SOS families – 9 August 2018

Building an individual relationship with each child

SOS mother Patience Shine Ohene from Ghana speaks about her dedication to supporting children as a caregiver

Photo: Awaf Abdul Karim

 

“Whenever I see a child, I feel for them. I always feel for children,” says Patience Shine Ohene, SOS mother at the SOS Children’s Village in Kumasi, Ghana. “I don’t want them to suffer, I want them to be helped.”

Her sensibility for the plight of children made Shine realise that she wanted to work with children on a professional level.

Photo: Markus Egger

 

It was by chance that she met a retired SOS co-worker and found out about the organisation. At the time, she worked at a bank. She learned more about how SOS Children’s Villages supports children in Ghana and she decided to apply for the position of SOS mother so she could dedicate herself to contributing to the well-being of children in need.

Nine years have passed since Shine arrived at the SOS Children’s Village in Kumasi. When she arrived in 2009, the village had just recently opened. Shine had completed the training for her new role and started working as an assistant caregiver before she became an SOS mother in 2010.  

Although there were people in her family who did not understand why she wanted to take on this role, she was firm about her choice.

“This is what I want to do. For me it was the right decision. I don’t regret it,” she says.

Photo: Awaf Abdul Karim

 

Today, Shine lives with nine children between the ages of seven and 14. Her days are busy and start early. All of the children are in school and have to leave the house at an early hour. Throughout the day, Shine makes sure that the children have everything they need in their daily lives. Together with the SOS team, she supports the children so they can reach their individual potential. Despite the busy life, there is also time for play and activities with the children in the afternoons.

Even in difficult moments, Shine does not waver in her dedication to the children in her care.

“Children are always children. Whatever they do, you have to see they are children. When they fight, you have to bring them together and talk to them. I tell them ‘you are siblings, you shouldn’t do that’. It works well.”

Building an individual relationship with each child is very important for Shine.

“Each child is unique. You have to treat the children individually, you don’t compare them. I treat them as they are, without comparisons,” she says.

Photo: Awaf Abdul  Karim

 

When children struggle in school, they receive after-class support and Shine supports them in any way she can so they can learn. Her goal is to see the children succeed in life.

“If my children are successful, I’ll be happy,” she says. Her wish for all the children in her SOS family is that they can do their best in life and that through her support they will be successful people in the future.

 

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