Friday, November 28, 2008


In line with the SOS Kenya National Association development plan, the SOS Children’s Village Eldoret is at the moment undergoing an expansion plan. Construction of an additional 3 family houses has already started in Eldoret village to cater for the rising number of orphans. This will bring the total number of family houses to 15.

Construction is also underway for an SOS Community Health and Social Centre inside the Children’s Village. It will address HIV/AIDS issues and serve as a VCT Centre, providing anti-retroviral treatment and counselling services to HIV+ persons. It will also provide basic services and rehabilitation programs for children in need of special protection drawn primarily from the Eldoret catchment area. The former craft center will undergo reconstruction to house the project.

The village is rearing cows as an income generating activity and the milk from the cows is being sold to the family houses and the youth homes. Each family house has a small garden where they plan to grow kale to supplement the family budget. A new electric fence was also recently erected to improve security. A new sentry house for the guards has also been built. The former chicken coop has been refurbished to house the craft centre, the laundry, workshop, youth leaders' office and a library.

A modern parking spot has also been erected near the administration block.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Two of our youth attended a peer training in Eldoret on 4th and 5th November that was organized by an Ex-Street Community based organization in conjunction with Save the Children. The thematic focus of this seminar was the area of child protection and covered sensitive issues such as child abuse and violence.

In total, 18 participants attended the two day training. Participants were always on time, allowing an accurate adherence to the schedule. Common lunches as well as tea breaks allowed the participants to mix informally and share experiences. One of our youth, Leah Nyambura who attended the training aptly puts it this way: “The two days were very exciting as we learnt many things that concern children and youth. I learnt new things and gained so much in this seminar. This has had a huge impact in my life”. “We were given advice on how to interact with children in an appropriate way - by building confidence, listening patiently and placing oneself at the same level as the child”.

Simon Wambua equally describes his experience during the group tasks as humbling. “The facilitators guided us through the definition of a child and described the distinct phases of childhood development. They explained that children had specific needs that depended on their age and that fulfillment of these needs was vital for the child to fully develop”. “We engaged in group work to list the effects of child abuse on children, families and communities. We also discussed how events affecting the latter two groups could have an indirect impact on children, who were thus exposed to triple danger (once directly, twice indirectly). They both promised to share the knowledge gained with the children and fellow youth.

All participants who attended the seminar in its entirety were awarded a certificate.

By Fredrick Ochieng, Youth Leader Coordinator

Dreaming beyond the Horizon

Maureen Mueni is a celebrity among her folks both within and without the SOS Children’s Village Eldoret. Growing up, Maureen has been a quiet young person but she has always been an enthusiast. Her quick wit and academic determination to succeed has served her well. She has been dreaming of a better life. She dreams of becoming someone someday. How? She is not sure but she knows the first step is an education. Maureen recently graduated with her Diploma in Mass communication and has already registered at the Moi University for a degree programme on the same. Such is the passion for career progression that this 22-year old youth from house 2 has for her future.

Maureen is quite philosophical and envisions challenges for those who want to live an easy life. Whilst she appreciates that the desire to be successful is what motivates humanity to take action, she advises that one must have raw determination in order to make progress. “I always believe I can succeed because what my mind can conceive can be achieved”, she says. “I remember when I was growing up my mum used to tell me and my siblings that success only comes to those who plan, prepare; to those who are persistent and to those who are willing to endure pain to achieve their goals”.

I can say that I did get what you would call a head start in life. I got everything I needed to enable me attain my dreams. I attended the best schools and got the best in primary and secondary education. After my “O” level examination, I did not attain the required grade to join university and I almost gave up because my dream was to join a public or private university to pursue a course in Communication or Law. I had interest in Journalism or Media Law but I wondered how this going to happen with the results of my “O” level exams not quite what I anticipated.

She recalls those moments when they would be asked by the Mothers and the Village Director what they wanted to do and to be in future and they would tell them all the careers that they thought were “good”. “I would change from nursing this year, to teaching, journalism and so forth just because I knew it will make my mum happy, she says. But gone are these days and times have changed so fast you’d better be realistic in your goals. I settled for my dream career-Journalism.

In 2006, she received 5 admission letters for different courses from different colleges. She did not know for sure what to settle for and decided to talk to her mother and the Village Director who told her one thing-follow your dream. Maureen then joined Aphax College to pursue a Diploma course in Mass Communication and Journalism. The course took 1- 2 years and last month during her graduation, she got exemplary certificate in the high achievers category with a distinction emerging top in the 2006-2007 Journalism class. This enabled her to secure admission at the Moi University to pursue a Bachelor of Science Course in Communication and Journalism.

I believe for me to reach the port of success, I have to sail, sometimes against the wind, while other times with the wind. Either way, I have to sail and not lie at anchor because success is not reaching a goal but it must continually be won and is never finally achieved. I attribute my success to my perseverance and determination not forgetting the support and encouragement of my mother, the Village Director and the Youth Leaders. I also thank the SOS Fraternity for giving me this chance to advance my studies to the degree level.

By Fredrick Ochieng, Youth Leader Coordinator