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In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan caused untold devastation across much of the eastern Philippines. With a presence in eight locations across the country, we were on hand to provide support to displaced families and ravaged communities. … more about our charity work in Philippines

A place called home

Mildred works on her homework with her SOS siblings.
Mildred works on her homework with her SOS siblings.

From the Philippines to Kenya, orphaned and abandoned children are provided with a safe place that they can call home. Here we share three children’s stories.

First meet 14-year-old Mildred, who came to the Village in Calbayog, Philippines when she was only two years old. Then journey to Bangladesh and meet Belal, whose SOS mother has made the Village feel like home. And lastly, we'll introduce you to Joseph, a five-year-old boy living at the Nairobi Village who dreams of becoming a pilot. 

Achieving dreams through education

At the SOS Children Village in Calbayog, Philippines, 88 orphaned and abandoned children are provided a loving home. Mildred, now 14, was only two-years-old when she was welcomed into SOS Calbayog along with her brothers. Together, Mildred and her siblings are raised by an SOS mother, whom they dearly call mama.

“I am so fortunate that I have my mama, my brothers and my SOS siblings,” said Mildred. “I have learnt that a loving home is not restricted to blood relation, but it is through unconditional love, understanding and respect.”

Her SOS mother ensures that all seven of her SOS children focus on their education. SOS Calbayog offers a nurseries for children and a vocational training centre for youth in the Village and the surrounding communities.

“Through education and hard work, our mama says we will be able to achieve our dreams,” says Mildred. “I am inspired by different cultures and hope to one day become a flight attendant. I told Mama and she said that it is possible as long as I believe and strive hard.”

Providing safety in Bangladesh

SOS child gathers with his SOS family at the SOS Children's Village Sylhet, Bangladesh
Belal is all smiles as he gathers with his SOS family at the Village in Sylhet, Bangladesh

Belal grew up in a rural community in the Bogra district in Bangladesh. By the age of four, Belal had lost both of his parents. His six step-brothers and three step-sisters were adults with their own families and were unwilling to take responsibility of him.

Fortunately, Belal was welcomed in SOS Children's Village Sylhet. When Belal arrived at the Village he was traumatized by the lost of his parents. With patience and love, his SOS mother has helped Belal begin a new life. “He trusted neither me nor the Village community,” said his SOS mother. “After school, I would sit with him, help him with his homework and play with him.”

Today, he has a group of friends in the Village who he plays cricket and football with. He attends a primary school where he actively takes part in school activities. Support from SOS Children’s Villages has allowed Belal to dream. “I want to be a pilot and fly in the sky,” he says smilingly.

SOS mother embracing her child in Nairobi, Kenya
Mama Pauline giving her son Joseph a big hug at the SOS Children's Village in Nairobi, Kenya

I know my mum will always be there

Joseph is a five-year-old boy living at the SOS Children’s Village in Nairobi, Kenya. He arrived at the Village in 2008, as an abandoned child with his two other siblings. His SOS mother, Mama Pauline, explains that Joseph has become a very happy and sociable child.

Joseph says his favourite time of the day with when his mother picks him up from school. “After school, she always smiles at me and gives me a big hug and a kiss,” Joseph explains. “I know my mum will always be there.”

After school, Mama Paulina sings and plays with all of her SOS children. “When she reads us stories, she doesn’t get upset if we ask questions. I hope I will never grow up so that my mum will always sing songs and read me stories.”

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