Happy childhood memories of SOS Children’s Villages in Namibia

Friday, March 8, 2024
SOS Children’s Villages in Namibia, 2022.

SOS Children’s Villages in Namibia, 2022.


Too young to remember, Josefina’s aunt recounts how she and her sister ended up at SOS Children’s Villages in Ondangwa, Namibia. One night, when she was only two years old, her parents got into a fight. The intensity of the dispute escalated, and Josefina’s mother was hurt and later died. Her father was held responsible for her death and went to prison. Both Josefina and her older sister were taken to live with their great-grandmother, but she was too elderly to care for them. A social worker was called, and they brought the siblings to be cared for together at SOS Children’s Villages.  


Although too young to remember the traumatic events that led to the loss of both her parents, Josefina does remember her first impressions of the SOS Village. 


“I was clinging to my sister and did not want to let her go since she was the only person I knew. I was shy, very shy, with questions going wild in my mind. Why were we there? Why is a new mother being introduced to us? What are we doing in this huge place with all these children running around? Where are my mom and dad, and why are my sister and I alone without them?”


Growing into a new routine with a new loving family


Josefina’s daily routine consisted of attending school, eating meals together, doing chores, schoolwork, and playing outside. After bathtime, she continued her schoolwork, helped her younger siblings and watched TV. Her SOS Mother always wanted the children to watch the news and the weather forecast.  


 “We were treated well inside and outside the SOS Village. We received the best education and good health care, including access to a dentist for free teeth treatment.” 


As she grew older, she participated in school activities, played netball and other sports, partook in art classes and joined the group Teenagers Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse (TADA). On weekends, the children were kept busy with activities like going to the swimming pool and visiting museums. Several times a week, all the children and mothers gathered for Bible study and sang together, which Josefina greatly enjoyed. During the holidays in December, they would go to Swakopmund, a city on the western coast, on a big bus with all the children and SOS Mothers, loving the change of scenery and being by the sea. 


“I liked belonging to a large family. Having a bed to myself, having clothes to wear and not even knowing where they came from, going to school and doing sports. I loved my SOS family and the moms who shared their precious time with us. I never slept hungry or was on the streets. We had no worries about anything because everything was provided for us. I loved writing thank you letters to my sponsors and communicating with them. I enjoyed the holiday trips to different places, movie nights, talent shows, and dances, strengthening our bond as brothers and sisters, and we loved each other.”


Transitioning to independent living


Josefina finished school in 2002, and when she turned 18, she went to live with her older sister in Windhoek. She received ongoing support from SOS Children’s Villages and was able to access all of the funds deposited over the years by her sponsors to help her transition to a life of independence. 


Josefina is now 38 years old, works at an auto manufacturing company, and is the proud mother of three beautiful children. Despite not owning a house or car, she is content with her life and is teaching her children the values her SOS family instilled in her.  


“I'm grateful to have lived the important stages of my life at SOS Children’s Villages because, without all the love and support, I would not be the person I am today.”


Expressing thanks


“Thank you to all the sponsors, donors, and SOS staff for loving and caring for us. Your love, dedication and work are not going unnoticed. Thank you on behalf of all the SOS kids who have already left SOS Children’s Villages and the ones still there. Thank you for all your help, love, time and efforts.” 


“I might not have known my birth mom or felt her kisses and her love, but I got the best of everything at SOS Children’s Villages, and we called our SOS Mothers ‘mom’. Their love stays forever in our hearts, and our bond will never be broken.”

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