The visiting SOS team poses for a photograph with their hosts
Management of the SOS Children’s Villages has embarked upon a programme to seek alternative funding for the activities of the non-governmental organization.
Speaking to Daily Guide when he led a team from the establishment M. Kojo Atta-Krah President/Board Chair of the non-governmental organization with its headquarters in Austria said the new approach has been informed by developments such as increased pressure on the traditional source of funding for their humanitarian activities and a curtailment of funding from the traditional source.
Thirteen countries with the SOS Village programmes he said are now independent of the parent body in Austria amongst them are Poland, South Africa and Mauritius.
The SOS in their efforts to secure the future of distressed children have established schools from primary to College levels he explained but the catch about the latter is that payment is demanded for that segment of education.
The SOS College which serves other inlets in Africa admits only exceptional students who are admitted through competitive examination he said.
The initial fee of $17,000 for successful students he said opens opportunities for high-notched universities worldwide. The SOS College in Ghana he added has twelve Ghanaians and the rest from others parts of the continent.
The First Lady Madam Rebecca Akufo-Addo he announced has agreed to render support to the NGO when she was approached.
Subsequently he added all first ladies will have roles to play in the running of the villages.
The Village concept he said is witnessing an alteration; selected parents would be identified and supported to manage their children who would have otherwise not been given the necessary support.
Under the current arrangement there are villages scattered across the country where children are assigned to mothers who are responsible for their upbringing he explained adding that this is in tandem with the dream of the Austrian founder of the SOS concept with the family as cornerstone.
There are he said 700 children in the Villages of the SOS with over 50,000 benefiting from other services such as the oral hygiene programme being provided.
With increased pressure he went on, the need to adopt a new concept as explained earlier has become necessary.
The SOS has taken up oral hygiene of children and in some instances provided the necessary intervention to ensure the dental health of children.
The SOS Children’s Villages Ghana provides abandoned, vulnerable and destitute children with safe, stable homes and loving families. They are different from traditional foster homes because once they are admitted they remain in these villages until they become adults.
The family concept, unique to the SOS Villages is made up clusters of about 12 to 15 family houses integrated into existing communities. They leave upon attaining adulthood, educated and equipped for independent livelihood.
The Country Director, a Liberian is a product of the concept and there are medical officers, accountants and other professionals who passed out through the gates of the SOS Village concept.
To sustain the lofty concept the SOS Villages would need the support of all to continue rendering support to the distressed and vulnerable child and there are countless in every society across the country.
By A.R. Gomd