A Rough Start to Life – December 13 2018 A Rough Start to Life A Rough Start to Life At just four days old, Michael was brought to SOS Children’s Villages Isolo in Nigeria. He was severely malnourished and neglected—weighing less than 3 pounds. Tiny, weak and vulnerable, he had been found in a group of stolen children who were being transported across the country. The Journey from Trauma to Healing So many children come to us through tragic circumstances: poverty, war, abandonment and natural disasters. More than 10 million children around the world have been displaced and separated from loved ones. One survey found that three quarters of refugee and migrant children interviewed said they had experienced violence, harassment or aggression during their journey. Nearly half reported also experiencing sexual abuse. The lucky ones find support from SOS Children’s Villages. Meet one of the children whose life has been forever changed. Michael* When four-day-old Michael arrived at SOS Children’s Villages Isolo in Nigeria, he was neglected and extremely malnourished. His SOS mother, Maria, was absolutely shocked to discover a tiny, innocent baby could be a victim of child theft. At less than three pounds, his weight was alarming, and immediately Michael was taken to a medical facility. Desperately wanting to help the boy, Michael’s SOS mother realized that he was going to need a lot of support and attention. Maria was raising nine other children in her SOS home, and every one of them decided that—as a family—they would do everything they could to nurse Michael back to health. The close teamwork between Michael’s SOS mother, SOS brothers and sisters, SOS health care workers and SOS supporters paid off. It took about four months of constant attention, clinical appointments, rigorous nutrition plans, immunizations, patience and love… but Michael started to heal. Today, Michael is one of the most energetic and cheerful children in the village. He loves dancing and jumps with enthusiasm when he hears music. Sitting with his older siblings while watching cartoons, he smiles at jokes even if he does not understand the meaning. He easily wins the hearts of everyone around him! Providing safety, love and hope for more children While Michael has found support, there are still abandoned children living on the streets and others who have been forced to flee their homes. The physical, psychological and emotional toll on these children can be severe and debilitating. But you can help bring these children off the streets and into a loving home. Through the generosity of our supporters, SOS Children’s Villages offers mental health programs and services to children, families and communities and trains SOS mothers and caregivers to provide critical help to traumatized children. Most importantly, your contribution will bring something these orphaned, vulnerable and forgotten children desperately need—hope. *Name changed to protect the child's privacy.