unbezahlte Werbung für den guten Zweck
I had the honor and privilege to visit the SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit in Tirana/Albania and am deeply moved and full of appreciation for the amazing work this organization is doing. SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit supports more than 1,5 Mio. people in more than 130 countries of the world. It offers various forms of support such as schools, social centers, medical centers, vocational training centers, SOS Children’s Villages and kindergardens.
The mission of SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit is to give a safe and loving home to every child. May it be by supporting their families or by offering them familial support in one of their facilities. In its 70 years of existence SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit was able to improve the lives of 13 Mio. people.
On my 1st day at Tirana I visited three SOS-families. These families are either led by a woman or a couple but there are also more options concerning the family leader, like e.g. SOS-fathers. The families are a shelter for children in emergency situations or children whos parents are not able to take care of them. I was able to meet a family with five recently admitted children that is led by an amazing woman. It was heartwarming to see how she handles the needs of these children which are two boys and three girls at the age of 3 to 12 and gives them a feeling of stability and belonging. As you can surely imagine some children are rather careful and traumatized when they newly join their SOS-family therefore it is especially important that the family leaders are giving them the reassurance that their new SOS-family is their shelter and safe haven.
The second family I met was led by a SOS-couple. The children I met there were two girls and two boys who were between 13 and 16 years old. We had lunch together and talked about school and their hobbies. It was really impressive to see how they were all following their dreams, as for example one of the boys: he is a quite good singer and he wants to become a professional musician. The couple that takes care of the children is a perfect example for the different family models SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit is supporting. Furthermore, a social worker whom in this context is called the SOS-aunt or SOS-uncle who serves as a supporter accompanies all SOS-mothers and fathers.
The afternoon of my 1st day at SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit in Tirana/Albania I spent at the Children’s Club. I had a great time participating in the activities the children enjoy, play with them, sing, dance and simply joining them in having fun. It was really uplifting to see how happy the children were and how much they enjoy themselves! Especially with regards to their backgrounds. They were super enthusiastic about the little activity I had in store for them which made me very happy: I brought along little colorful beads and we handcrafted some bracelets.
After this activity I met the third family. This SOS-family contained of an 8-year-old boy and three girls aged 10, 13 and 15, all siblings. I had the pleasure of spending some more time with them by joined them in their dinner preparation and I had some impressive talks with the children and the SOS-mother. It fulfilled me to spend the evening with this warmhearted family and to see that the four siblings can stay together in one family as I know how important and close to each other siblings can be. The effort of trying to keep siblings together and supported in one SOS-family is another great aspect of another great aspect of SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit’s support.
My 1st day at SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit Tirana/Albania left me with lots of feelings and full of admiration for the work the family leaders and all SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit employees and helpers are doing.
My 2nd day with SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit started with a coffee at the EU Project premises and a conversation about the project, its past and future and the importance of the continuous support of the employees and helpers as well as all the SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit’s sponsors. There are many different ways to support SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit in their work and I can only encourage you to go on their website, inform yourself about this great cause and if possible support it to any extent. With only 31€ per month e.g. you can become a village sponsor and support all kids from one village and improve their lives tremendously.
The day continued with me meeting four different families in Sauk and Don Bosko that are supported by SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit. The institution does not only support children in their SOS-Villages but also whole families in their own communities who are in need of help and advice. I met families at different stages of their journey. One just joined the program, one joined the program some time ago, one is about to finish it and I also had the pleasure of meeting a family that has already left the program and is now successfully managing life on their own. The idea behind these so-called family-strengthening programs is, to keep the families together and to help them to live on their own in a moderate way for all the family members.
I was deeply moved by the stories the families told me and full of respect for them because in situations of need they were able to accept help and turn their situations for the better. By meeting families at different stages of their support journey I was able to experience the results of the family strengthening programs and how the families’ lives improve on the path from joining the program to leaving it. SOS-Kiderdörfer weltweit provides those families with different ways of support adapted to the family’s needs and accompanied by a social worker. Some families are in need of farm animals such as chickens and cows to provide themselves; other families need childcare in the afternoon or homework classes. SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit also found a donor for an important surgery concerning the eyesight of a blind family member. Another family was helped through a special program, the father’s club, where male family members learn how to improve their role as father and supporter of the family. By meeting a family that has already left the program I was able to see how lasting the impact of this different ways of help is and that it really teaches the families how to manage their lives on their own.
I ended my day at SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit with some time with the youngsters at Youth Club Tirana. It was amazing to see how these young individuals are interacting and how kind they are to one another. We prepared dinner together and enjoyed a nice evening in a big group.
The great work of every one being involved in this outstandingly important organization is so paying off and it is really heartwarming to see and feel the impact SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit’s work has on each of the lives of the people I got to know in Tirana/Albania. It was a lovely as well as deeply moving experience and I am unbelievably grateful for this journey.
Once more and from the bottom of my heart I would love to encourage you to support this great cause as it really makes a difference in this world!