A mother and child from Ben Tre in Vietnam
An SOS youth from SOS Children's Village Viet Tri tells about growing up in the village, her feelings and what a mother's love means:
"It is convincingly proved that in life nobody is likely to lose everything he/she has: a loss is more often than not made good by an offering of some kind. Like other children in SOS Children's Village Viet Tri, we had been grievously deprived of our dearest ones. However, the kind hearts in SOS Children's Village Viet Tri have provided us, the unfortunate children, with caring mothers, brothers and sisters and a cosy net in which love prevails.
I was surprisingly filled with multi-dimensional impressions the moment I learned of my admission to SOS Children's Village Viet Tri. It was beyond the imagination of an eight-year-old girl that I was then to figure out what life was like in an SOS Children's Village. My first impression as I walked into the village was completely different from what my tender mind could think of: it was, in fact, a totally differently world. Architecturally, it was a blend between a modern European setting and a national traditional structure vividly demonstrated by rows of houses - on - stilts. I had learned in books, or rather through the information that had made its way into the peaceful village where I had lived. It was just enough to create the first impression on me - so marvellously beautiful - of the SOS Children's Village. The impressions were embellished by the predominant greenness of fruit-trees. Here and there were flower beds in a riot of colours and from time to time sparrows swarmed down from housetops. I looked at the new life, new people and new scenery with great excitement. My home village scenery, now that I come to think of it, was perhaps the same. However, there was hardly anything special in it as I was then too busy struggling for life.
However, what has struck me most is the existence of a real family life - after what seems to be a very long time, I have now again a family, with a mother and brothers and sisters and the village as my big family. Practical reality has expected me to give up the old lifestyle and to adapt myself quickly to the new life. I have enjoyed the loving care of my mom, and every source of love and care. They are the driving force that has tided me as well as other children in this village over all overwhelming odds. I have come to understand that many of my friends, brothers and sisters, have been welcomed to the SOS Children's Village from a great variety of circumstances: being abandoned or living in grinding poverty. But, once here, they have access to the same full measure of love, care and devotion.
For us there is no greater happiness than living in an SOS Children's Village, simply because luck may not come the way of every unfortunate child like myself. Fully aware of this "privilege", I treasure all the more the life I am living and I make it my duty to become a good citizen, useful to the country.
The SOS Children's Village Viet Tri is, in fact, an enabling environment for every child to maximize his/her potentials, i.e. an all-round education, physically and spiritually. I am fully aware of the fact that the SOS Children's Village Viet Tri has made a point of doing everything humanly possible to provide us, the children in specially difficult circumstances, with a ready mindset to make steady strides into life.
As Dutch painter-artist Van Gogh once said, "there is nothing more like art than the love of a man". As a matter of fact, the world famous painter wanted to highlight the principle of love: love has the power to change many things, exerting far-reaching effects on mankind. I have enjoyed the tender loving care not only of a mom but also of the village community. As a result, every child like myself is brought up to fully develop his/her potential and to live down all the "ill-fate" complex.
As things are with me now, the way I looked at the hardship I had to experience has eclipsed in the SOS Children's Village. What is in my mind now is to identify myself with the future. The mother in whose care I am living now is my second and last mother, the mother of unfortunate children like myself. My life, though not starting from her womb, has been revived through her great care. I also have brothers and sisters with a different family background, sharing the same roof, the same loving motherly care and growing up in this same SOS Children's Village.
As inseparable part of my life, as integral plasma running along my veins criss-crossing my whole body, SOS Children's Village Viet Tri will be my personal gear throughout my life. I am now an undergraduate student doing my last university year. I am bending over backwards to become a businesswoman, a successful company manager, to do at least something beneficial to unfortunate children like myself."