It's been more than 10 years since Favour left her family at SOS Children's Villages Isolo for her first year at Bowen University in Osun, Nigeria.
Since then, Favour, now 30, has become a wife, a mother, an account executive and a role model for children and youth who live in the village where she grew up.
"I come back to SOS to encourage the kids. I counsel and teach them so they do not go astray," Favour said in a recent interview. "I want them to grow up to be successful. I want them to do better than me. I want them to know that with hard work and a positive attitude they can achieve anything."
When Favour was only a few months old, she was brought to SOS Children’s Village Isolo in Lagos, Nigeria, where she was welcomed into a loving SOS family with an SOS Mother and 10 SOS siblings. Favour doesn't know who her biological parents are or what circumstances brought her to SOS. What she does know is that SOS gave her the love, care and support she needed to thrive.
With the support from her SOS Mother and a stable home in place, Favour excelled in school and passed each year at the top of her class. She was determined to overcome the odds in a country where poverty, child marriage and early pregnancy prevent girls from going to school.
In high school, she attended career workshops hosted by SOS youth leaders at the village. She received trainings and acquired job-related skills such as how to write a resume and apply for jobs. Favour remembers that the she was asked to write down her goals on a piece of paper.
"I wrote down that by a certain age I wanted to finish high school and get accepted to a university. I also wrote that I wanted to have a job, husband and family after I graduated," she said.
Setting goals proved to be a success. After finishing high school, she was accepted into Bowen University where she studied statistics and graduated with the best grades in her department. She later dedicated a year to service as part of Nigeria's National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), a program that requires new graduates to take part in the development of their country. At NYSC, Favour taught mathematics to children six years and up in Ogun State.
Upon completion of the program, Favour returned to Lagos and began to look for jobs. In a country where youth unemployment is as high as 50 percent, this is no easy task. But with hard work and determination, Favour, then 24, landed her first job working as a customer service representative for a Nigerian e-commerce company.
Today, she works as an account executive at Ascon Oil Company Limited in its bank reconciliation unit. This is a dream job for her that allows her to put the skills she learned at school into action. She is also married and is the mother of two children, ages 3 and 10 weeks old. Even though she is fully independent, she visits her SOS village as often as she can. For her, this is her home and SOS is her family.
"I am thankful to SOS," she said. "I learned so many things that helped me become a responsible and independent person. SOS is a home that gives 100 percent to education, medical, security and behavioral support. These are key things that are important to anyone's life."
Favour fondly recalls the letters she would receive from her sponsor. Child sponsorships help provide vulnerable children with the love, care and support needed to thrive and succeed. Sponsor a child today.
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