“Today we celebrate,” laughs Mama Merche, the SOS mother who has dedicated her life to looking after the five children in the family. “A whole year in this house! What an accomplishment! We started with new children in a new home and we’ve made so much progress.”
A house becomes a home
A year ago, the newly built house in the Pachacamac Village stood empty, awaiting the arrival of its first residents, Daniel, Marco and Lucia.
For all three children moving into their new SOS family home meant much more than having a roof over their heads. It meant that they would finally have the love, care and support they so desperately needed. When they first arrived at the Village, they were malnourished, illiterate and the boys were in need of psychological support. Today, they are flourishing. “I look at them now and see how far they’ve come,” says Mama Merche. “Reading and writing! This is such a joy!”
The family quickly grew from four to six with the arrival of Rebecca and Sylvia. “That was quite a challenge,” says Mama Merche. “Rebecca and Lucia clashed immediately. Lucia wouldn’t share anything with her new sister and would say mean things like ‘She is my mum and doesn’t love you’.”
Despite the difficulty of the situation, Mama Merche was able to fall back on the specialist training she had undergone to become an SOS mother. She quickly resolved the problem, making sure that she always treated them exactly the same way.
“Whatever one girl would have, the other would have it to.” Today the girls are the best of friends and are always there for each other. “That pleased me so much when I realised they were looking out for one another,” says Mama Merche. “They are inseparable – they do everything together. I have five children and my love and affection goes to all of them equally. The key for this family to succeed is affection, a lot of affection.”
Our SOS mothers like Mama Merche are given over two years of training before they can head their own family. Discover more about what it takes to become an SOS mother.
Mama Merche is grateful for all the support and advice she has received from the team of psychologists, psychiatrists and other childcare professionals that advise SOS Children’s Villages. “This is my first time as an SOS mother,” she says. “It’s a big challenge for me to put into practice everything I learnt as an SOS aunt assisting an SOS mother, but the team of professionals supporting me have made me more confident and I am succeeding.”
It has been a challenging year full of highs and lows, but Mama Merche wouldn’t change anything. The nights spent as a family infront of the TV watching a film and the day trips to the local swimming pool and zoo make it all worth it.
“I’m so glad to be with them,” she smiles. “Whenever they call me mummy, it melts my heart.”
We have been working to give children like Daniel, Marco, Lucia, Rebecca and Sylvia in Peru loving homes for over forty years. It is only thanks to the generosity of our wonderful supporters that we are able to keep building new family homes and give even more children the care and support they deserve. Thank you.