December 15 2004
Talented young journalists report from SOS Children's Village facilities
14/12/2004 - Winners of this year's "School Newspaper of the Year" competition, organised by German magazine "SPIEGEL", went to Ghana, Gambia and Armenia and did some research on the ground in SOS Children's Village facilities.
For the third time already, German promoting association SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit featured as a cooperation partner for the "School Newspaper of the Year" competition organised by German magazine "SPIEGEL". Last year, winners of the competition went to Belarus, Poland and Bulgaria; winners in the 2002 competition went to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Italy, Swaziland, Paraguay and Argentina.
This year again saw five winners "travel the world": Two each went to Gambia and Armenia, one to Ghana. They visited SOS Children's Village locations and prepared reports on what they had found out.
Their reports tell us about the children, their biographies, their living conditions, their new mothers, and the many small steps taken which help lead the children to living independent lives.
Still, the competition winners also found powerful and empathetic words to describe the lives of the majority of the population in the country and how they are paralyzed by misery, decay and desperation. The children living in the SOS Children's Villages were once victims of these circumstances; today they are among those who have been saved from this plight.
What makes the reports so interesting and varied is, on the one hand, the brilliant language and remarkable perceptive faculty of the young reporters, on the other hand the people big and little at the SOS Children's Village facilities.
For example, in Ghana we meet students of the Hermann Gmeiner International College and experience how they live their lives between discipline and social welfare - hoping for a brighter future to come one day.
In Gambia the young reporters also met children who are struggling for survival living on a garbage heap - they have not found a place in an SOS Children's Village yet. In Armenia, the young reporters were struck by how much patience and love SOS mothers must have in their hearts to win the trust of traumatised children.
SPIEGEL TV station XXP aired the reports prepared by the winners of the "SPIEGEL" competition on 14 December 2004 as part of the programme "XXP unterwegs" (XXP on the road).