It’s been about two years since Thuri, 9, and Suria*, 3, joined their new SOS family at the SOS Village in Chipata, Zambia. Around that time, their biological mother had passed away and the girls were placed under the care of their step-grandfather. The step-grandfather, however, was unwilling to care for the two girls. Last month, the SOS program director for the SOS Village in Chipata, Claire Chilambo, talked with Thuri and her SOS mother about the special bond they have with one another.
Thuri speaking about her SOS mother:
What makes your SOS mother special?
My mother is caring and loving; she cooks for us and buys nice clothes for us.
How does your mother help you?
When I have homework, she helps me do it and teaches me many things like how to keep my bedroom clean and how to dress to look smart.
What does your SOS mother cook for you at mealtimes? What do you like and dislike?
My favorite meal that my mother cooks is chicken and rice. I don’t like vegetables but my mother still gives them to me.
How does your SOS mother make you feel?
My mother makes me feel special. She tells me I am a beautiful girl and that I know how to dance well. I really love to dance.
Suria (left) and Thuri (right) at their home in the SOS Village in Chipata, Zambia.
Their SOS mother speaking about her special bond with Suria and Thuri:
How did you help make these children feel loved and secure when they came to your SOS family?
When Thuri and Suria came to me, they seemed unhappy and quiet. Little Suria was sick, too. I started to bond with them to make them feel loved and safe. I cooked nice meals for them and made sure they were warm. I talked and laughed with them.
How have you helped these children overcome a problem when they are upset?
Finding out what the problem is or what made them upset, and assuring them that all is well and that they are the best.
Have these children been treated at the Medical Center?
Yes, they have. Every time they are not well I take them to the clinic and I take Suria for her monthly check-up. I am lucky to have a medical center so close by to take my children to. Currently, both girls are enjoying good health.
How are the children doing at school?
Thuri is improving by day and I am happy with her progress. Suria has just started kindergarten. Suria is able to sing nursery rhymes and can count from 0 to 5. She is also able to identify letters of the alphabet.
The girls' names have been changed to protect their privacy.