Tchad should have begun in 1988 when contact was made between SOS-Kinderdorf International and the authorities of Tchad, which led to an agreement to build the first village. However, a few years later, and despite the fact that a plot of land had already been made available, the governmental authorities insisted on changing the terms of this agreement. SOS-Kinderdorf International therefore felt it was preferable to temporarily suspend the project so as to optimize it, but also so as not to have to change the criteria of the initial agreement. In 1996, it was possible to start working with the government of Tchad again and to hold discussions on a specific project. It was in 2002 that the most significant step towards implementing the project was made, which led to the actual start of SOS-Kinderdorf's work in Tchad.
Tchad, a country situated in the centre of Africa and with borders with Nigeria, Niger, Libya, Sudan, the Central African Republic and Cameroon, is one of Africa's poorest countries and because of this it very much depends on external aid. For decades the country has been torn by socio-economic problems and civil wars. The country has a weak economy that does not allow for notable positive change: 85% of the active population are agrarian people who strongly depend on governmental aid and the country itself lacks the necessary infrastructure to prosper. In addition, Tchad suffers from a harsh climate. It is hot, arid and dry in the north with long rainy or dry seasons, and it is cold in the central region.
SOS Children's Village N'Djamena is situated out of the town of the same name, the capital of Tchad, which has more than 530,000 inhabitants. The SOS Children's Village has twelve family houses, the director's house, a building for the SOS aunts (who provide valuable support for current SOS mothers as well as being SOS mothers in training), a house where the organization's employees can be accommodated during their various training courses, an administration area, a workshop and a multi-purpose hall (for the village's various activities). It opened in March 2005 and can house up to 120 children.
An SOS Primary School and an SOS Kindergarten were built on the grounds of the SOS Children's Village which are attended by children from the village as well as from neighbouring areas. The primary school and the kindergarten were opened at the same time as the village in March 2005.
The primary school has a capacity for 210 children. It has six classrooms, an administrative unit, a workshop, a kitchen with a canteen and a teachers' staff room. The kindergarten has two large classrooms, a kitchen, and an office for the director and a room for the caregivers and teachers; it can offer places to some 50 children.
The grounds of the village also have an SOS Medical Centre, with a view to offering regular medical check-ups or promoting various preventative policies on a local level. It has a room for doctors, a room for nurses, an examination room, an inpatient room, a dispensary, an analysis laboratory and a secretariat. It can treat up to 5,500 patients a year.
Villages dEnfants SOS Tchad Bureau National de coordination Service des parrainages B.P 113 N'djamena Tchad Correspondance languages: French English