The change that came with SOS families’ reintegration and relocation to Buchanan … How SOS families are trying to adapt to life in the community and to socially integrate.
To improve social and physical integration as well as quality, impactful and improved services to SOS families in Juah Town, SOS Children’s Villages Liberia has relocated and integrated two-family homes into the community in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
The families are gradually adapting to the new change and community life. The children are now enrolled in schools in the community and accessing other basic social services. “I am happy about the relocation. I love my new environment and going to school here is amazing,” says Agnes, aged 16.
Sixteen-year-old Agnes and fifteen-year-old Mercy are amongst the children that were integrated in November last year. Both are attending the Brumskine United Methodist High School in Buchanan.
According to Jenneh, the SOS parent of Agnes and Mercy, living in SOS Children’s Village and attending SOS school is completely different from living in the community and attending community schools. In the new school and the community, things are done differently. The school’s teaching and policies are different and every child will have to adapt to the new environment. “The social workers are supporting the adaptation process of my children in the new environment and they will cope gradually,” Jenneh noted smiling.
SOS Family living as a couple:
Meanwhile, Nancy and Konneh are an SOS couple with four SOS programme participants. In the couple’s home, there are two boys and two girls. Three of the children were recently admitted into their SOS family and they are quickly getting adapted. Musa and his siblings are from the Liberia Children’s Village, a temporary care center for at-risk children run by the government of Liberia through Liberia’s Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection (MoGCSP) for at-risk children.
For Monibah and Munah, living in a home with brothers and sisters and a chance to go to school is a great opportunity. “Coming from a home where having a full daily meal is difficult, I am happy that today I can have food, clothes, and can go to school. We never had all of these,” Monibah remarked.
The children’s education is very important for the couple. They motivate the children to study and participate in other extracurricular activities. “Living as a couple makes the family better and efficient,” says Konneh, an SOS parent.
Caregivers staying together as a couple in SOS Liberia is the first of its kind. This is a pilot project that SOS Liberia hopes will yield a good result. This is having an immediate positive effect on the home. For the first time in years, children in SOS Liberia’s Alternative Care programme are staying together in the same house with husband and wife.
Things became to some extent better. Konneh helps in caring and bringing up the children, including barbing the boys’ hair and tutoring the children at home. The couple motivate the children to get involved with chores, such as placement of dining plates on a dining table, putting clothes on hangers, fetching water amongst other things. “Doing chores helps children learn about what they need to do to care for themselves, a home, and a family,” Nancy explained.
Nancy and her husband are together to nurture, love, and protect the children in their care. SOS Children’s Villages believes that care in a family setting is the best option. Creating a stable home and life that aid children in overcoming difficult pasts and healing from trauma.
****For privacy, the names in the story for the children are not their real names****
By Joseph JB. Joboe, Communications & Brand Coordinator