|The SOS Mother is the Anchor of every SOS Family|
| Photo: Mr. D. Sansoni|
There is a ghost under my bed every night, can't you put it away?" "Mummy, my bicycle is broken, can you fix it?" "Tomorrow we have a school trip, can I bring chocolate for my friends?" An SOS mother is "bombarded" with many questions, wishes and requests for help of this kind day by day.
The SOS mother is at the disposal of her children, but her children are both like and unlike other kids. They are loving, innocent, energetic, impulsive, and require lots of love, attention and protection. But, different from other kids, SOS children come from difficult or traumatizing pasts. As a result SOS mothers need to be especially patient, compassionate and well trained to help them through a fundamental transition in their lives.
The SOS mother is the anchor of every SOS family. Together with the SOS village director she plans the admission and integration of new children. She creates an atmosphere of caring enabling the children and youths to develop a long-term and reliable relationship with her. A relationship in which the
|Children come to know they can always come to their SOS Mother|
| Photo: Mr. G. Ulutuncok|
children know that they can always come to their SOS mother, no matter what problems they have, and what thoughts might be troubling their minds.
This kind of relationship with their SOS mother enables children to cope with everyday life in a positive way, while also being able to re-examine and work through their own life histories. SOS mothers and their children also have the benefit of being able to refer to a psychologist if need be.
The SOS mother also takes part in organizing the contact with the biological parents in cases where a child still has one or both biological parents. She orients herself towards the needs of the children entrusted to her and establishes and maintains the contact with the parents according to the wants and needs of the child.
|An SOS Mother Encourages her Child |
| Photo: Mr. J. Lugtigheid|
In addition to providing her children with values and a sense of orientation in life, an SOS mother encourages them to form friendships outside the SOS Children's Village so that they can develop a sense of larger community involvement, and integrate themselves within the broader community.
When the children grow older, the SOS mother helps them with their career planning and prepares them for the process of transition from the SOS family towards autonomous life on their own. Even once youths and are no longer living in the SOS family home, and may now live in a youth community or their own apartment, it goes without saying that the SOS mother remains an important person in their life, just like any mother.
Within the villages there are regular round-table conversations between the SOS mothers allowing them to talk discuss and learn from their experiences with their children. Annually or biannually SOS mothers undertake further training courses in addition to their basic training which they completed prior to becoming SOS mothers. This training enables them to further develop on both personal and professional levels.
An SOS family assistant is available to help support the SOS mother in coping with her daily tasks. She does this by helping her care for the children and maintain the household. The SOS assistant is also deputized to take over for the SOS mother when she has a day off, or when she is ill, participates in a seminar or has an important appointment.