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Winter 2006/2007 Newsletter


Social Centre Ejigbo : Gaining independence through family strengthening

Learning new skills for a new way of life in Nigeria

The SOS Social Centre Ejigbo is in an area of Lagos with extreme poverty and high HIV/AIDS rates. 500,000 live here. Children as young as five walk the streets selling soap and sweets.

For over three years, the centre has helped vulnerable families in Ejigbo; day care for babies and young children; immunisation programme; health care; HIV/AIDS referrals and counselling skills training and micro-finance to start up family businesses.

The centre has helped over 2,000 people, including 300 AIDS orphans. “Without our work here, I would see hundreds of children every day selling on the street instead of the usual twenty. SOS Children gives these families a choice and we give them the opportunity to care for their children.” Miss Bidemi Sorungbe, leader of the SOS Family Strenghtening Programme (FSP), Ejigbo, Nigeria.

Supporting families
Margaret JeJe* receives home support through the family strengthening programme and is currently learning to sew.

As the main carer for her late brother’s children, Margaret continued to work supporting them. The children started getting ill because they were not eating enough. Earning only £8 a month, she could not afford to stop working or to send them to school. Her neighbour looked after them and organised the children to work on the streets during the day.

Skills for life at Ejigbo, Nigera

With the help of the SOS Community Volunteer, Margaret attends the Social Centre and is learning to sew so she can set up a small business. The centre helps her with scholarships for children to attend school. After school the children can go to the day care centre.

“Before I did not believe I could learn. I did not finish school and I did not like school. Now I am learning and talking to other people who have the same worries as me. I am making friends and learning and now I do not worry about the children, I know they are safe” Maragaret JeJe.

* Name has been changed to protect privacy

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