Amra learnt about SOS Children's Villages when a new village opened in her neighborhood in Irbid in the north of Jordan in 1999. Coming from a single-child family, she was drawn to the close-knit family atmosphere at the village and later applied to be an SOS mother at the Village in Amman.
"I was scared in the beginning," recalls Amra, who became an SOS mother less than a year ago. However, she spent two years training in the role, and knew what to expect "Raising children is not an easy task. They need so much care; I have to pay special attention to their individual health and education needs, and - most importantly - I have to understand their different characters," she says.
Amra was first introduced to her SOS family when she began her training as an SOS mother three years ago. She replaced SOS mother Zakia, who was retiring, two years later, and appreciates her support in helping her to settle in. She is convinced that "living with the children while Zakia was still there was extremely beneficial in getting to know them well and understanding their individual needs."
Amra currently cares for ten children, including three with special needs. One of them, 21-year-old Sahira, has speech impairment. "I used to find it very difficult to communicate with her in the beginning, but now that I'm used to the way she speaks I can better understand her and respond to her needs," explains Amra. The other two children have learning difficulties and require a lot of assistance with their school work. Amra’s previous career as a primary school teacher has helped her to support her children with their educational development.
Amra is the most recent SOS mother at the village, where some of the mothers have been there for over twenty years. She has a good relationship with other SOS mothers or "neighbours" as she calls them, who have been there to provide guidance for Amra since she has arrived "They all have been very supportive and kind," she says.
Amra feels that she has already developed close relationships with her children: "When I started working as an SOS mother, I would never have imagined that I would be able to become this close with my children and develop the special bonds we have now," she says. "I am very attached to my children and determined to raise them in the best way I can."
Her children think that she is a brilliant mother. "I love Mama Amra because she makes sure that we are the best-dressed, cleanest, and most well-behaved children at school and in the village," says 12-year-old Aziza. Amani, who is 16, agrees "I miss Mama Zakia, but I love both my mothers equally, because they both love me and have taken good care of me," she says.
Give the Gift of Motherhood this Mother's Day
Find out how you can help SOS Children and mothers like Amra, by buying a gift for your own mother for Mother's Day.