Hind came to SOS Children’s Villages Bethlehem five years ago with her two sisters.
“They had nobody,” recalls Mama Layali, their SOS mother. “They cooked for themselves. They lived in an unhealthy house with no furniture.”
When Hind arrived at SOS she was very shy and had difficulty expressing herself. It did not take long, however, for her to adapt to life at the village. It was the first time Hind experienced what it was like to have a mother, a family, a clean house, and the feeling of safety. Hind immediately became close to Mama Layali.
“I felt she was my mom,” Hind says with a smile.
Hind and her two sisters found in Mama Layali a relationship of love they were missing.
“When Hind first came to the village,” explains Mama Layali, “I had to be very patient with her. I had to give her the feeling of safety she was lacking before. I sat with her, talked with her, played with her. I involved her and her sisters in activities of the village. When they came home from school, I was waiting for them. It was the first time anybody did this for them and it made them feel safe.”
What Hind needed most was emotional security, stability and love. She also needed education. Although she was 6 years old, she had never attended school. She first had to go to kindergarten to learn the letters. The biggest challenge was getting her to the same level as those her same age. With the encouragement of Mama Layali and her teacher at the SOS school, she persevered.
Hind remembers her feelings from those first days:
“When I first went to school, I didn’t know how to read or to participate in class. I felt very shy. I tried to imitate the students to that I could reach their level.”
SOS Childen’s Villages has given Hind the chance for a life full of possibility. She now has the basics of life, a loving home, someone to cook for her, a healthy life, and education. Beyond these basics, she has the opportunity to develop. When she came she was a very shy child. Now, with the love and safety from Mama Layali, she is able to express herself. She overcame many obstacles to be in the grade in school that suits her age. Last year, she even reached the highest academic level in her class.
“I was very happy when I knew that I got good grades. I was very thankful to Mama Layali because she helped me and encouraged me.”
Hind can now think about the future:
“I want to be a chef. Whenever Mama Layali cooks in the kitchen, I watch her and ask questions. I want to learn from her so that I can be a chef in the future.”
Mama Layali knows that she must continue to support Hind future development so that she has the chance to become an independent and successful adult:
“It is very important for Hind to go to University. I’m proud that she has improved in her education and I will keep encouraging her to study and improve so that she has the chance to go to University in the future.”
*The names of children have been changed for privacy purposes.