In 135 countries, there are more than 6,000 SOS Mothers who are caring for nearly 84,500 orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children.
When a child has no family to care for them, a loving SOS Mother welcomes them into her SOS Family.
As trained caregivers, SOS Mothers heal the wounds of these vulnerable children and then raise them in a nurturing and stable SOS Family.
Read about the extraordinary roles these SOS Mothers play in their children’s lives. They’ve collectively raised over 180 happy and healthy children.
Raising a child is no easy task. Add to this responsibility more than seven years of violent war in Syria, and Mama Fatema becomes an even bigger hero. As an SOS Mother in Syria for more than 20 years, Mama Fatema has raised 30 children, 17 girls and 13 boys. Today, this brave woman has only one goal: to protect her children from the ongoing conflict.
Nearly 50 years ago, Graciela became one of the first SOS Mothers in Chile. Always interested in helping at-risk children, Graciela and another woman helped build two houses out of sundried, clay bricks for two dozen children at the new SOS Village. They had no stoves, heating or television. They washed all the children’s clothes by hand and made fresh bread at home by purchasing 100-pound bags of flour. Now 66 years old, Graciela has raised more than 100 children as an SOS Mother at the SOS Village in Chile.
An SOS Mother for 23 years in Thailand, Krongtip has raised 34 orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children. Although these are not her biological children, she feels extremely committed to making them successful in life. “No matter what their problems are, I just give them a hug and they become my children,” she says.
A former nurse, Sindy has helped raise dozens of orphaned and abandoned children at the Pietermaritzburg Village in South Africa during the past 19 years. One of her children is Matthew, pictured next to her. Matthew was abandoned at just 9 months old, but thanks to Sindy, Matthew received the strength and support he needed to overcome his tough beginnings.
“People would keep telling my mom that she was wasting her time with me in the regular school. But I knew that as along as my mother was there, I could do it. Their negativity made me strive for success. It made me focus.”
Matthew, South Africa
“I had all I needed and I had the unconditional support of my SOS Mother. She and all the people who work for us are much more than just educators. I could not be more grateful.”
I was 6 years old when my parents died in a car accident. My uncle couldn’t care for me so he took me to the SOS Village in Santo, Haiti. There were 19 homes in the SOS Village. I lived in one of them with 10 boys and girls — my new siblings — and my amazing SOS Mother Justine, who has dedicated her life to raising vulnerable children for the past 24 years. Every night, my SOS Mother spent time with each of us before putting us to bed. We were like any other family. It was a home full of true love.
“I was a victim of self-pity. Whenever I thought about my biological parents, I cried. I am told my mother died from HIV/AIDS, and no one really knows what happened to my father. For six months after joining my SOS family, I could not shake off this deep sense of loss. It was consuming me. But my [SOS] Mother stood by me, she comforted me, loved me and patiently counselled me. She gave me hope. I live on the truths she has instilled in me. My mother has raised me to be all I can be.”
Across the globe, SOS Mothers dedicate their lives to raising vulnerable children who have no one else to care for them.
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