Saturday, November 21, 2009


In the knowledge that SOS Children’s Village is a centre for several programmes relevant to marginalized children, youth from the SOS Children’s Village Eldoret joined co-workers of the family strengthening programme (FSP) staff in an initiative for the community dubbed Unity Kids Club. This club was developed by the FSP Eldoret and its objective is to reach as many children as possible through interactive activities such as music, drama and poems. Being holiday time, we also felt the need for our youth to contribute to the development of the children in the community through talent sharing.

SOS Children’s Village Eldoret is rich with talents starting from children through to youth. In the past there has been a desire to exploit these young talents though it has not always been a priority. However, the inception of Unity Kids Club came at a time when the youth were more than willing to support and become part of the initiative due to the completion of the recent national examinations. In fact most of the youth were willing to take part in the activities organized in various centers around the municipality, where children gather together and engage in activities that contribute to their psychosocial development and life skills.

In November 2009, five youth from the Children’s Village and an FSP volunteer, Bertha, went to the informal settlement of Munyaka, laden with bundles of food items for the children and youth to share. As this was the first time that the youth has taken part in this exercise, they needed to undergo a bit of orientation to the programme. After a debrief from Bertha, we set off through Kambi Nyasi slums to the slopes of Munyaka village.

When we arrived at the site, we found that children were anxiously waiting for the arrival of the team. Quickly the team leader grouped the children into various sub teams for maximum entertainment. Ivy, 17, was the most senior of the youth; she therefore took charge of the entire programme for the four hours they were there. The youth were given an opportunity to speak about the ravages of HIV/AIDS in the communities and the need for youth to keep safe from the challenge, through games and other entertainment activities such as dancing, singing, drama and sports. “It was fun”, said Ivy, who is looking forward to going back.

I witnessed a lot of bonding and fun from the two groups such that it required courage to stop the activities in order to drive back home. Children need play and social life to grow and develop into responsible persons in the community. This exercise was interactive and presented the whole picture of an all inclusive SOS Children’s Village; youth felt and became part of the community.
Through the synchronized programme system many marginalized children will be supported and we hope we shall witness less children suffering on the streets especially in Africa.
Simon M Mudi
Youth Care Co-worker

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The German ambassador to Kenya, Margit Hellwig-Boette, was greeted by a jubilant crowd of children and staff as she paid a courtesy call to the village last week. The visit was to assess areas in which German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) can work in close partnership with the village. On hand to receive her was the Village Director Mr. Peter Mungai who together with the school principal, Mr. Elijah Omobe hosted the envoy.

Upon arrival in the company of two officials from GTZ, the envoy planted a commemorative tree before embarking on an extensive tour of the village, family strengthening programme and the school. She later held a meeting with the mothers and other co-workers at the craft center and thereafter was treated to a sumptuous meal in family house number 4.

The envoy seized the opportunity to congratulate SOS Children’s Villages on the good work done which has helped many needy people from the community. She thanked the staff for making her feel so at ease and for taking such good care of her adding that her experience at the village was very comfortable and pleasant. “I would just like to thank you for such a unique experience in this village” she acknowledged. The envoy was very impressed by the friendliness describing the work done by SOS Children’s Villages as special. She added that she was deeply impressed by the facility, the dedication of work and that this place was truly a home. “It is unique to have one father and so many mothers looking after children”, she quipped amid laughter.
Beginning of a long lasting relationship

She mentioned that although at the moment she would not be able to promise anything, the visit was a beginning of a long lasting relationship with SOS Children’s Villages. On a lighter note, she promised to come back to check on the progress of the tree she planted.

While giving her remarks, the GTZ head of gender based violence and human rights, Ms Jane Onyango mentioned that GTZ works in three key areas mainly; water, health and agriculture. In health, they support survivors of gender based violence (GBV). She underscored the need to prevent violence whether to children or adults. She urged the organization to sensitize children so that they can know what to do in the event of violence.

While echoing the same sentiments, the GTZ coordinator, Gottfried von Gemmingen, who also accompanied the ambassador, commended the village for being an island of peace especially during the post election violence that badly affected Eldoret. He added that the children we educate will be well prepared for a better Kenya.

The village director on behalf of the team thanked the envoy for giving the team the opportunity to meet her.