Most important among the various wings of capacity at the SOS Children’s Villages, is that of the Mothers and Aunties wing- “The most valuable asset in our fight to exhibit effective child care delivery”. On this note, Mothers and Aunties were recruited for the purpose of upholding the belief that every child has ‘The right to belong to a Family and grow up with Love, Respect, and Security’. Hence, Dr. Hermann Gmeiner’s belief that effective child care must go along with professional skills and that; caregivers must be supported with the required tools to help them become professionals.
It was back in February running down to April and in June running down to July, this year that the SOS Regional Mothers and Adult Training Center took up the honor to train our Mothers and Aunties on professional child care delivery. The training of Mothers and Aunties in the three Children’s Villages (Freetown, Bo and Makeni) in Sierra Leone started in February to April, which was the first phase, and in June to July, the second and final phase.
The training which covers relevant modules like Sociology, Leadership, Psychology, Youth Care Competencies, The SOS Brand, SOS Mothers Competencies, the Best Interest of the Child, Pediatrics First Aid, HIV and Aids, and Health and Nutrition, qualified the Mothers and Aunties as Professional Child Caregivers.
Mrs Helen Maraizu, Training Director from SOS Regional Mothers & Adult Training Centre Gambia, appreciated the grandaunts for their relentless efforts in making the day a success. In her address, she labelled the day as historical saying “it’s the first time in the history of SOS SL for such venture to be undertaking. This training serves as a basic training for those that have never been trained before, and a refreshers training for those that have been trained before”.
The Mothers and Aunties who were in a joyful mood, expressed their sincerest thanks and appreciation the management of SOS SL and the Mrs Maraizu for the zeal and passion she took in teaching them from February to July. “We promise to not only be grandaunts for today but also ensure that all they’ve been taught is passed on to their children to help them become self-reliant and well disciplined”
Dr Hermann Gmeiner, founder of the SOS Children’s Villages, who wanted professional child care for the children that came into SOS Children’s Villages for care, in his recruitment, he searched diligently for child caregivers who not only had the love and passion for children but also the professional skills in child care. Dr Hermann Gmeiner said “We must make the profession of SOS Children’s Villages mothers attractive in the intellectual as well as in spiritual sense hereby we must create a new modern women’s profession of nurse, or social worker.” It is the pursuit of this vision that SOS International established this training for Mothers / Aunties and other co-workers in the different region. Thus in 1999 the SOS Regional Mothers and Adult Training Centre was established in the Gambia and serves Sierra Leone as well as other countries in the West and Central Africa region, such as The Gambia, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry and Liberia.