Flor Monteza has been part of SOS Children’s Village Pachacámac, Peru, for 13 years. She joined the organization when she was 24. Flor says she never expected to make such a difference in the lives of her six children.
Both Edwin* and Mariela* joined SOS Pachacámac during Flor’s first days as an SOS caregiver; Kelly*, Jhony*, Vera* and Linda* arrived later.
“I have learned a lot with them; each child is different and leaves a different mark,” says Flor. “We have grown together, both they and I. I have learned a lot thanks to all of the 19 children I have cared for," she says.
Although Flor has cared for five boys and 14 girls, she says there is no difference in raising them, she has taught them the same values and about their rights. The only difference is that she needed to teach the boys how to shave the moustache, she adds laughing. For her, the most important thing is to see them grow into resilient and caring human beings.
“It is very inspiring for me to see them evolve into good people, when I think that their story could have been completely different,” she adds.
Flor studied nursing but is always looking to learn more. She is currently studying an online degree in psychology. She says at home they all study at the same time and when she has good grades, she sets an example to the children. “This excites them and encourages them to study hard,” she says laughing.
Space and Trust
Kelly* sings along to a joyful song in Spanish in the dining room while she does her homework with a school friend. She loves to write and has beautiful handwriting. Unlike many of her friends, Kelly says she actually enjoys this kind of homework.
Kelly goes to school in the afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Her favourite subjects are mathematics and computer sciences. Her future plans are more on the artistic side, she wants to study fashion design and create her own brand.
Flor describes Kelly as a very friendly and funny girl. And even though she loves family time, she is more reserved with her personal life than the rest of her children and Flor respects that. “What I like the most about home is that Flor and my SOS sisters understand me,” says Kelly. She says her confidant is Mariela*, her SOS sister.
Kelly was five years old when she joined SOS Pachacámac with her older sister, Rebecca, after their mother passed away and their father was arrested and put in jail. Today, her sister Rebecca lives at an SOS youth facility in the city but she visits often, and they talk often as well. Kelly considers her SOS family house her home, her SOS siblings, and SOS mother Flor as her family.
The two girls have also kept in touch with their father. From prison, he would always call to find out how they were doing. He was released from jail last year and the SOS team is now working with him to reintegrate the family. They are all really excited and Kelly promises she will be visiting her SOS home often.
*Names changed to protect children’s privacy
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