SOS Children’s Villages Entebbe on Friday organised and took time off their normal schedules to do community service in Kitubulu Entebbe as a part of their SOS Day celebrations. SOS Children’s villages provide homes to orphaned and abandoned children in Uganda. The children and the organisation staff all participated in the community clean-up activity that lasted over three hours.
SOS Day is celebrated annually to honour Hermann Gmeiner, who in 1949 founded the first SOS Children’s Villages in Austria. The organisation centres around providing loving homes, hope and all round care to orphaned and abandoned children around the world.
“This year, we have chosen to celebrate SOS Day in a special way by contributing to a national cause to promote hygiene and sanitation as one of the ways for child safeguarding. Our health programmes benefit both our people in the SOS Villages and those in the community. We want to make an impact because this community is important to us,” remarked Olive Lumonya, SOS Uganda’s National Director.
SOS Day, which is often characterised by children’s sports, music competitions and partying was this year celebrated under the theme ‘Child Safety, Everyone’s Responsibility’. to continue with SOS Uganda’s advocacy against child violence.
During his opening remarks at the community, SOS Uganda Program Director, Louis Apenya explained that this year’s theme had been selected to continue with SOS Uganda’s advocacy against child violence and to act as a constant reminder that the Ugandan child has rights that ought to be protected.
The clean-up saw a large turn-up of locals from the community, with most of them contributing cleaning material. One beneficiary expressed her gratitude towards SOS Uganda for committing to changing her life for the better. “I have been with SOS Uganda for a couple of years. What they have helped me accomplish, I cannot repay,” she remarked. Other community members extended their gratitude towards the organisation for appealing to the plight of vulnerable children. “We have visited SOS Entebbe Village. The models they are using to rescue vulnerable children are wonderful and exemplary,” they noted.
Today, SOS Children’s Villages is present in 134 countries around the world, operating in four locations in Uganda. Each of the Kakiri, Gulu, Fort Portal and Entebbe runs a Hermann Gmeiner medical centre that is open to members of the community.