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Europe

SOS Children's Villages has been working hard to improve the lot of orphaned children in Eastern Europe since the Seventies although it was only in the eighties that our first Village offered Family based care in the Czech Republic. Since then a large number have spread across Eastern Europe offering hope for... … more about our charity work in Europe

A special bond

A daugter's devotion

India

It is usually parents who take care of their children. But roles were reversed last year when SOS mother Reena from SOS Children's Villages in India fell ill.

Reena and Mina in the kitchen

Just a few days before Mother’s Day, she had to go into hospital. Her daughter, Mina, visited her as much as possible and plied her with affection.

Mina prepared food for her mother – cooked exactly to Reena’s taste – and made sure it was eaten. She also gently combed her mother’s hair and checked she took her medicine on time.

When Reena was well enough to return to her SOS family home, Mina stayed by her side, determined to help her mother make a full recovery.

“I was so overwhelmed with Mina’s gestures that I could hardly express my feelings, only tears came out of my eyes,” said Reena.

For Mother’s Day the following year, Reena’s children were eager to celebrate with her. As a surprise, they made a beautiful cake and gave her some handmade handkerchiefs embroidered by Mina.

Reena relishes her special bond with her children: “SOS Children’s Villages has given me an opportunity to celebrate my motherhood multiple times.”

A poem for my mum

Macedonia

Dimitar was 11 when he came to live with Divna at the SOS Village in Skopje. To commemorate Divna’s tenth anniversary as an SOS mother, Dimitar produced a scrapbook of all the important moments of his life with Divna.

Dimitar and his SOS mother from MacedoniaIn the book, Dimitar recalls his arrival at the Village and being taken inside Divna’s ‘House Flower’:

“I saw you. I admit, I was VERY scared, but... I felt warmth when I met you, as if something was telling me everything will be alright.

I walked around the house. I thought ‘Wow, it’s so big and new and beautiful!! I want to stay here!’ You won me over when you said I was your FIRST CHILD and that I can pick any room I want. That was AWESOME!

After lunch, tummy full of potato salad with onions, you took me to buy clothes. Oh joy, child’s joy! I didn’t get new clothes every day and who doesn’t like to get new things.

Despite those moments of buying new clothes, food and getting a room, I cried and you comforted me. You told me that everything will be alright.

Years went by. Many fights, and many beautiful moments. Today, when I think deeper, I understand that a loving home and care are more important to a child than all the things money can buy.”

Dimitar is currently finishing his teaching studies at Skopje university. He has used part of a fund awarded by the government for parentless children to purchase a car. Most days, that car is parked at Divna’s house in Skopje Village.

Poem by Dimitar for his SOS mother, Divna

Dimitar and his SOS mother from Macedonia

Thank you

For letting me love you,
For teaching me to appreciate the little things,
For standing by me despite all the silly choices I make,
For teaching me that hygiene comes first!
For always letting me have salami when I visit, although you cooked lunch,
For not kicking me out even though I come to ‘visit’ every day,
For making my wish come true and buying me my first love - my first bicycle!
For teaching me to laugh and enjoy life despite all the problems,
For teaching me to accept the past to be able to proudly walk in the future,
For loving me as your own child,
Thank you for being, still, my mother and showing me what is love!

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