By T. Saye Goinleh
SOS Children’s Villages Liberia and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) recently collaborated to reunify eighteen children who have been in the care of the organization for the past six years with their parents.
According to the SOS, the process of reunification is part of the group’s program which allows children to be reunified with their biological parents or other close relatives in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.
The SOS says United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) mandates that every child has a right to a family and that children have the best chance of developing their full potential in a family environment.
But the organization expressed regret that unfortunately for large numbers of children having a happy and supportive family is like a distant dream due to different reasons like death, desertion, poverty as well as abuse at home sometimes.
The SOS Children’s Villages in Liberia is currently engaged in providing a nurturing environment for children without parental care modeled and implemented through two villages in the country, Juah Town, Grand Bassa and Matadi, Montserrado County.
Speaking at the ceremony while turning over the children to Hon. Lydia Mai-Sherman, Deputy Minister of Gender for Children and Social Protection, SOS Children’s Villages-Liberia’s National Director, Augustine A.K. Allieu narrated that the organization owns it as duties to itself and the children to take all necessary cares of them.
“This is why we are therefore in collaboration with government reunifying these kids with their parents or close relatives,” Allieu announced.
Allieu also lamented that they at (SOS) got these children from the government; therefore, after carefully examining improvements in their lives and that of their parents, SOS was hereby using this opportunity to turn over the eighteen children to the government to subsequently be turned over to their parents or relatives for reunification although they will be missed by the SOS family.
Allieu thanked all those who helped to give the children suitable and basic lives necessities and applauded the role of SOS mothers and other co-workers while at the same time acknowledged the support of the government through the Ministry of Gender, Children & Social protection. He used the occasion to plead for more government supports, especially in the area of electricity and pipe-borne water.
Receiving the children Hon. Lydia Mai-Sherman thanked SOS-Liberia for the level of works done in Liberia thus far, noting that she was absolutely happy and impressed with everything that SOS-Liberia did for the Liberian children and SOS globally.
“All these years the children enjoyed the love and affection from SOS Children’s Villages and their SOS mother; and after all that, they will be reunified today with their biological parents or close relatives today,” Madam Sherman lamented, but in an excited tone.
The Deputy Gender Minister acknowledged that it was about time that the government supports SOS Children’s Villages-Liberia work in other areas such as electricity and water, a request earlier made by SOS national director, Allieu.
SOS children’s Villages work in partnership with the Department of Child Welfare and Protection Services to ensure that children in need of a new, permanent home come to live in a Village. Usually SOS mothers build a close relationship with every child entrusted to their care and provides them security, love and stability that each child needs.