In a ceremony attended by hundreds of children from SOS Children's Villages all over Lebanon, SOS Children's Village President Helmut Kutin, inaugurated the fourth village in Ksarnaba, Lebanon, on Saturday, 29 April 2006. The event started with the Lebanese national anthem that the children sang followed by a touching speech by Mr. Kutin which carried a message of peace and tolerance for the people of the Middle East.
Mr. Kutin said that perhaps this new village can act as a message for people to treat each other with respect and love. He also thanked all those who contributed to making this village a reality, and in particular the individual donor who provided the funds, Mr. Kutin gave him special thanks. "The entire funds for the construction of this village were provided by one donor from Germany who completely refuses to be known, which is a rare thing in the world today," Mr. Kutin said.
President Kutin awarded several of the longest serving SOS mothers the SOS ring for their dedication and commitment. Children and adolescents from each village performed dances for the audience. Their amateur performances were followed by a performance of a professional band that danced traditional Lebanese dances.
Children and youth from the SOS Children's Villages in Lebanon all cooperated together to prepare for the event. From the decorations to the food and the dances, all the children worked hand in hand with their mothers and the SOS staff to create an unforgettable event. They were also joined by a group of young volunteers from the surrounding community who contributed to the preparations with a great deal of zeal and dedication.
The new SOS Children's Village of Ksarnaba is home to children from one of the poorest and most marginalized areas in Lebanon. This is the fourth village to be built in Lebanon, in the Bekaa area of the south of Lebanon, one of the most disadvantaged and conservative regions of the country.
The SOS Children's Village in Ksarnaba consists of eight family houses, sports and playgrounds, multi-purpose halls and a workshop. An SOS Social Centre and an SOS Vocational Training Centre were built in Ksarnaba, and 300 girls and young women as well as 150 children from the poorest and most marginalized families of the area, receive assistance there.