A new future
An SOS mother to eleven children for four years in Swaziland, Dudu has had plenty of practice at parenthood.
But like most of us, Dudu understands there are always new things to be learnt. Dudu is therefore proud of the fact that she’s been attending the SOS Adult Training Centre in Johannesburg to develop her parenting skills. At the centre, Dudu has been studying techniques for helping children move on from their past.
Dudu’s youngest, two-year-old Nkosi, sits on her lap while she talks. Nkosi came to live with Dudu at just one month old, after his granny, who was his primary caregiver, died. Occasionally, the toddler holds Dudu’s face to draw her attention back to him. Sometimes, she tickles the little boy.
With her newly honed parenting skills, Dudu knows she can raise Nkosi in a firm but caring way which will allow him to “be his own person”. Crucially, with the stability and warmth of her love, Dudu is confident Nkosi will “forget about his yesterdays and that he was a little boy whose parents died”.
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Love is the most important thing
Nora has always dreamt of having a big family. Before she joined the Children’s Village in Islice, she raised two children of her own.
Now, as an SOS mother, she has four more. “My dream has come true – I have six children in my family now!”
Caring for all her children is no easy task, but Nora takes it in her stride. Sometimes, though, she feels like a “squirrel in a wheel”, her day passing by in a whirlwind. It begins with wake-up calls and breakfast for all, followed by getting ready for school and escorting the little ones to nursery.
Then there are all the daily chores – washing, cleaning, shopping and cooking – before it’s time to welcome the children home, serve a family dinner and help with homework. By bedtime, Nora is exhausted – but happy!
“Raising children with love is the most important thing,” she says. “The most difficult task is to find the right approach to each of them because they already have their life story.
Some of them have changed several foster families before ending up at the Village. They had to learn to trust people again. It took quite some time before I could see them change. They started to accept me. They opened up and were ready to receive love.”