Ms Rita Kahurananga, the SOS Children’s Village National Director speaks during the gala dinner held over the weekend in Dar es salaam
When the SOS children’s Villages in Tanzania say, ‘A loving home for every child’ they did not realize who had been watching. They were recently recognized by the most powerful group in the business community, the CEO Roundtable in Tanzania at their annual Gala Night which held recently.
Ms Rita Kahurananga, the SOS Children’s Village National Director, was honored as the ‘2011 Public Service Partner of the Year’ for her leadership role and commitment in facilitating Public-Private-Partnership.
SOS Children’s Village is an independent non-governmental and non-denominational social development organization founded by Herman Gmeiner in Austria in 1949. They have been in Africa for forty years but in Tanzania since 1991. Their desire for all the children in the world is to ensure that every child is in a caring family and grows with love, respect and security by building ‘A LOVING HOME FOR EVERY CHILD’.
They operate Villages in Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar and are Arusha. They will start building the newest and biggest in Mwanza in January 2012. Beyond the Villages, they have kindergartens, schools, youth facilities and medical centres from which almost twenty thousand children are beneficiaries.
Their primary overall goal is to support children at risk of losing parental care: children whose basic needs are being neglected or are abused because their caregivers lack the capacity or commitment to adequately care for them. Secondly, the organization targets children who have lost parental care: children who are not living with a parental caregiver for whatever reason and under whatever circumstances.
Ms Kahurananga, appreciating the award in her speech at the gala night, ‘I am most grateful to God for this award. I am grateful for His enablement’. Recognizing the need for Private/Public Participation in moving the country forward, she said, ‘We have seen amazing strides. We complement what he government does. We have worked with government to identify the really needy children’.
In describing the SOS house model, Ms Kahurananga explained, that each Village comprises of a number of houses, each of which has one mother and ten children. They are called Villages because they live in a community with neighbors with which they interact. Each Village has a Director who manages the affairs of the Village. There are currently over 300 children in the three Villages in Tanzania.
Ms Kahurananga in shedding more light on their activities, talked about the Family Support Program which cares for almost two thousand children in their homes of Origin. ‘We support the parents, not just by helping them provide support for the children, but also assisting them with income generation. We don’t just give them fish, we teach them to fish’.
In telling the SOS Children’s Village story, Ms Kahurananga said ‘For us to get noticed, we must be doing something right. We have been recognized as a leader in child care and are now involved in teaching others how to do it right’.
She added, ‘We have enjoyed a lot of goodwill from both the public and private sector. This has to continue. It means you have been working with us. However, we are at the stage where we need more support. Our target is to reach one million children through our programs and facilities by the year 2016.’
Her passion comes through as she talks about the staff at the Villages. ‘The key word is passion and commitment with which our staff carry out their duties. Let me take this opportunity to inform you that our children took Position One in the Class Four and Six national exams this year. Our people work from their hearts. We continue to move forward. We are looking at Mwanza, Mbeya, Pemba, Shinyanga, Lindi, Mtwarra, Bagamoyo in the future’.
Ms Kahurananga, ended her speech, by throwing a question at the Who-is-Who of the business community, as she solicited their support,’ We have a growing relationship with the private sector. We are working on growing it further. However the question is, what do you want to do? How do you want to partner with us?’ This was the call to action by Ms Rita Kahurananga, National Director of the SOS Children’s Villages in Tanzania, as she received her award as ‘2011 Public Service Partner of the Year’ from the CEO Roundtable in Tanzania. Well done Rita, Well done SOS Children’s Villages.
Ms Rita Kahurananga, the SOS Children’s Village National Director greets some of the guests at the function
Ms Rita Kahurananga, the SOS Children’s Village National Director, being honored as the ‘2011 Public Service Partner of the Year’ by the Chairman of the CEO Roundtable Mr Ali Mufuruki
Ms Rita Kahurananga, the SOS Children’s Village National Director greets some of the guests
Ms Rita Kahurananga, the SOS Children’s Village National Director