– June 24 2019
Children in need find a warm family and a new future
Radiant, with a smile from ear to ear, the twin boys run towards their SOS mother. The four-year-olds are healthy and cheerful.
“They have had a very difficult start,” says their SOS mother Barbara, who now looks after them and their brother. “Their father died when Theodore and Emory were babies, their mother brought her three children to their great-grandmother and left them there.” SOS Children’s Villages Uganda has not found any trace of her. Their great-grandmother did her best, but she had no more to give: the children became severely malnourished.
“The twins were three years old, but they looked like one year olds. They could not walk or speak. They were really on the edge and needed extra medical attention,” remembers Barbara. “Now, a year later things are going a lot better. They run together through the garden, play, started talking a little and go to kindergarten,” she adds.
The twin boys are thriving at SOS Children’s Villages Uganda, especially with the loving care of their SOS mother. “You notice that they always want to have a trusted person around them. Even when they sleep,” she says. “The boys used to sleep with their great-grandmother and they still do not want to be alone in a bed. They prefer to sleep with me, but with another brother or sister is also good. And always together. If another SOS mother or an auntie is looking after them when I’m not there, they will not go to sleep.”
Although they are still too young to understand their personal story, Barbara supports the brothers in keeping a relationship with their great-grandmother. “Their older brother knows about the situation, Theodore and Emory are still too small. They think I am their mother. Sometimes we visit their great-grandmother. They like that, but they always stay close to me. Somewhere there is an unconscious fear that I will leave them there."
The three brothers are growing up together in their SOS family, together with four SOS sisters and two brothers. “The big ones help me out with the small children,” says Barbara. “It is nice to see, the mutual bond that is becoming ever closer. You sometimes have to be patient, patient to bring them together. But we do it all together.”
*Names have been changed for privacy reasons.
Photo: Joris Lugtigheid.