Guinea-Bissau – SOS Social Centres
In Guinea-Bissau there are currently two Social Centres for children and the local community, one of which is in Bissau. Many SOS Social Centres operate via Family Strengthening Programmes, which aim to support the wider community. Below is some information about some of the Social Centres that SOS Children runs in Guinea-Bissau:
SOS Social Centres around Guinea-Bissau: In-Depth
Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:
The SOS Social Centre Bissau primarily offers services for the youth. It consists of two rooms for the social workers, a multi-purpose room, a library, a first aid station, three course rooms for further education, and administrative and service block, and a sports ground. Up to 700 people yearly make advantage of the SOS Social Centre.
Work and Achievements:
At country level the Program assists 400 children at school age. It is estimated that 90% of these children are studying at private schools with high school fees to honor if compared to public schools fees. The Care-givers’ choice for private school is justifiable: Fall of quality in the public schools and teacher strikes. Within this context the SOS FSP has been sharing contributions with care-givers in order to permit that those vulnerable children could access Quality Primary Education. The SOS support for year 2009 ranged from children registration at school to payment/supply of school items to most needed pupils in Bissau & Gabú as highlighted in the Initial Assessment Form/Family Family Development Plans. With the regain of credibility in the Public Schools we would propose/encourage in the coming year that the Care-givers stat to gradually send children back to Government Schools and consequently help to reduce costs related to this Program’s component.
In the health and psychological support domain: Average 67 patients (care-givers and children) out of which 41 women have met the Medical Doctor at SOS Clinics (Social Center) for consultation and/or psychological support in the year 2009. Traditionally all the community members not benefiting directly from the Program pay a fee XOF 750 for adult and XOF 500 for children when they come to see the Doctor for consultation ( there is no lab for blood tests) at the Social Centre clinic.
As most of our beneficiaries are under especial medical care (HIV/AIDS affected families), and since SOS Social Centre has limitations in dealing with the enormous problems i.e. health/medications and alimentation and closer monitoring of their health status the FS Program counts with extra contribution of partners (ALTERNAG and CEUS & TERRAS) specialized in the domain of HIV/AIDS testing/treatment/food supply to patients. A project on Institutional Support has been developed and submitted to SNLS (FSP Bissau/Gabú´s & SNLS partnership).