SOS Mother in Colombia plants seeds of love
Ipiales is in Colombia, close to the border of Ecuador. In Ipiales, SOS Children's Villages runs a successful alternative care program outside the village. The program includes more than 60 families, each caring for 6-10 children.
Many families participating in this program are migrants, while others arrived in the area to escape the violence in their regions.
Alma's Commitment to supporting vulnerable children in long-term
More than 12 years ago, Alma Cecilia was on her way to the airport when she saw a sign that said, "SOS Children's Villages will soon be built here." She remembers saying to herself, "I want to participate, I want to be part of that great mission, to help people in need."
Alma was an SOS Mother in Ecuador for seven years before moving to Ipiales, where she has been an SOS Mother for the last five years.
Her first SOS Children's Villages family had 11 children; she remembers that her house had the most children. "It is the best thing that has happened to me in my life because I had the opportunity to plant a seed in each one of the children who accompanied me." The message she gives each children is that they are loved and respected and deserve care and protection.
Alma proudly shares her stories. She remembers when Jorge* came to join her family. He was 19 years old and had been shot six times. She cared for him physically and emotionally, and many years later, as an adult, he still visits.
Many of the children who passed through her home and are now independent adults living their own lives, are still part of Alma's life. There is an emotional bond that is forever.
*Name changed for privacy