A mother’s love can mean everything (literally) to a child.
Love, acceptance, warmth, compassion, attachment, growth, friendship, physical and emotional development... they are all tied to good mental health in children. As Heather Paul, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages USA, so eloquently tells me, “Think of a parent’s love as oxygen to the brain. Starving a child of this love, creates a serious and sometimes fatal brain injury –an inability to love oneself and others, and even life itself.”
SOS Children’s Villages reached out after reading my post about the documentary A Hard Name – a gut-wrenching and sobering film about abuse and neglect and its impact on adult convicts and ultimately on society. A spokesperson for SOS tells me, “A Hard Name = A Hard Life is a heartbreaking [post], yet this is the type of story that we hear every day at SOS Children’s Villages.”
To combat this, as part of the non-profit’s works, children who have been abandoned or orphaned come to SOS Children’s Villages where they are integrated into a loving family environment. They are nurtured and supported by an SOS Mother who cares for other children; they become a new kind of family.
To honour the “other mothers” who care for these children and for the aunts, uncles, foster parents, grandparents, and sometimes strangers who care for orphaned and abandoned children every day, SOS Children’s Villages is sponsoring a contest. You can submit a story about the other mother (male or female) in your life who took over that role for you. Nominations are accepted until May 22 (only two more days) and winners will be announced on June 16, 2011.