Deputy Ministry for Children Social Protection and SOS National Director signing the Reunification documents, while programs Managers, social workers and Rep. of the families witness the ceremony
SOS Children’s Villages Liberia and the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection (MoGCSP) reunify 18 children, who been in the care of SOS Children’s Villages Liberia for over six years.
Reunification is part of SOS Children’s Villages program which allows children to reunite with their biological parents or other relatives.
The 2013 SOS Children’s Villages National Policy for Children says, “All children have the right to grow in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.”
At the ceremony, SOS Children’s Villages Liberia National Director. Augustine A.K. Allieu notes, “We are greatly performing duties that are relevant. Duties that we owe to ourselves and to the children”, while turning over the children to Deputy Gender Minister for Children and Social Protection, Lydia-Mai Sherman. “After accessing the situation of the children in our care, providing the necessary care, we are therefore in collaboration with the government reunifying them with their parents or relatives”, Mr. Allieu adds.
He says SOS Children Villages Liberia got the children from the government, and therefore after carefully examining the improvement in their lives and that of their parents, it turned them over to the government to subsequently be turned over to their parents or relatives for reunification.
Mr. Allieu thanks all those who helped to give the children suitable and basic life necessities and applauds the role of SOS mothers and other co-workers, while acknowledging the support of the government through the Ministry of Gender.
However, he appeals for more government support, especially in the areas of electricity and pipe-borne water.
On behalf of the Government of Liberia Deputy Minister Sherman thanks SOS Liberia for the level of work done in Liberia thus far, noting “I am absolutely happy and impressed with the work of SOS Liberia and SOS globally.”
“All these years the children enjoyed the love and affection from SOS Children’s Villages and their SOS mother, they will be reunified today with their biological parents or relatives.”
Earlier the Program Manager of SOS Children’s Village Juah town pleads with the society to continually join hands to have fruitful discussion that will promote the success of children in the community and society.
“Family is the most important thing in the world, but caring comes courage”, says Madam Catherine who started her journey as SOS caregiver in 1998.
The United Nation 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”. Unfortunately for large numbers of children, having a happy and supportive family is like a distant dream due to death, desertion, poverty and abuse at home, among other challenges. Editing by Jonathan Browne