A Foundation Built from Joy and Perseverance
November 9 2022

A Foundation Built from Joy and Perseverance

People tend to apply what they learn in childhood to their parenting years. Those who grew up in care and compassion are bound to give that same love to their own children when they become parents.  

Juvy is but one of many people from SOS Children’s Villages who learned not only to be independent, but to use the life she built to give her children the love she received. 

Sunny Memories  

Juvy is one of four siblings who was taken in by SOS Children’s Villages Philippines when she was in Grade 3. She lived with her siblings until one by one, they all either started living independently or returned to their parents. But while they were still there, she lived a significantly peaceful childhood with all the other children. 

“Life in SOS is a happy one.“ She and her siblings and friends would sometimes reminisce their childhood in SOS with happy nostalgia every time they talk about them.  Even after all the years she’s worked and working abroad, Juvy still keeps in touch with her siblings, aunties, and mama in SOS up to this day. 

Not a day goes by in their village that they don’t learn anything. Weekends for them are days for learning and having fun with the family. Every weekend, the families in the children’s village would play games together or hone their skills. Summer, especially, is a time for trainings and camps. In short, they were able to make the best of their childhood and explore for themselves. 

Learning also happens at home. Juvy recounted back then how their mama would be strict with their schedules and chores in the house. No television from Sunday night to Thursday night because of school and homework; wake up early to do chores and finish them before dinner; and check every month how the children are doing in terms of housework.  

But the most important thing Juvy learned during her time with SOS is the importance of education and independence. 


Building Her Foundation 

Like many of her peers who pursued or dreamt of having a medical profession, Juvy wanted to be a nurse, though she was initially choosing between nursing and psychology. Her mama also encouraged her to follow her dream. In the late 2000s to 2010, nurses can work anywhere due to high demand, both locally and internationally. 

But to be able to pursue her dream, she has to prepare and learn to stand on her own feet first. Juvy told us that when the girls reach 18 years old, they start to live in a home independent from the house they lived in as a child. She and her peers were instilled with skills they need to live independently, such as budgeting their money for food and other expenses. They would be given a weekly budget, and they are to divide it as they see fit for their meals, three times a day, seven days a week.  

Financial literacy was a very significant lesson for them. In their time, social workers and their mamas would remind and instill in them the importance of self-reliance and finishing their studies. Not only is a diploma a requirement in most jobs, Philippine society can be highly competitive, which is all the more reason to build on the skills they need for independent living. 

“Persevere in your studies so that you can stand on your own feet and that when the time comes, you don’t depend on your spouse to be able to live.”  

It all became even more relevant for Juvy when she finished her studies in Nursing and started working. Her goal was to work abroad as soon as possible. The high demand for healthcare workers made it harder to look for a hospital to work for. Additionally, she wanted to minimize training expenses that she would have incurred if she worked at a hospital in the beginning.  

After she graduated in 2009 and passed her board exam in 2010, she worked for a clinic for 10 months to gain experience. Juvy used the experience she’s gained from working at the clinic as leverage for working as a nurse in the Middle East. She moved there in 2012 and has worked there for five years. She then went back to work briefly in the Philippines before processing her application to the United Kingdom where she currently works as a Registered General Nurse in a private health facility. 

Juvy was driven by the determination to be self-sufficient. There are people who returned to SOS with kids and didn’t manage to leave the cycle of poverty. She remembered this and she wanted to return to SOS to visit when she can stand on her own two feet. 


All That Was Given Back 

Many of those who lived in and left SOS Children’s Villages strive to give back the love they received. Giving back that love came in two ways for Juvy: helping the kids in the community she’s a part of, and raising her children in the love and care she grew up with. Her upbringing in SOS Children’s Villages helped her cultivate the heart to help children. 

For the children in her community, she participated in a program by the local church to provide educational assistance to children in need, particularly those who were orphaned and financially struggling. She sponsors some of those children to help them finish their education. Juvy is also one of many of SOS Children’s Villages’ regular donors. 

Not only does she contribute financially to better the lives of every child; parenting is her way of giving her own children a good life too. “Being good parents is one of the best contributions you could make to the community.” 

Juvy wanted to have a family of her own, and be present in her child’s life. Her only reference for caring for her child is her upbringing, and the values she imparts to them are what she was taught. She taught her child to have faith in God and the importance prayer and gratitude to Him, recounting how they have community prayers back in the children’s village every Sunday. She also taught them to be grateful to the people who help them, and most of all, she instilled in them the determination to reach their dreams. 


“All by God's grace, with the help of SOS, my life has been changed. SOS is forever a family and I am grateful for everything. My childhood would not be as joyous and meaningful without them beside me. And all that I have right now would not be possible without the huge help of SOS. Wherever life may take me, I am a proud SOS child. SOS placed a big mark on me which resulted in my contribution to our society. “ -Juvy 


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