Building an Individual Relationship with Each Child

SOS mother Shine

SOS mother Patience Shine Ohene speaks about her dedication to supporting vulnerable children in Ghana with SOS Children’s Villages.

“Whenever I see a child, I feel for them. I always feel for children,” says Shine, an SOS mother at SOS Children’s Village Kumasi in Ghana. “I don’t want them to suffer, I want them to be helped.”

Shine’s compassion for the plight of children made her realize that she wanted to work with children on a professional level.

SOS family reading together in Ghana

At the time, she worked at a bank and it was by chance that she met a retired SOS co-worker and found out about the organization. She learned more about how SOS Children’s Villages supports children in Ghana and she decided to apply for the position of SOS mother so she could dedicate herself to contributing to the well-being of children in need.

Nine years have passed since Shine arrived at the SOS Children’s Village in Kumasi. When she arrived in 2009, the Village had just recently opened. Shine had completed the training for her new role and started working as an assistant caregiver before she became an SOS mother in 2010.  

Although there were people in her family who did not understand why she wanted to take on this role, she was firm about her choice.

SOS mother Shine

“This is what I want to do. For me, it was the right decision. I don’t regret it,” she says.

Today, Shine lives with nine children between the ages of seven and 14. Her days are busy and start early. All of the children are in school and have to leave the house at an early hour. Throughout the day, Shine makes sure that the children have everything they need.  Together with the SOS team, she supports the children so they can reach their individual potential. Despite the busy day, there is always time for play and fun activities with the children in the afternoon.

SOS family reading together in Ghana

Even in difficult moments, Shine doesn’t waver in her dedication to the children in her care.

“Children are always children. Whatever they do, you have to see they are children. When they fight, you have to bring them together and talk to them. I tell them “you are siblings, you shouldn’t do that.” It works well.

Building an individual relationship with each child is very important for Shine.

SOS mother and children cooking together in Ghana

“Each child is unique. You have to treat the children individually, you don’t compare them. I treat them as they are, without comparisons,” she says.

When children struggle in school, they receive after-class support and Shine helps them in any way she can so they can learn. Her goal is to see the children succeed in life.

“If my children are successful, I’ll be happy,” she says. Her wish for all the children in her SOS family is that they do their best in life. She is confident that her children will be able to build a healthy, happy and successful future, thanks to the support they receive from her and SOS.

Canadians wishing to help children in need are encouraged to sponsor a childsponsor a Village or make a one-time donation. Your support will help change the lives of orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children. Please help today.