"You can't see into village life from a book"
Five SOS mothers who will live and work in SOS Children's Village Valmiera (to be opened in August 2007) are on a three-month training in SOS Children's Village Islice. One prospective and one experienced SOS mother tell us in an interview about what they learned during the first month of their training.
What does your daily life look like at the moment?
Inita (mother trainee for SOS Children's Village Valmiera): In the mornings, we study subjects such as medicine, psychology and social work - everything we might need in our future work - in the town of Bauska [Islice is a suburb of Bauska]. We spend the evenings here in the family houses, experiencing what life is like in the village.
Iadviga (long-serving mother at SOS Children's Village Islice): For me, the training makes life easier; Inita is the [biological] mother of four and sometimes I can ask her for advice.
How does the training affect daily life in the SOS family?
Iadviga: I think it's also useful for the children that we have the trainees here - they see that there is somebody else who expects the same things from them; it's not only me. Maybe they realise there is a reason why we tell them those things. After one month of training, the kids have got used to Inita. In the beginning it was like this: when she left in the evening, everybody let their feelings out. Now she is like a member of the family.
She is the second trainee I have here and I must say that both of my trainees will love their job. Inita has raised four children, so she is realistic when it comes to bringing up children. For prospective SOS mothers who do not have children of their own this is much harder; I know that because I do not have any biological children. Mothers with children remember that children are not little angels all the time, but for mothers without biological children it's difficult to accept children's shortcomings.
We talk about various topics very openly, but I think it is also good that she sees everything for herself.
What have you learned so far?
Inita: It's really useful to be here - you can't see into life here at the village from a book.
Iadviga: The longer I work here, the more I think about my own childhood and understand my children better because I see myself in them.
If there were no trainees, I would probably plan my time differently; but for me it's important to be able to discuss various topics with Inita. When I compare my ten years of experience here at the village with her experience as a mother of four, I realise that I have not made any major mistakes so far.