Monrovia, October 3, 2019-Fifty four SOS Mothers and social workers from SOS Children’s Village Jauh Town and SOS Children’s Village Monrovia concluded training on Care and child development in Monrovia at the SOS Children and youth care center. The week long training organized by SOS Children’s Villages Liberia focused on gate keeping and social responsibility.
This training builds on Child Care professionals to include conflict management and understanding the emotional need of a child in their regular care and family management.
The care professionals’ technical skills training package was developed to enable trainers to train caregivers and social workers to deliver quality care services to programme participates. The two weeks training consists of two sessions with topics focused on SOS care promise, Child development, family development, Resources management, compliance & Integrity amongst other.
Support to SOS caregivers and social workers is an important part of SOS Children’s Villages policies and investment packages, as enshrined in the SOS Care promise and commitments. Care as it is defined in SOS Care Manuel, is “parenting children and young people.” It covers both care in families of origin and care in an alternative setting.
At SOS, the care commitment is an active promise that every staff live out daily, as the organization drive towards quality is never over. SOS Children’s Villages continuously seek improvement and learn from experience, partners and the children themselves.
The SOS Care promise was unanimously approved by SOS International Senate in April 2018. It is a policy that articulates works via the principals and values that form the foundation of SOS works.
“Our work at SOS is a continuous efforts to promote Child Care and Rights in Liberia,” said Mr. Augustine Allieu, SOS Children’s Villages Liberia National Director.
Given the growing need for family-based care for children who are at risk of losing or have lost parental care, SOS Children’s Villages Liberia over the past eighteen months have accelerated the provision of quality care for children in SOS programme. SOS Children’s Villages Liberia have setup and refurbished children and youth care training center.
The center over the months have been used to train care givers, social workers as well as SOS co-workers. SOS mothers and Caregivers are primarily responsible for the protection and daily care of children in their care. This is in coherent with UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care and SOS protection policies.
“When we identify gap or child protection risk, we immediately respond to mitigate the risks and take the necessary actions in the best interest of the child,” Mr. Allieu added.
The Child Care professionals and technical training teams were led by SOS Human Resource Organizational Development Manager, Madam Rachel Williams and an external partner Madam Martha Ballah, an independent Consultant.
Madam Rachel Williams, expressed SOS gratitude to Martha and her Team for conducting the training and uniting efforts to support SOS work in Liberia. She at the same time appreciated the Caregivers for their level of cooperation.
“Their level of participation was very high and they were very eager to share their experience on the topics discussed,” Said Madam Rachel. She added the management is working with the government and other partners to ensure care givers and social workers are accredited by the government and relevant institutions.
On her part, the lead trainer Madam Martha Ballah thanked SOS Children’s Villages Liberia for affording them the opportunity to support their work. She asked the caregivers and social worker to keep focus and do their work.
SOS National Director, Mr. Allieu also conducted three training sections on the topics Community networking and family development and problem management. He used the occasion to his share his experiences during the training.
“The SOS mothers and Social workers’ enthusiasm during the training was quite notable, and this will encourage us to continuously develop their capacity,” said Mr. Nehmah Yeanay, Monrovia Children’s Village Local Alternative Care Coordinator.
Among those who participated in the two week intensive training sessions was Ruth Blama, a Caregiver. She said our participation in these sessions not only allowed us to acquire new knowledge, but also to share our experiences.
“We are all on the same page – we want the best for every child who is entrusted to us. We have to help the children, by that we too have to set a good example for them to follow, she says.”
The Care We Promised:
Little Joycee enjoys the care of her mother Ruth
SOS Children’s Villages Liberia is increasingly becoming more invested in systematic reform approaches to address care and self-reliant. One of the most pressing concerns in the organization is to have a long term impact on the lives of programme participants. Identifying ways to impact the lives of children, young people as well as families is something that can’t be compromise.
Ruth is one of 54 SOS mothers who undergo periodic trainings in child care.
“I decided to become SOS Mother few years ago because I love children. I like to help to nurture children and young people, by doing this, they too will learn a lot of things that will help them to become a better person, says Ruth.”
Ruth Blama has dedicated her time being an SOS mother at the SOS Children’s Village Monrovia, caring for children over the years. Reflecting on her over 6-year service as an SOS mother, Ruth has a lot to be proud of. “I think SOS have given every child in the programme that space and the education that can gradually help them be productive,” Ruth emphasizes.
For her, success means that the children are doing well. That they can overcome the challenges and become self-reliant.
One of the challenging moments she remembers was when she started taking care of little Joycee, who arrived at the SOS Children’s Village when she was just 5 months old.
“That is when I learned how important early childhood development is cardinal to childhood. Joycee was so young I have to give her special attention and also encouraged her siblings in the house to support the little child get alone,” Ruth lamented.
One of the most important thing for children is to feel loved, and that they learn to love others. With this foundation, they too can be better parents in the future. The love of a mother and a father is essential to the development of children. Over six years in SOS Monrovia Village, Joycee and the rest of the children are enjoying the affection and care from their SOS mothers and the people around them.
Written by: Joseph J.B. Joboe, SOS Communications & Brand Coordinator