Day 094 Sudan : Khartoum SOS Children's Village

Prior to leaving on our journey we had approached SOS Children's Villages in the UK to arrange for us to visit various villages on our way south.  For one reason or another, it hadn't been done so we decided that we would contact the various projects ourselves once we were in the particular countries.  As it turned out, we didn't have to try very hard because the day after we arrived in Khartoum, we met Amin at the Blue Nile Sailing Club and he happened to know the director of SOS Children's Village.  Talk about synchronicity!

So 2 days before we set off to visit the village, we met with the assistant director Izeldin who was more than happy to arrange for us to pop out to Soba, a suburb on the outskirts of Khartoum.

 

a_SG102363

 
a_SG102355 a_SG102354 a_SG102359
Jihad with Nada, the youngest child in the village. Abandoned and found at 1 week old, she's now a healthy bouncing 6 month old Jan with Nada and Jihad, the village psychologist Mama Miriam, House 9's mother

 

I thought that my heart would break.  It didn't.  Instead our visit to SOS Children's Village in Soba, Khartoum, turned out to be an uplifting, positive experience seeing the children and teenagers in the village healthy, happy, smiling and chatting to everyone.  It's a tribute to the dedication and hard work of the incredible people who manage the organisation and see to the welfare of the children.

a_SG102372 (L-R: Wesal the village Social Worker, Fatma a part time psychologist working with the teenage girls, Jihad the village psychologist, Mona the director of the girls hostel)

This particular village has been created to provide homes for abandoned children and it certainly fulfils its aim.  As well as providing guardianship, life guidance, stability and a loving home to the children, they also have a kindergarten and other services  supporting the community outside of the village.

We started off visiting a couple of houses where between 7 and 9 children are cared for by a house mother and then moved onto the girls hostel where there are 6 teenage girls to a house.  In the one we visited 4 of them are in higher education and 2 working - a real sign of success.a_SG102368 

The houses are decorated and comfortable places for the children and as a whole the village houses and cares for 124 children in total.

a_SG102364 

And this is where you come in.  SOS Children's Villages are doing a fantastic job - you can see that here for yourself.  To sponsor a child directly in the Khartoum village, go to http://www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk/sponsor-a-child/africa-child-sponsorship/sudan.htm otherwise click on the photos at the top of the page or go to www.justgiving.com/gapyear4x4 to donate money to our chosen SOS Children's Village project which is raising money to build a medical centre in the new village in Chipata, Zambia.