Children hugging at a tracking tour from the SOS Children's Village São Domingos, Cape Verde.
I would not change my life in the village for anything!
SOS Mother Lizete speaks
Born on the island of Fogo, one of the ten islands of Cape Verde, 33 years-old Lizete is one of the ten SOS mothers from SOS Children's Village São Domingos, on the island of São Tiago. Head of the 'Luxembourg house', she started her work as an SOS mother in March 2003, when the village opened in São Domingos. Prior to that, she was an 'SOS aunt' for one year in SOS Children's Village Assomada.
Mother Lizete does not deny and is not ashamed to say that she embraced the cause SOS Children's Villages because she could not find any other job at that time. But now, even if she was given the opportunity, she would not leave! "I can't leave my eight children, to follow another career!", she says. She even admits that when going on holidays [on the island of Fogo, where all here family still lives], she keeps on worrying and always calls to find out how her children are doing and if they are well taken care of, even though she trusts and knows very well the SOS aunt that takes over her family when she's away! Mother Lizete explains that the children she has under her care are "[her]
children", with only one tiny difference: "they just did not come out of my womb!" She has eight children, aged five to thirteen. Four girls and an equal number of boys. Originally, they come from three biological families. The four boys are in fact biological brothers! Three of her girls also are biological sisters. But in the end, they all treat each other like real brothers and sisters! "Thanks to God our work is bearing fruit!", says Lizete. And she does concentrate all her efforts and care to
guide her eight children and enable them to lead a dignified life. "I'm doing my very best to make sure they'll become recognised men and women and ensure they are well integrated in our society!", explains Lizete. She also calls
on all SOS mothers "to work hard and in partnership, because we all belong to the large 'SOS family'", and makes the following call to the society: "to join the cause, to support our dear and beloved children!".
São Domingos (Portuguese meaning Saint Dominic) is the town that constitutes the seat of the São Domingos Municipality in Cape Verde.
São Domingos has a few primary schools, two secondary schools, one technical school, churches, beaches, a post office and squares (praças). There is a small port at Praia Baixo used for artisan fishing, but most maritime traffic must come through the deeper and more modern ports at Pedra Badejo or Praia.
São Domingos is a Municipality in Santiago island in Cape Verde. The São Domingos municipality was formed primarily to relieve Praia of the administrative difficulties involved in managing both a large capital city (Praia) in addition to agrarian villages.
The São Domingos municipality includes two roads, one of which was widened to three lanes and paved in 2004. The two major settlements in the concelho are São Domingos and Praia Baixo, São Domingos (pop: 13,000) being by far the largest settlement in the area. Smaller settlements surround the area include Água do Gato, Achada Banana and Rui Vaz, which is situated on the edge of a 1 km high cliff overlooking Ribeirão Galinha. While Rui Vaz and Praia Baixo are the main tourist draws in the area, tourism does not constitute a major factor in the regions overwhelmingly agrarian economy.
Farmlands cover the eastern and the central parts, where runoff from the center of the island allows a higher water table and loamier soils than the dense clays found on most of the island.
Mountains dominate the western border, where the steep relief and lack of rainwater runoff makes large-scale agriculture impractical. Several dozen subsistence farming villages dot the main road leading towards Assomada, but produce negligible agricultural products for export.