Latest SOGNEWS newsletter

  •  Benjamin Whitaker
  •  June 3, 2014
  •  blog

This is SOG Argentina’s third newsletter. Sign up for it if you want to stay posted on fortnightly SOG news.

Hola and welcome to the third edition of SOGNEWS.
Wow, it is June already. This year is truly flying. It has been an actioned packed year so far and by the looks if things are not going to slow down. We have had a regular staff base of between 5 and 7 people for the last month which has been very helpful. We receive young volunteers from Europe who are checked and presented to us by a local organisation ‘Fundacion SES’ who I can honestly say have been phenomenal. I struggle to imagine us being half as effective with out them.
Over the last few months our team has been as follows; volunteers Kristina (73 year old from the community), and Martina (19 year Austrian) in the kitchen every day, two other occasional volunteers Nahid (19 year old German) who comes 4 days per week, helps a little in the kitchen and has taken art, geography and health lessons, Lydia (20 year old Austrian) who comes 4 days per week, helps a little in the kitchen and takes music lessons, paid staff who are all involved in logistics, planning, policies, and day to day functioning, Justine (27 year old from France) who is now in control of the 3-7 year olds, Valeria (34 year old Argentinain) who is drama coordinator and I (34 year old New Zealander), music coordinator.
Our doors are open to any child between the ages of 3 to 11. The only criteria, because of our child safety policy, is that any child must be able to go to the toilet by themselves or have an older sibling who can assist them. Previously we would provide food for all children, then send the 3-7 year olds home and take lessons with the older children. We did not have the capacity, resources or man/women power to manage lessons for all ages. Now that Justine has joined and is taking lessons with they young ones, we are able to cater and provide activitiy for all children that walk through the doors.
Our first parent meeting is this Friday. We have had constant day to day contact with the parents but we haven’t had the opportunity to bring them together and present exactly what it is that we do and also attend to any concerns or queries that they may have. This is a very important meeting for us as the reason we can function is our acceptance in this community. We are planning to present exactly who we are and how we function, show a small video with some photos of our lessons, have open discussions with them, and also offer clothes as we have a large stock pile of donations.
We were approached last week by a local hostel who were interested in supporting ‘Food for Thought’. So we are collaborating with them in planning a fundraising event in two weeks time in their hostel. Through our growing networks we are securing bands, drinks, food and volunteers to have a rocking party! It is short notice but with the numbers we have, we are confident we can pull it off.
So there you have it for June’s first SOGNEWS. We are looking forward to the coming weeks as they will be busy but filled with opportunities to spread the word within Buenos Aires of our organisation and our first project in Argentina.
I hope all is well in other parts of the world. If any of you happen to be over this way at any stage then feel free drop us a line.

Benjamin Whitaker
Social Opportunity Group

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