A Tribute to SOS Mothers

SOS Children’s Villages South Africa
SOS Children’s Villages South Africa.

For more than 30 years SOS Children’s Villages South Africa (SOS CV) has been caring for children who have lost or are at the risk of losing parental care.  And at the center of this family-based care organisation, are the SOS Children’s Village mothers – women who devote their lives to caring for and raising children whose own biological mothers are unable to– either as a result of extreme poverty, terminal illness, death, abuse or neglect.

Their task is never easy.  At SOS Children’s Villages, the mother could have up to eight children of all ages under her care in a family home.  These children sometimes come with behavioural and emotional issues. For the mother, the physical care and attention is sometimes a smaller task than the challenge of rebuilding the child’s trust and establishing a loving relationship with a child who, has lived through more trauma.

And yet despite these challenges, mothers devote their time, energy and love to help heal broken hearts.  Together with the support of the organisation, the mother is responsible for raising well-rounded children, in a loving home environment, providing for their emotional and physical needs, , so that one day they may become self-reliant.  There are countless stories of children who go on to live fulfilling lives both personally and professionally and start their own loving families – thanks to the devotion and love of their SOS Children’s Villages.

As we celebrate women’s month in South Africa, we pay tribute to mothers of a different kind, whose role is so pivotal in rebuilding broken lives and raising orphaned children in loving homes and environments,” says Patrick Kulati, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages South Africa. “The mothers form the backbone of what SOS Children’s Villages does. They have the enormous task of motivating, encouraging, loving and supporting children that come from diverse backgrounds to believe that anything is possible. It is not easy to be an SOS Children’s Villages mother and we salute their incredible work.”

About SOS Children’s Villages South Africa

SOS Children’s Villages is an independent, non-governmental organisation that advocates for the rights of South Africa’s most marginalised children. We offer loving, family-like care for children and young people who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care. Established in 1984, SOS has eight Children’s Villages and three Social Centres across eight provinces.

Each year our Alternative Care, Family Strengthening and Youth Employability programmes provide life-changing support to children and families across the country.

The Alternative Care model comprises of four principles that include a mother (each child has a caring parent), brothers and sisters (the family ties grow naturally), a house (a secure place to grow up in) and a village (the SOS family is part of the community).

Our Family Strengthening Programme aims to enable children who are at risk of losing the care of their families to grow within a safe family environment. We work in co-operation with local authorities and other service providers to empower families and communities to effectively protect and care for their children.