November 5 2007
New SOS Children's Village inaugurated in Tanzania
05/11/2007 - On 1 November, Helmut Kutin, President of SOS Children's Villages, inaugurated the recently opened SOS Children's Village in Dar es Salaam.
A new SOS Children's Village in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, has been officially inaugurated by the President of SOS Children's Villages, Helmut Kutin. Under deep blue skies and in temperatures around 30 centigrade, President Kutin, together with guest of honour, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Mary Nagu (who is also chair of the SOS Children's Villages Tanzania Board of Trustees) declared the village officially open.
The ceremony, which was attended by several ambassadors and diplomats, including the ambassador of Denmark, was preceded the day before by the unveiling of plaques commemorating the financers of the village, the John and Berthe Meyer Foundation in Denmark, through SOS Children's Villages Denmark, who were the principal financers, and Swiss International Airlines who paid for the construction of one family house.
The unveiling of the donor plaques was also attended by the Danish ambassador, Mr H.E. Sorensen, and the general manager of Swiss International Airlines in Tanzania both of whom planted a tree during the ceremony. The following day a team of flight crew from Swiss International Airlines came to the village to visit the family house that they helped to construct, to meet the children and to plant their own tree outside the house. Swiss flight crews will be encouraged to visit the house whenever they are in Dar es Salaam and will continue to raise money to assist the family house expenses. The chair of the Swiss International Airlines crew association which is raising money for the family house, Captain Peter Laasner, said during the opening ceremony, that, metaphorically speaking, they were taking the family to a destination unknown, and they looked forward to the journey ahead.
The new village, which has 13 family houses and an SOS Kindergarten was opened in March this year and joins two other villages in Tanzania - in Arusha and Zanzibar. Plans are already underway for associated family strengthening programmes which will benefit the surrounding community.
During his visit to Dar es Salaam, Helmut Kutin met the President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete at his residence in State House and held friendly and positive discussions on the future of SOS Children's Villages Tanzania. he president said that he hopes to visit the Dar es Salaam village when time allows.