Saturday, February 13, 2010

Great expectations for Form 1 students

It was all smiles as 11 SOS children who sat for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in 2009 joined Form One of secondary school. The students reported to their new schools last week, all of which were provincial or national schools, with excellent reputations. We encourage the children to work hard and aim high.

For all of them, this is their first experience living away from home for an extended period of time. It is a definite break from home and a complete 180-degree turn from the life they are currently used to. Apart from the increased academic demands there is also formation of new friendship with class mates, knowing the teachers, and adjustment to the unfamiliar environment.

An overjoyed Dorothy from house 4 said that she hopes to do well in her new school. Mercy from house 12 asserts that she is up to the challenge and promises to manage the basic tasks such as eating, sleeping, and going to class. Even as most of them were excited to take on this new experience of boarding life, others were feeling apprehensive about making this change. “I am feeling nervous”, said George from house 1. Being one of the first major transitions, this is understood, assured the Youth Care Co-workers Coordinator.

The beauty of this transition, which undoubtedly comes with great expectations, is that the youth will gain independence and take charge of the many choices and decisions that we have made for them in the past. A typical day in school is more structured and so there is a lot of reading inside of class.

Wriiten by Fred Ochieng, Youth Care Co-worker Coordinator

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Joy, encouragement and celebration at youth graduation ceremony

SOS Children’s Village Eldoret passed yet another major milestone on Sunday 31st January 2010 with the celebration of the youth graduation ceremony (when youth leave the family house to live in a neaby youth facility). The event, which was held at the Noble Guest House & Conference Center in Eldoret, saw 8 youth graduating to the youth facility. It was a moment of jubilation as the graduands arrived at the hall colourfully dressed and palpably excited. The ceremony, which was full of pomp and colour, was presided over by the village director, Mr. Peter Mungai.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony in which co-workers as well as invited guests from the community took part, Mr. Mungai wished the youth the best in their future as they mark this major milestone in their lives. “I am today handing you over to the youth care co-workers who will continue guiding you on the path to independence. Today you celebrate this significant step in your lives - graduating from the family house to the youth facility, which for all of you is the beginning of the next phase of your life on the road to becoming independent and productive members of society”, said Mr. Mungai. He urged the youth to utilize their time well and ensure that they will have completed their education by disengagement time.

Pastor Mwalo, while giving a sermon to the congregation advised the youth to hold on to the guidance and instructions they had received from their caregivers in all aspects of their lives. The Hermann Gmeiner school principal, Mr. Omobe encouraged the youth to focus on building their character. “I want to emphasize that you endeavour to model good behavior at all times so that your younger brothers and sisters can learn from you”, he said.

The mothers poured their hearts out and urged the youth to be responsible, disciplined and make education their priority. “Make the best of what you have learnt from here”, remarked Mama Rogers. She dissuaded the youth from associating with friends who bring out the worst in them. “Our presence here today is an expression of our love for you”, added Mama Wambui.
The graduates, who were looking forward to this day with great anticipation, each spoke eloquently of what they learned from their mothers while in the family house and how they will apply what they learnt in their life in future. Each graduate received a gift from their mothers. Charo Yaa, one of the graduates, could not hide his joy at joining the youth facility. "I would like to thank my mother and other co-workers for the support, care and guidance they have given me while in the family house," he said. "You did a wonderful job in training me mama."