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Theme: Conflict & Crisis in Africa: Protecting all children’s rights
“No matter where children are – whether in the countries torn apart by conflict, poverty and despair; in the countries they are passing through; or in the nations striving to provide them a new home – SOS Children’s Villages is on the ground, aiming to collaborate with state authorities, non-governmental organisations and international agencies, such as the United Nations.
With the support of our donors, we are responding to ever-evolving needs. We help families stay together. We provide counselling and emotional support to children and young people to enable them to cope with trauma. We ensure their essential needs for nutrition, shelter and care are met. We allow children to be children.
We constantly call on authorities and all partners to redouble efforts to find long-term solutions to ensure that families can stay together and children in conflict are not deprived of their childhood.
SOS Children’s Villages Kenya provides a safe place for children to shelter in its family based care programme where children abandoned or orphaned are provided with their basic needs. In addition through advocacy, SOS Chidlren's Villages Kenya builds the capacity of communities to ensure their participation in decision making processes. This also includes mobilising children to make them aware of their rights through various channels of engagement.
Further, in collaboration with the SOS Children's Villages Regional office in Addis Ababa, high level lobbying takes place with the African Union together with other child focussed organizations by bringing to the attention of the member Heads of State the consequences of conflict to children as well as their needed actions. SOS Chidren's Villages Kenya further participates in policy and legal reform to highlight the desired changes in Policy and Legislations that will ensure the upholding of the rights of children in conflict both at the national and regional level. This is also envisaged in partnership with the African Child Policy Forum.
SOS Children's Villages Kenya - 2016
On the 22nd May 2016, SOS Children’s Village Mombasa had the honour of hosting the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya & Patron of SOS Children’s Villages Kenya.
The First Lady has hailed the SOS Children’s Villages as a model institution that is doing exceptionally well to rehabilitate and give hope to minors rescued from oppressive circumstances.
Margaret Kenyatta took pride in projects being undertaken at the SOS Children’s village including a solar energy generating plant which is selling excess power to the national grid through the Kenya Power and Lighting Company.
“It’s always impressive to see a charity that is doing so much to practically make a difference to society, and at the same time striving for financial and environmental sustainability”, she said.
But she said the institution needs more support from stakeholders and appealed to both the National and County governments, the private sector and individual donors to explore how they can further engage with the SOS village in a way that yields the most benefit to children
“Right now, SOS Children’s Villages Kenya needs support. I would encourage us all to consider chipping in," she said.
Speaking at the SOS village, the First Lady, who is the patron of all SOS Children’s villages in Kenya, said she will explore areas where her office will be able to work together with the Mombasa home to promote the welfare of the children.
“I’m confident that as we all continue to invest in the children of Mombasa, and the children of Kenya at large—the future fortunes of our nation, will be immeasurable”, she said.
She lauded the management and sponsors of the Mombasa home for initiating income-generating projects aimed at financial and environmental sustainability.
Besides the solar energy generating facility, the institution is also engaged in a green revolution programme through tree planting and waste disposal and management. There are also proposals to expand the existing primary school facilities and also put up rental apartments within the institution.
The First Lady praised the Herman Gmeiner School Mombasa observing that it was among the finer and better performing institutions in Mombasa.
She thanked the management of the home for creating an environment conducive for child development and where all the children can thrive academically and socially to reach the pinnacle of their potential.
On his part the Chairman of the Board of Trustess of SOS Children’s Villages Kenya Dr. Martin Oduor-Otieno appreciated the support received from the First Lady. He reiterated the commit of SOS Children’s Villages Kenya to continue being a champion of the children agenda in Kenya.
During the event Her Excellency recognized and awarded long serving staff of the organization all of whom had served 25 to 30 years in the organization.
Those present during the event included Coast Regional Coordinator Mr. Nelson Marwa, Nyali MP Hon. Hezron Awiti, SOS Children’s Villages Kenya Board of Trustees Mercy Wanjau, Rita Okuthe, Susan Kiama, David Abwoga and Dr. Mary MaduMadu.
During the recent Sauti sol Live and Die in Africa album tour in Meru County, the band created time to visit the SOS Meru Village, where they interacted with the SOS Meru children , youth, among other SOS staff.
The Sauti Sol Band are currently SOS Children's Villages Kenya celebrity ambassadors, as such they partner with SOS CV Kenya through their #somasoma initiative to encourage children and youth to stay in school and attain education which in not only the key to success in pursuing their career dreams but also opens doors to the endless opportunities the world has to offer.
During their visit, they also brought goodies for the children courtesy of the Menengai Company. The band's company brought laughter, joy and smiles on the children's faces :-)
Fun times with the SOS Meru children:
We at SOS Children's Villages Kenya are eternally greatful to Sauti Sol and the Menengai Company for taking interest in supporting the success of our work and are very proud to be associated with you.
"Many children need many friends"
On the 22nd March 2016, SOS CV Kenya conducted a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the SOS CV Kenya Marsabit Peace, Rescue and Medical centre. Through a generous donation of the Catholic Diocese of Marsabit, SOS CV Kenya has acquired 10 acres for the development of the Centre to benefit the local community of Marsabit. The Peace and Rescue Centre will serve as a dialogue meeting point for the often conflicting local communities whilst the Medical Centre will provide crucial out-patient services for mothers and children in collaboration with the local county hospital. In the long term, SOS CV Kenya is looking at setting up an integrated Children’s Village subject to availability of funds.
This initiative is being driven by the SOS CV Kenya Goodwill Ambassador Ms. Angelique Pitteloud; who since 2014 has undertaken to raise funds for the establishment of the centre.
Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony, Ms. Pitteloud noted that no woman and child should live without ability to access medical services and appealed to the local partners to continue to support the initiative. She thanked the Catholic Church through the Diocese of Marsabit for their generous donation of the land.
Located in Marsabit Town in the North Eastern Kenya, the town is home to majorly nomadic pastoralists with an approximated population of 300,000. The first interaction with the Marsabit community was during the emergency relief program of 2011-2012, SOS CV Kenya’s first ever emergency relief program; giving food items through an electric food voucher system, water and medical services to over 2,000 households, and food items and fresh drinking water to 5 schools -during the then drought period, that had seen numerous loss of lives, and human migration in search of food and water.
During the exit of the emergency program at the end of the year 2012, the beneficiaries were absorbed into the FS Program.
Speaking during the same event Rt. Rev Peter Kihara, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Marsabit noted that the work of SOS CV Kenya since the emergency programme has benefited many children and families in Marsabit. In addition, he highlighted how when approached by SOS CV Kenya for the consideration to donate land, the Catholic Church didn’t see any reason to turn down the request. He hoped that the setting up of the Peace, Rescue and Medical Centre is the beginning of long partnership between the Catholic Church in Marsabit, the community and SOS CV Kenya.
In order to realize the setting up the centre, at a cost of Kes 34Million (Approx $34,000) Ms. Pitteloud together with SOS CV Kenya has held numerous fundraising events in 2015 which include a fundraising dinner (in partnership with the Nairobi Cooking Club and the Capital Business Club), 2015 Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition, and the 2015 Annual golf Tournament all of which have raised close to Kes 12Million (Approx $12,000).
SOS CV Kenya plans to raise the balance of approx Kes 27Million in the course of 2016 through various fundraising efforts including the 2016 Mt. Kilimanjaro expedition in August 2016, and the annual charity golf tournament in December 2016.
Those in attendance during the ceremony included Mr. Chris Jalle Director of Programmes – Regional Office ESAF, Mr. Tom Were, National Director – SOS CV Kenya, Hon. Ms. Yasmin S. Abdulkadir County Executive Committee Member for Energy, Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Bishop Peter Kihara, Bishop of the Diocese of Marsabit, the local member of county assembly (MCA) together with SOS CV Kenya staff and programme beneficiaries from Marsabit FS Programme.