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2012: 'Reflecting on a Special 12 Months for SOS Africa'

20 Dec 2012


The SOS Africa Charity children with their new school bus

 

2012 has been without doubt a memorable year for SOS Africa. Over the past 12 months, thanks to your help, our staff and volunteers have organised more fundraising events and raised more sponsorship for our children than ever before. We have also received an unprecedented amount of support from independent fundraising events, business sponsorship and child sponsors; over the past year we have received child sponsorship support from the US, Canada, Europe, Africa, China, and Australia. As a consequence, we have been able to fund the education and care of more deserving children than ever before.

It is our pleasure to be able to share a few of these highlights with you here:

 

SOS kids celebrate charity’s 9th birthday with a ride to school in style…

The SOS Africa children's new ride to school  The SOS Africa children's new ride to school

After months of fundraising, the start of the new academic year was marked by the arrival of SOS Africa’s first School Bus! As well as solving the charity’s transport dilemma, the new bus also proved to be a great source of excitement for the SOS Africa Children who were completely unaware of its arrival. It was a delight to see the look of surprise on each of their faces as we picked them up for their first day at school. When little Kabelo leapt into the school bus he uttered: “I love our big car! It is our very own taxi!” Another SOS child shouted: “Yes, and Aunty Jenny is our very own taxi driver!” We are very grateful to everyone who supported our School Bus Appeal for enabling us to transport our children to and from school safely every day!

 

SOS Africa Opens Temporary Aftercare Centre…

The SOS Africa Aftercare Centre   The SOS Africa Aftercare Centre

Since the charity’s founding in 2003, every afternoon our children have attended an Aftercare Centre established by the Mafikeng Preparatory and Primary Schools. Sadly at the end of the 2011 academic year, due to lack of funding, this centre closed. In response, thanks to the commitment of Henry and Jenny Matthews, we were able to establish a Temporary Aftercare Centre which is run by our own staff and volunteers. This centre provides our children with lunch, assistance with homework, extra tuition and extra-curricular activities. Although it was initially seen as only a temporary solution, this centre has been extremely effective, providing the SOS Africa children with a high level of care and support and enabling our staff to keep a better record of their progress.

 

SOS Africa Launches Charity Video…

SOS Africa Launches first Charity Video

In November 2011, Matt Crowcombe and film producer Slade Lamey, flew out to Mafikeng to produce the charity’s first video appeal. The short film was designed to introduce the charity’s exciting 8 year history and show what an impact it continues to make to the lives of children from Lonely Park Township. The final version which was launched in April 2012 was an instant success and has proved to be a vital awareness-raising tool. We would like to thank Slade for all of his hard work and for producing the video pro rata. Slade was so moved by what he saw that he has also become a full-time SOS Africa child sponsor. We would also like to thank Barbara Coleman and Emma Conway, marketing experts from ‘Pimp My Cause’, who have helped us improve the charity’s overall presence on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

 

SOS Africa Children Launch Online Blog…

SOS Africa Launches The SOS Africa Children's Online Blog

In May 2012, with the assistance of Jenny and Elisa from SOS Africa’s Aftercare Centre, we also launched the SOS Africa Children’s Online Blog. This exciting new site is regularly updated by the SOS Africa Children with their school work, drawings and anything they wish to show their sponsors. The charity’s many fundraisers and sponsors have unlimited access to this new resource and are able to comment on posts within the blog. The SOS Africa Children can also view and respond to these comments during their Aftercare sessions every afternoon. This has proven to be a huge success and is a very popular form of communication between sponsors and the SOS children.

 

SOS Africa’s Record Breaking Fundraisers…

SOS Africa's Cranmore Tower Abseil  Anouska's Kilimanjaro Climb  The Cardiff Half Marathon 2012

As previously mentioned 2012 really has been an incredible year of fundraising for SOS Africa. Over the past 12 months more funds have been raised by our loyal volunteers for the SOS Africa children than ever before. SOS Africa's three main fundraising events, the Cranmore Tower Abseil FundraiserThe 2012 Cardiff Half Marathon Team and the London 10K Race have raised an incredible combined total of £22,000!

The charity has also received an unprecedented amount of support from independent fundraising including, Everest and Kilimanjaro climbs by Andrew French and Anouska Norman, a sponsored head shave by teacher Mark Fletcher, a 10th birthday party fundraiser by Francesca Bedford, school fundraisers carried out by students from Dundonald and St Albans Schools and fundraisers organised by businesses, pubs and cub scout groups. SOS Africa’s societies in California and Swansea have also raised invaluable funds for the children they are sponsoring. At the start of the summer SOS Africa fundraiser Matthew Davies was also given the great honour of carrying the Olympic Flame in recognition of his fundraising efforts for our charity.

Congratulations and thank you to everyone involved for their part in this formidable effort.

 

SOS Africa Opens New Shop in Shepton Mallet…

The SOS Africa Charity staff and volunteers alongside Marcus Wyburn-Mason   The inside of the new SOS Africa Shop

It was a very proud moment on Saturday 8th September, when Marcus Wyburn-Mason, President of Shepton Mallet Rotary Club, cut the ribbon and pronounced our first charity shop in Shepton Mallet open. Our vision for the shop was that it should not only raise much needed funds but that it should open the doors to the local community and this has already proven to be true.  After only a few days the shop had already raised enough funds to support a child for six months. A big thank you to everyone: helpers (Shelley, Claudia, Gill, Linda, Rachel, Valeria, Paul, Tracey, Dave and Ann), donators, and the local community.  Already, the shop has helped to spread the word and our message has clearly touched the hearts of the people of Shepton Mallet.

We would also like to thank all of our loyal Ebay customers. SOS Africa’s Online Ebay Shop has raised thousands of pounds for the charity since it was set up earlier in the year!

 

SOS Africa Children Achieve Excellent Exam Results…

The SOS Africa Aftercare Centre   The SOS Africa Aftercare Centre

Without doubt the charity’s biggest priority is ensuring that each of our children receives the necessary care and support to allow them to achieve good grades and succeed at school. When they achieve this it makes all of the efforts of our fundraisers and sponsors worthwhile. At the end of the 2012 academic year we are delighted to announce that all of SOS Africa’s 15 children, from Olebogeng, Thato and Boitshepo in Grade 0 through to Mavis in Grade 9, have passed their exams! This means that they will all be promoted into the next Grade in January 2013. This has only been achieved through hard work and determination. Congratulations to each of our wonderful children and well done for making us all so proud of your achievements.

 

Three new Editions to the SOS Africa Family…

Finally, we are delighted to announce that in January 2013 we will be introducing three new children to our education programme. It is our pleasure to introduce you to Nthabiseng, Angelinah and Ofentse:

 Angelinah   Ofentse

Nthabiseng

We would like to wish Nthabiseng, Angelinah and Ofentse and the rest of the SOS Africa children a very Merry Christmas and the best of luck for the start of the 2013 academic year and thank you, SOS Africa’s supporters for making this possible.

 

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